Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream


After finding my family’s old ice cream maker in my dad’s basement a few weeks back, I decided it was time to test it out again after over 25 years. ¬†The ice cream maker still worked great, and I was so happy to be able to find an excuse to make homemade ice cream in the middle of winter ūüôā

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

3 cups organic half and half

1 cup organic heavy whipping cream

1 cup organic sugar

8 organic egg yolks

2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract

Place the half & half and whipping cream in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently. ¬†Mix the sugar into the egg yolks. ¬†Once the half & half and whipping cream have reached a simmer, temper the eggs with the mixture. ¬†Continue to stir the custard mixture over medium heat for 5-8 minutes. ¬†Remove from heat and allow to sit for 30 minutes. ¬†Add the vanilla extract and refrigerate until cool. ¬†Pour into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacture’s instructions. ¬†Enjoy!


Chocolate Ice Cream:  Add 1 1/2 cups organic cocoa powder to the cream mixture and then simmer.

Pistachio Ice Cream:  Replace the organic vanilla extract with organic almond extract.  Then add 1 1/2 cups chopped pistachios once the mixture is cooled.


Dairy Free Ice Cream


The littlest Fagan just celebrated her 4th birthday, and this soon-to-be-chef had been planning her party menu for months. ¬†At the top of her list was The Pioneer Womans’ Blackberry Chip Ice Cream. ¬†Well, unfortunately for my tiny girl, a few days before the big shebang, we were told by her new doctor to avoid dairy and refined sugar. ¬†Huh. ¬†This placed quite the damper on our birthday party edibles.

But never fear, dairy alternatives are here! ¬†While big sis was at school, my little chef and I transformed our kitchen into a recipe test kitchen. ¬†We tinkered away for a few days and came up with a fabulous dairy free, refined sugar free version of The Pioneer Woman’s ice cream.

I hope you enjoy this summer treat as much as we did!

Dairy Free Ice Cream

Put 1 cup blackberries (these can be fresh or frozen) and 1/2 local honey in a blender.  Blend until smooth and set aside.

Pour 2 13.5 oz cans of coconut milk into an ice cream maker.  Switch the ice cream maker on and allow to run for 3-5 minutes.  To the coconut milk, add 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Once the vanilla is incorporated, add the blackberry/honey mixture.

Allow the ice cream maker to run until you notice a creamy consistency begins to form.  Then add 3 oz. dairy free chocolate chips (we used these).  Run the ice cream maker until the chocolate chips are evenly distributed throughout the ice cream.

Store in an air tight container in the freezer until you are ready to eat.  (I suggest taking the ice cream out of the freezer about 5 minutes before you intend to serve it because the coconut milk tends to freeze pretty solid.)



*A note about all my recipes:  I use all organic ingredients, local when available.  I use non-homogenized milk, and all of the dairy we use is from animals raised on pasture. I also use oils that are non-GMO verified.  All our meat is raised locally on organic feed, and our beef is grass-fed, grass-finished.  All our spices and cane sugar are fair-trade certified and purchased through a cooperative.


Each morning I make a lovely cup of piping hot coffee and stand at my kitchen window overlooking my garden.  Even in the dead of winter, when the garden is buried beneath layer upon layer of snow, I do this.  It allows me to view one area of the earth, each day, and observe all of the changes that take place and often go unnoticed.

Yesterday, as I was conducting this every day task, I noticed that the mint in my herb garden had reached an all-time-out-of-control-I’m-goiing-to-take-over-everything state. ¬†I now had more mint than any human could ever even dream of consuming. ¬†I twiddled my thumbs for a bit, trying to think of what in the world to do with even a small bit of this mint. ¬†Then it came to me. ¬†On our trip to Champaign this past weekend I indulged in this exquisite homemade, flourless cake that was served with fresh mint ice cream. ¬†Yummy. ¬†So, that was it…fresh mint ice cream!

I used my normal ice cream recipe, but this time I added fresh, finely chopped mint at the stage when I add the vanilla.  I covered the pan with a ceramic plate and allowed the mint to steep in the mixture until completely cool.  This allowed the lovely, fresh flavor of the mint to infuse into the ice cream.


I Scream, You Scream

The chants of, “Ice cream, ice cream, we want ice cream!” can often be heard ringing through our house.¬† Yes, I’m afraid my girls have a sweet tooth like their momma and ice cream is one of their favs.

We have taken to making most of the ice cream we consume in our house because I can be assured that there are only five ingredients in the ice cream, and I know where those ingredients come from.  Perfect.

Below is our basic ice cream recipe for vanilla ice cream.  I purchase our eggs locally and buy local heavy cream and half and half from our natural food store.

3 cups half and half

1 cup heavy cream

8 egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla (I also put in seeds from 1-2 vanilla beans.)

Heat half and half over medium heat.  Add cream and bring to a simmer.

Whisk sugar into egg yolks.  Temper eggs with milk mixture.  Let sit for 30 minutes and then add vanilla.

Refrigerate the mixture until cool and then churn in an ice cream maker, following the manufacturer’s guidelines.