10 Dreamy Homemade Ice Creams for National Ice Cream Month

July is almost over, and if you missed out on the first half of National Ice Cream month, worry not — you still have plenty of time to freeze a batch of homemade ice cream. The first National Ice Cream month was celebrated in 1984 after President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation designating a month in honor of everyone’s favorite frozen dessert, adding that July 15 was to be National Ice Cream Day. The International Dairy Foods Association says National Ice Cream day is observed on the third Sunday in July (July 20 for 2014), and that the International Ice Cream Association promotes partaking in the month, and the day. To do just that, check out Reagan’s proclamation on the American Presidency Project, and then get your ice cream makers ready for one of these 10 recipes.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

1. Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla is certainly not boring. From a basic vanilla recipe – like Emeril’s — you can stir in any number of ingredients and flavorings from chocolate chips to peanut butter swirls. Plus, ice creams can go with so many other desserts like apple pie, cake, brownies, or cookies. It makes about 1 quart of ice cream.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in ½ lengthwise
  • 6 large egg yolks

Directions: Combine the cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla seeds and bean in a medium heavy saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat. Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl until frothy and lemon colored, about 2 minutes. Whisk 1 cup of the hot cream into the egg yolks in a slow, steady stream. Gradually add the egg mixture to the hot cream, whisking constantly. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring, occasionally, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly against the surface of the mixture to keep a skin from forming. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

2. Buttermilk Ice Cream

Another basic, but with a slight twist, is Southern Living‘s buttermilk ice cream. Just as you can make countless variations of vanilla, the same applies to buttermilk ice cream, simply stir your favorite fixings in the quart before serving.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups half and half
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup whole buttermilk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

Directions: Process all ingredients in a blender 30 seconds or until very smooth. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Pour mixture into freezer container of a 1½-quart electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Serve immediately, or transfer to an airtight container, and freeze up to 1 week.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

3. Dairy-Free Chocolate-Coconut Ice Cream

When Rori Trovato learned her son had developed lactose intolerance, she told Food & Wine that her reaction was to think “poor guy.” Thankfully, mom is behind Rori’s Artisanal Creamery in Santa Barbara, California and was able to create and share a dairy-free ice cream recipe. It yields 1 ½ quarts.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Directions: Set a fine-mesh sieve in a large bowl set over a bowl of ice water. In a large saucepan, whisk the coconut milk and agave syrup over moderately low heat until warm. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the sugar and cocoa powder. Gradually whisk in 1 cup of the warm coconut milk until smooth, then whisk in the egg yolks. Scrape the cocoa paste into the saucepan and whisk until blended. Cook the custard over moderate heat, whisking constantly, for about 6 minutes, until very hot and slightly thickened; do not let it boil.

Immediately strain the custard into the prepared bowl and stir in the vanilla. Stir the custard until chilled. Freeze the custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers’ directions. Transfer the ice cream to a large plastic container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

In a small skillet, toast the coconut flakes over low heat until lightly browned, 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Serve the ice cream topped with toasted coconut.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

4. Salted Caramel Ice Cream

All the elements are coming together in Gourmet‘s salted caramel ice cream. Sweet, salty, rich, and cold your late night frozen treat will never be the same after you make this recipe. Heap scoops into a bowl, or create an ultimate brownie sundae. It yields 1 quart.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups sugar, divided
  • 2 ¼ cups heavy cream, divided
  • ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt such as Maldon
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 large eggs

Directions: Heat 1 cup sugar in a dry 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber. Add 1 ¼ cups cream (mixture will spatter) and cook, stirring, until all of caramel has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sea salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, bring milk, remaining cup cream, and remaining ¼ cup sugar just to boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally. Lightly whisk eggs in a medium bowl, then add half of hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard coats back of spoon and registers 170 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer (do not let boil.) Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, then stir in cooled caramel.

Chill custard, stirring occasionally, until very cold, 3 to 6 hours. Freeze custard in ice cream maker (it will still be quite soft), then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

5. Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Looking for an activity while you ice cream is chilling and before it goes into your ice cream maker? Look no further, because when you make the butter pecan ice cream from Country Living, you can prepare a batch of candied butter pecans while you wait.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Candied Butter Pecans

  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions: To make the ice cream, in a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, brown sugar, egg yolks, and salt. Place pan over medium-high heat until mixture reaches a simmer. Lower heat to medium and whisk mixture for 5 minutes or until it begins to thicken. Strain mixture into a large bowl and whisk in butter until combined; then incorporate half-and-half, cream, and vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

For the candied pecans, in a heavy skillet over medium heat, combine pecans, sugar, and butter, stirring constantly for about 6 minutes or until sugar has melted and browned. Remove from heat; spread nuts on foil. Once nuts have cooled, break into bite-size pieces and reserve.

Pour ice cream mixture into ice-cream maker; process according to manufacturer instructions. Once ice cream’s made, stir in reserved pecans.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

6. S’mores Ice Cream

Freeze your s’mores cravings in their tracks by using Cuisinart’s recipe for s’mores flavored ice cream.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • ⅔ cup whole milk
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup marshmallow cream
  • 2 full graham cracker sheets, crushed
  • 2 ounces milk chocolate (⅓ cup chips), melted and reserved at room temperature

Directions: In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugars and salt. Add the milk and, using a hand mixer on low speed or a whisk, beat to combine until the cocoa and sugars are dissolved. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or overnight.

Pour ice cream mixture into ice-cream maker; process according to manufacturer instructions. Five minutes before mixing is completed, gradually add the marshmallow cream, one spoonful at a time. Once mixed, add the crushed graham crackers and melted chocolate, one at a time, through the top and let mix in completely. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

7. Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

For a different dessert flavor combination, make a quart of Food.com‘s strawberry cheesecake ice cream. If you cannot find fresh strawberries to puree, use frozen strawberries, but leave out the sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup fresh pureed strawberry
  • 1 cup half-and-half

Directions: Blend all ingredients until smooth. Chill ingredients for about 1 hour, or until cold. Turn on ice cream machine and set it to chill the freezing/mixing bowl for 5 minutes. Spoon the cooled mixture into the freezing/mixing bowl of machine. Set the freezing timer to the 30 minute maximum setting. Push start button. When timer rings, spoon ice cream into dishes and enjoy. (Or, pour ice cream mixture into ice-cream maker and process according to manufacturer instructions.)

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

8. Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream

We don’t have any scientific proof on the matter, but we’re pretty sure peanut butter is one of those ingredients that improves almost any dish — and Savuer‘s ice cream is no exception.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup smooth natural peanut butter
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup salted, roasted, shelled peanuts, chopped

Directions: Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until just hot. Meanwhile, beat sugar and eggs together in a medium bowl until thick and pale yellow. Gradually whisk hot milk into egg mixture in bowl, then pour milk — egg mixture into saucepan. Return saucepan to medium-low heat and cook custard, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in ½ cup of the peanut butter. Strain custard into a large bowl, let cool briefly, stirring often, then stir in cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until cold, 6 – 8 hours.

Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions, adding ½ cup of the chopped nuts to the ice cream 30 seconds before it has finished churning. Transfer to a bowl, quickly swirl in remaining ½ cup peanut butter, cover, and freeze until hard. Serve ice cream sprinkled with the remaining ½ cup nuts.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

9. Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

The optional green food dye in AllRecipes.com‘s mint chocolate chip ice cream can only amp up the nostalgia factor in this recipe for a childhood classic. Instead of mini chocolate chips, you could chop up a chocolate bar of chunks milk, semisweet, or dark chocolate goodness.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups 2 percent milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3 drops green food coloring (optional)
  • 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Directions: In a large bowl, stir together the milk, cream, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract until the sugar has dissolved. Color to your liking with the green food coloring.

Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After about 10 minutes into the freezing, add the chocolate chips. After the ice cream has thickened, about 30 minutes later, spoon into a container, and freeze for 2 hours.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

10. Brown Sugar-Bourbon Ice Cream

You’ve grown up, and now your ice cream has too. Bon Appétit wants you to make a brown sugar ice cream with hints of bourbon. It makes 1 quart, and could be the ultimate scoop of ice cream to pair with apple pie.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) bourbon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: Stir milk, cream, and brown sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a rolling boil (it may look curdled, but this is normal.) Meanwhile, whisk yolks, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl until mixture is pale yellow and sugar dissolves.

Place a medium metal bowl in a large bowl of ice water; set a fine-mesh sieve over metal bowl. Whisking yolk mixture constantly, gradually add hot cream mixture (to prevent the eggs in the yolk mixture from scrambling.) Return to pan. Stir custard over low heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes. Immediately strain custard into metal bowl. Let custard cool completely, stirring often.

Stir 1 tablespoon bourbon and vanilla into custard. Add more bourbon to taste by teaspoonfuls, if desired. Cover and chill for up to one day. Process custard in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

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