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The Theme Is … Ice Cream!

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Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme is Ice Cream! (Honey Chamomile Frozen Custard from TK member Diana (spanishfoodie) of A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa)

We haven’t really hit the warmest months of the year yet, but when the grills start getting busy, it seems that ice cream isn’t far behind. (For the purpose of this post, I’ll be using “ice cream” to refer to a variety of frozen desserts, including sorbets and frozen yogurt.)

Frozen treats have always been a welcome addition to outdoor dining. Kids and adults alike always seem to smile while eating ice cream. Did you know that Americans are the world’s largest consumer of ice cream, at almost 48 pints per person annually? That’s a lot of smiles.

There are different types of ice cream, the main ones being custard (also called French-style) and Philadelphia-style ice cream. Custard-based ice cream contains eggs, which are typically cooked along with milk and sugar to create a custard base. With the eggs acting as an emulsifier, this kind of ice cream usually yields smoother, richer results. Want to try your hand at making it? Here are a few that you might want to sample.


Tasty Kitchen Blog The Theme is Ice Cream! (Custard)Left column, top to bottom: Kit’s Fresh Berry Ice Cream from callimakesdo and Brown Sugar Sweet Cream Ice Cream with Peppermint Bark from bonniethebaker. Middle column, top to bottom: Cuban Coffee Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate and Dulce de Leche from bunkycooks, Meyer Lemon Blackberry Ice Cream from verysmallanna, and Honey Chamomile Frozen Custard from spanishfoodie. Right column, top to bottom: Cinnamon Spice Ice Cream from Tracy (sugarcrafter) and Bailey’s Ice Cream with Chocolate Shavings from bunkycooks.

On the other hand, Philadelphia-style ice cream contains no eggs. Many folks prefer this for homemade because it’s easier and doesn’t involve cooking custard. Although some will argue that the exclusion of eggs compromises the richness and smoothness of the resulting ice cream, that doesn’t mean you can’t make ridiculously good egg-free ice cream at home.


Tasty Kitchen Blog The Theme is Ice Cream! (Philadelphia-style)Left column, top to bottom: Toasted Coconut Ice Cream from ThreeManyCooks and Mocha Frappuccino Ice Cream from taracooks. Middle column, top to bottom: Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream from joythebaker, Lavender Vanilla Ice Cream from Kelsey Barnard, and Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream from daxphillips. Right column, top to bottom: Simple Thai Tea Ice Cream from ivoryhut, Pumpkin Ice Cream from BluebonnetGal, and Mascarpone Ice Cream with Caramelized Peaches, Cinnamon and Honey from verysmallanna.

Can’t handle the cream? Don’t despair; we’ve got some dairy-free (and even gluten-free) recipes that are so good, you won’t even miss the creamy … cream. With substitutes like coconut milk, almond milk, or even white beans, you can always find a way to get yourself some ice cream.


Tasty Kitchen Blog: The Theme is Ice Cream! (Dairy-free)Clockwise from top left: Blueberry Coconut Ice Cream (Gluten- and Dairy-Free) from cookincanuck, Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Ice Cream from myrecessionkitchen (dairy free, egg free, sugar free), Strawberry White Bean Ice Cream from conscioustar, Healthy, Impossibly Easy Banana Ice Cream from sweettooth, and Chocolate Malt Ice Cream from myrecessionkitchen.

As a side note, for all the different discussions about butterfat content, eggs, and cream when it comes to ice cream, the real major ingredient in ice cream is air—up to 60 percent of it. Gelatos, on the other hand, have less air in them, which is why they are denser and more intense in flavor. Here’s another interesting bit: when it comes to flavors, vanilla far outsells chocolate. By a mile. Then again, it’s not as surprising when you consider that vanilla is usually the flavor of choice to top brownies, sundaes, and pies.

Sorbets, on the other hand, contain no cream or milk. They’re usually fruit-based, and when whipped similarly to ice cream, they can have a smooth consistency as well. Sorbets are refreshing and light, and can sometimes be served even before the meal is served.


Tasty Kitchen Blog The Theme is Ice Cream! (Sorbet)Left column, top to bottom: Vietnamese Coconut Sorbet from nancyvnjourney and Ginger Mint Raspberry Sorbet from jenmenke. Middle column, top to bottom: ButterYum’s Strawberry Sorbet from ButterYum, Sugar-Free Mango and Valencia Orange Sorbet from ABusyNest, and Creme Fraiche Sorbet from discojing. Right column, top to bottom: Cucumber Sorbet from thecatskillkiwi and Gin and Tonic Sorbet from ivoryhut.

And finally, bursting into the scene fairly recently, we have frozen yogurt. Ever wonder how yogurt can look and feel so much like ice cream? It’s that major ingredient again: air. Frozen yogurt is churned and enough air is incorporated into it to make it light and smooth, just like ice cream.


Tasty Kitchen Blog The Theme is Ice Cream! (Frozen Yogurt)Clockwise from top left: Plain, Tart Frozen Yogurt from sweettooth, Blueberry Frozen Yogurt from Rebecca, Tart Mango Fro Yo from sweettooth, Sweet Corn Frozen Yogurt from Amy (Minimally Invasive), Brown Sugar and Peach Frozen Yogurt from tallmisto, and Blueberry-Berry Frozen Yogurt from thatswhatshesaid.

And that’s our frozen treat roundup for this week, just in time for the warm weather! While ice cream makers certainly make the job easier, you don’t absolutely need one in order to make ice cream. It’s true! David Lebovitz said so. In his How to Make Ice Cream Without A Machine post, he says that you can simply freeze the mixture in a shallow dish or baking pan and stick that in the freezer. Take it out every half hour or so, whip it up for a minute or two, then put it back in the freezer. The whipping helps incorporate air into the ice cream, break up ice crystals, and gives you a smoother result. Once it’s frozen (it will take about 2 to 3 hours), you can transfer it to an ice cream container and leave it in the freezer to completely set.

So there’s no reason you can’t make ice cream at home! Unless you’re one of the only 2 percent of households in the U.S. that don’t buy ice cream.

Do you like ice cream? What’s your favorite? Have you ever tried making it a home? I’ll start us off with my answers: Yep. All. Oh yeah.



Comments are closed for this recipe.

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Mrs_Pippi on 7.24.2010

I just got an ice cream maker, the first one I made was the Mocha Frappucino Ice Cream.
It looked fine when it came out of hte maker, I put it in an air tight plastic container to freeze and it’s a hard mess!
It’s not scoopable at all! It’s like when you put storebought ice cream in a “not cold enough” freezer and all the sugar seperates out.
What did I do wrong!?

Cathy Price on 6.9.2010

Family reunion in North Carolina, Bus trip to Nashville with the girls!

PS. I have asked this quesiton before and I can’t seem to get an answer. If you win any of these great prizes Ree gives away how do you know if you win? Are the winners posted anywhere on the website? I would appreciate some feedback. Thanks all and thanks Ree!

Lynette johnson on 6.8.2010

The Captain & I will be heading to the coast to cellebrate our 10th wedding anniversary!! (we ride tandem bicycle – I’m the Stoker & he’s my Captain!)

Sherrie Grayson on 6.8.2010

Work and working on my house.

Tonya on 6.8.2010

I’m planning to make very few plans. For some reason my kids are making me busier in the summer than I was in the school year. Whew. So for me — my plans are to keep the hamster wheel moving. Until I fling off like hamsters do sometimes and then I’ll take a breather!

Jenny Kuhns on 6.8.2010

Our plans are to get a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy!!! That is after swim team is over, camps are done, and we take a trip to the Outer Banks…

Julia on 6.8.2010

We’ve already used up all our vacation days in one trip to my parents’ house, so we’re hoping people come to us for vacation! Other than that, plenty of days at the park and pool, camping weekends, and lots and lots of yard work.

Jennifer Hustead on 6.8.2010

Me and the kids are going to spend our summer days at the pool after they finish their chores – we started a chore chart last year, and the reward of the pool was just enough daily incentive to keep them moving!

devonshire on 6.8.2010

BIG plans this summer. I’m having a baby!

InezS on 6.8.2010

Lots of rest; then visiting my friend who upped and moved to Abilene, Texas.

Michael on 6.8.2010

School, homework, coaching, and more homework

Mama T on 6.8.2010

Visiting my mama!

Christine Gleason on 6.8.2010

My summer plans: air conditioning!

Nancy on 6.8.2010

This year we bought a new house and we want to plant a garden, I know its a little late, but better late than never.

I wish I was going on a great vacation. I would like to take my kids to DisneyWorld in FL, wouldn’t that be great!

I sure would like to win that beautiful purple pan!

Katrina on 6.7.2010

Oh no! I’m in the southern hemisphere and we’re just heading into winter! Frosts are the order of the day. And yet I feel compelled to stare at those pictures and salivate at the thought of ice cream. Think I will make one anyway.

Amy from She Wears Many Hats (missamy) on 6.6.2010

I wish I could just enjoy the photography (it’s beautiful!) of these cool treats but I find myself craving ice cream now. And sorbet. And frozen yogurt.

Ros on 6.6.2010

When you say ‘and some even gluten-free!’, you do realise that almost all ice cream is gluten free? Unless you add cookie dough or some other gluten-full flavouring, there’s no reason for any ice-cream, sorbet, frozen yoghurt or gelato to contain gluten, and I would be worried if they did. I bet 95% of the recipes you link to here are gluten-free.

Lauren @ Crave. Indulge. Satisfy. on 6.5.2010

This is a great post! I absolutely love ice cream, and during the summer months eat it almost every night! My favorite flavor is chocolate chip cookie dough! Yes, I have an ice cream maker and I’ve already got a few flavors lined up that I want to try this summer!

Lolly on 6.5.2010

Here is a great quick ice cream recipe. I use this in my Cusinart Ice Cream maker and it is ready in about 30 minutes with little mess.

Roberta on 6.5.2010

Call me a cheapskate because that is what I am! There’s got to be a way to make ice cream or even gelato minus the use of any fancy schmancy machine. My quest is to figure out how to make use of my Kitchenaid stand mixer to make this delectable treat. Yes, it’s true that Kitchen has a contraption for making ice cream, but that’s not me. Onward and iceward…!

Robin on 6.5.2010

I love making ice cream but I am sensitive to dairy so I have to limit myself! I recently tried a chocolate sorbet recipe from Smitten Kitchen, and it was very rich and intense, and very easy! Thanks for all these recipes!

Stacy of KSW on 6.5.2010

I got an ice cream maker in the mail this week, but have been looking for some fun recipes to try with it. You just became my new best friend! Thanks

Norine on 6.4.2010

For those wishing to go sugar free, you might consider Xylitol. It is a low glycemic “sugar” originally distilled from birch trees if US origin – corn origin if Japanese origin. It has no aftertaste, but it is rather expensive. You can find it at a health food store. I think it is much better than the various chemical experiments otherwise available. I’ve not tried it in ice cream. It is slower to dissolve than cane/beet sugar, but I like the results. It can be cooked or not. It is also an antibiotic and is good for teeth, mouth, ears and sinus bugs :-).

Sasha on 6.4.2010

Love this list! My new ice cream maker arrives next week, and I’d been compiling a cache of ice cream recipes, but now there is no need to look any further. This should keep me busy all summer. Thanks!

jill on 6.4.2010

in the fall I make apple sorbet, just toss a jar of cheap apple sauce in the ice cream maker and turn it on! You can add so many things – cinnamon, honey and walnuts, pecans and caramel…….. so so simple.

Melissa on 6.4.2010

Janet B., I would recommend Blackberry Buttermilk Sherbet from Cooking Light. It’s fantastic and could probably be adapted for almost any fresh fruit.

Vanessa on 6.4.2010

taracooks is after my heart with that photo of a 10 scoop (probably) mocha frappucino masterpiece!! I’ll take one of those in substitution of dinner please!!!! LOL.

Mrs H on 6.4.2010

Janet B, I would recommend Strawberry-Orange Sorbet from epicurious even if it’s not completely sugar-free

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Erika (TK) on 6.4.2010

Janet, that green one—I think you’re referring to the Brown Sugar Sweet Cream Ice Cream with Peppermint Bark—is green in the photo because, according to the related blog post, green food coloring was added for the holiday season.

Janet1214 on 6.4.2010

What is the green ice cream? I just checked the recipe and there is nothing in it to make it green. I don’t think the name and picture match. I would love to make the green ice cream (my kids would love that color).

iscreamforicecream! on 6.4.2010

Costco has a Cuisinart icecream maker for $39.99 right now….got one this weekend and love it! Can’t wait to try some of these recipes!

Josina on 6.4.2010

These look fantabulous! :)

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discojing on 6.4.2010

the “how to make ice cream w/o an ice cream maker” article is awesome! my creme fraiche sorbet (featured above) also was made without an ice cream maker.

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RestrainedChaos on 6.3.2010

We just bought an ice cream maker, after almost six years of drooling over the thought of homemade ice cream. Our first successful batch was also impossibly easy. A simple vanilla (Philly-style) recipe with the addition of a can of frozen daiquiri mix. We didn’t add any alcohol, just the mix. Unbelievably good.
But, I can’t wait until peaches come into season. I want homemade peach ice cream soooo bad!

Sinful Southern Sweets on 6.3.2010

I love ice cream!!! My favorite is homemade peach ice cream. That is just the quintessential summer dessert for me.

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Midwest Mrs on 6.3.2010

I love, love this post because I’m obsessed with ice cream!

library_girl on 6.3.2010

I don’t know if it’s just my computer but the link for Brown Sugar Sweet Cream Ice Cream with Peppermint Bark from bonniethebaker takes me to the archives not the recipe. Just thought you would like to know!

Lisa on 6.3.2010

Yippee!! We just got an ice cream maker on Monday!! Can;t wait to try some of these recipes

Katapple on 6.3.2010

I always go with the safe “Orange Crush” ice cream. 2 cans of Condensed Milk and a 2 liter bottle of orange soda.

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julip1882 on 6.3.2010

I made PW’s recipe for blackberry ice cream last weekend….she inspired me to bid on an win and ice cream maker on eBay!
and that ice cream is OUT OF THIS WORLD!
so delicious! I can’t wait to try some of these recipes…YUM!

Sarah K on 6.2.2010

I just had the most amazing BASIL ICE CREAM at VQ (a restaurant here in Portland, OR). They served it up wtih an “almost flourless chocolate cake” and the combo was amazing but the ice cream was great on it’s own as well. Makes me think a basil popsicle/granita type of treat would be out of this world!

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valerief on 6.2.2010

Okay, you got me inspired. Am making ice cream right now… without an ice cream maker (as I don’t own one). Will post the results on my site later (in 2 or 3 hours I hope!)

Evan on 6.2.2010

Thank you for reminding me that it is about time to get our ice cream maker gets out of the cabinet!! I cant wait to try some of these flavors :)

Vicki B on 6.2.2010

Last summer I made Ree’s blackberry ice cream in an ancient ice cream maker than uses regular ice cubes and table salt. It turned out fantastic! As a child, the best part of family gatherings down in the hot, central California valley was sitting on an old wooden hand cranked ice cream machine while cousins took turns cranking away.
The flavor I remember most was black walnut.

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3bakingsheets on 6.2.2010

Picking a favorite ice cream flavor is like picking a favorite episode of Saved By the Bell – there are just too many good ones to choose from.

I love experimenting with different flavors and will never know which cone I’m going to go with until the last second. And sometimes it doesn’t get any better than a simple, vanilla soft serve cone.

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Cathy on 6.2.2010

Thank you! I just bought the ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer. The printer is working over time :)

LadyDi on 6.2.2010

My son and I are home on vacation from school and work, and we made an improvised chocolate-mint-marshmallow-cookie crumb ice cream for breakfast! (I’m aiming for on the dubious honor of most irresponsible parent in our household.) We just used chocolate milk with mint extract and vanilla added for the base. ;-)

Sheila on 6.2.2010

OHHHH boy! My fathers favorite is coconut… NOW I have to make it for father’s day. THANK YOU!!!!! yumm

Jim on 6.2.2010

We have several fruit trees, but the Seville oranges make the most fabulous sorbet. Just juice, simple syrup, Grand Marnier and throw it in the ice cream maker. Rarely lasts more than two days before it is consumed. Love a fresh batch of ideas with weekend BBQ’s coming up.

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cookincanuck on 6.2.2010

Great run-down on the different types of frozen treats. I’m so glad you put in that gin & tonic sorbet by Ivory Hut – brilliant!