Tips for the perfect homemade ice cream

On hot summer days, there’s nothing better than homemade ice cream. We asked Richard Makin, founder of Blu Top Ice Cream, what’s needed to make it at home.

Ice cream bourbon sandwich on greaseproof paper

When making ice cream at home, using good quality ingredients and the right equipment are key to a successful scoop. Read Richard Makin's tips for how to make irresistibly cool and silky ice cream and you'll never touch a Mr Whippy again.
 

1. Great dairy

Ice cream mixture in a bowl with wooden sppon

Always use whole milk and double cream. Look for dairy with a naturally high protein content – Guernsey and Jersey are top-notch. We get ours from The Estate Dairy which you can buy at Selfridges.
 

2. A good ice cream machine

When it comes to churning ice cream, a hefty price tag doesn’t always equal great ice cream. Our favourite counter-top machine is from Buffalo – it’s robust, reliable and about half the price of the big domestic brands. (Buffalo, 1.5-litre ice cream maker, £179.99 at Nisbets).  
 

3. Proper vanilla

Vanilla pod being cut open

The price of Madagascan vanilla pods has risen by 500% in the last two years, so now may be a good time to experiment with other countries of origin. We use Mexican vanilla, which has a much more complex flavour. You can find it at Vanilla Mart.
 

4. A good thermometer

We always recommend using a probe thermometer if you’re pasteurising your own ice cream base. It eliminates all the guesswork and ensures your ice cream is safe to serve. A good make is Hygiplas Multipurpose stem thermometer (£14.99 at Nisbets). 

Read our review of the top 10 ice cream gadgets for more helpful information on equipment.
 

5. A proper scoop

Ice cream scoop

A substandard scoop is like chopping tomatoes with a blunt knife: frustrating and messy! Forget gimmicky models with rubber handles or ejector buttons and stick to the classics. We use the US brand Zeroll, which is filled with a conductive liquid that helps it retain heat from your hand. (Zeroll original ice cream scoop, £20.99 at Nisbets).

Watch our video on how to make homemade ice cream from a fresh vanilla custard base:

You can find Blu Top at various street-food sites across London or visit their site to find out more.

Now try some of our delicious ice cream recipes...

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Do you have any tips for making great homemade ice cream? Tell us in the comments below...

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