What to do with the leftover Half and Half in the fridge when it’s dangerously close to really expiring…? Why, break out that ice cream maker you got as a wedding gift, dust it off, plug it in and get ready to use it for the SECOND time in almost 10 years! I almost never have half and half in the house as we’re black coffee people, but I attempted a disastrous martini experiment at a holiday party a couple weeks back, and needless to say, was left with the majority that I bought. Now to make lemons into lemonade!
While we did exclude food from our “buy nothing new” resolution, we are still extremely conscious of how we shop, what we buy, and of course, minimizing food waste at all costs. Sometimes buying nothing new can be achieved purely through maximizing every bit of what you bring into your home, and allowing zero tolerance for waste of any kind. In this case, buying nothing new manifests itself in two simple ways for us today: not throwing away half and half a couple days past its printed expiration date, and not forking over another $5 for a pint of ice cream. When did deliciousness become so expensive??!
Melissa and I both grew up with homemade ice cream memories. Hers were memories of family gatherings in the back yard with the hand-cranked ice cream freezers, rock salt, and fish fries. Mine were memories of my Aunt Grace (who lived in a perpetual state of 1950’s Americana well into the 1990’s) with her hand-cranked ice cream machine in my Grandparents kitchen in Kansas. We have always had high hopes of making some of these memories with our children, but our ice cream machine is electric and generally sits on the top shelf in our pantry. Not this year it doesn’t!!!! Time to make our second-ever batch of creamy goodness.
For this I simply adjusted the recipe in the manual that came with the ice cream maker after reading some online recipes and learning that it is perfectly fine to substitute half and half for heavy whip and milk. Typically you’re looking at a 2 to 1 ratio (cream to milk) but in this case, we’re going to be a little less creamy and a little more milky with our 1 to 1 mixture. Small win if you’re just now realizing that half and half is half cream and half milk…! I also scoured the cabinets to find the additional ingredients needed, which of course line the pantries of most homes in America: sugar and vanilla extract! I also decided to get a bit crazy and use some of the frozen berries that were in my freezer, after being persuaded by Melissa that the boys would probably enjoy wildberry ice cream over coffee ice cream. I guess she’s right. The recipes with berries all called for lemon juice (and it just so happened that I had a lemon in the fruit bowl) but I assume bottled lemon juice concentrate would have also worked if that’s what you have on hand.
4 cups half and half
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups berries
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Wisk together the half and half and sugar on low setting or by hand, 1-2 minutes.
- Pour cream/sugar mixture into ice cream freezer, add vanilla and freeze/mix for 20-25 minutes (according to my brand of ice cream freezer…you may want to follow your own directions if your freezer is different.)
- In separate bowl, combine fruit and juice and let set. My recipe called for 2 hours with fresh berries, but I adjusted to the 25 minutes and frozen berries I had while the ice cream was blending. It worked fine.
Total prep time was about 10 mins. 30 mins total time in the freezer with a total beginning to end project time of 40 mins. Not bad for homemade ice cream with stuff I had and stuff I was going to have to dump down the drain!
Hope you enjoyed this post as much as we’re enjoying this ice cream! What are some of your favorite flavors or memories of homemade ice cream?