Ice cream is the favorite summertime treat! Whether you are using store-bought or homemade, the following tips will help to keep your ice cream fresh and tasty. And, give our BROWN SUGAR VANILLA ICE CREAM recipe a try, it’s absolutely delicious!

KEEP IT COLD AT ALL TIMES – I know, sounds redundant, but Ice Cream MUST be kept cold at all times. Once it starts to melt, the ice crystal structure breaks down and it causes the ice cream to melt even faster. This explains why eating an ice cream cone is the most messy at the end. And when these structures are broken, they cannot be repaired. Typically if you try to re-freeze thawed ice cream, it becomes hard and unappealing. After all, it’s that smooth creamy texture we crave, right? Once it melts, it’s done and referred to as “heat shocked.” So, any time you take ice cream out of the freezer you want to put it back as soon as possible.

SCOOP, THEN REST FOR BEST FLAVOR – Ice cream taste better if it sits for a few minutes. Our tastebuds don’t like super cold foods, so give your ice cream a rest, but not in the carton. Take the carton out for a few minutes just until you can scoop it, scoop into bowls, return the carton to the freezer, and then let your scooped ice cream rest for just a minute in the bowls before serving. Please do not microwave ice cream to thaw. Because microwaves heat un-evenly, you can set up pockets of crystals and ruin your ice cream.

DON’T DIP YOUR SCOOP IN WATER – especially dipping the scoop in hot water. Water can freeze on contact with the ice cream and become a crunchy chunk of ice in minutes.

STORE YOUR ICE CREAM SMARTLY – when storing, keep it covered in the coldest part of the freezer. Avoid storing it on the door. Be aware, if for some reason the freezer breaks down, throw out the unfrozen ice cream. Dairy is only safe for long storage as long as it is kept frozen.

Below is a great recipe that can be used in any ice cream maker. If you don’t have an ice cream maker you can make this in a shallow metal pan. Simply cut the recipe in half, pour into a shallow metal pan, place in the freezer and stir every 30 minutes until you reach ice cream texture. If you prepare with this method, you need to consume the ice cream that day. Enjoy!

Ice Cream
2 cups of whole milk
1-1/2 cups of heavy cream
1 cup of dark brown sugar, packed
12 large egg yolks
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp of vanilla extract
Stir milk, cream and brown sugar in saucepan over medium high heat until comes to rolling boil.
Whisk yolks, sugar and salt in a medium bowl until pale yellow and sugar is dissolved.
Place medium metal bowl in a large bowl of ice water with fine mesh strainer.
Add hot cream mixture to egg yolks gradually, whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Return to pan and cook over low heat stirring until the custard coats the back of a spoon. Strain custard into chilled bowl set over ice.
Cool custard, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes.
Stir in vanilla to taste. Cover and chill for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight. Can be made 1 day ahead.

For a chocolate chip version:
At the end of your ice cream machine cycle add 1 cup of frozen mini chocolate chips!