Happy Endings

I got this great ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchenaid stand mixer recently and was excited about making some homemade ice cream. That was, until I saw some of the recipes. With as much cooking, straining and chilling that's involved before you even plug in the machine, it's easy to see why so many people turn to the super market or ice cream shop to cool off. There had to be an easier way.

That's when I discovered the joy of two simple ingredients: half and half and instant pudding mix. With these secret weapons, a wide array of simple homemade ice creams is within your reach. So I got to work trying to put together some flavor combinations that I'd be proud to serve to friends and family when summer went out of its way to remind us that it's not quite done yet. Here's what I made:

Tropical Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

This creamy concoction gets its flavor from a banana cream pudding mix and decadent cream of coconut ... known for its roll in pina coladas everywhere. If you don't like large chunks in your ice cream, substitute mini chocolate chips for the chocolate chunks.
  • 4 c. half and half
  • 1 (3.4 oz.) pkg. instant banana cream pudding mix
  • 1 (16 oz.) can cream of coconut
  • 1 c. chocolate chunks

In a large bowl, combine the half and half, pudding mix and cream of coconut. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.

Pour the mixture into a running ice cream maker that has been prepared according to the manufacturer's instructions. Run the machine for 20-30 minutes or until the mixture is of a soft serve consistency. Add the chocolate chunks during the last 5 minutes of mixing. Serve immediately or, for a firmer ice cream, remove the mixture to an air-tight plastic container and freeze for 1-3 hours.

Store any leftovers in the freezer. Homemade ice creams are much harder out of the freezer than commercial ones, so it is wise to transfer it to the refrigerator for slow thawing 30-60 minutes prior to serving.

  • Yields: about 2 quarts
  • Preparation Time: 40 minutes plus freezing time

Ginger-Peach Ice Cream

I have a ginger-peach tea that I absolutely adore both hot or over ice and it is the inspiration for this ice cream. What's great about this recipe is that you can change the flavors easily by using different kinds of pie filling and any add-ins your heart desires!
  • 2 c. half and half
  • 1 (3.4 oz.) pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (21 oz.) can peach pie filling
  • 1/2 c. chopped crystallized ginger

In a large bowl, combine the half and half and pudding mix. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, run the pie filling through a food processor until it is of the consistency of chunky jam. Stir the pie filling into the pudding mixture.

Pour the mixture into a running ice cream maker that has been prepared according to the manufacturer's instructions. Run the machine for 20-30 minutes or until the mixture is of a soft serve consistency. Add the crystallized ginger during the last 5 minutes of mixing. Serve immediately or, for a firmer ice cream, remove the mixture to an air-tight plastic container and freeze for 1-3 hours.

Store any leftovers in the freezer. Homemade ice creams are much harder out of the freezer than commercial ones, so it is wise to transfer it to the refrigerator for slow thawing 30-60 minutes prior to serving.

  • Yields: about 1 quart
  • Preparation Time: 40 minutes plus freezing time
As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

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