This One Trick Is the Secret to Making Delicious Ice Cream at Home

This is easily one of our favorite pro tips of all time.

We have a soft spot for ice cream. And why not? There's nothing better than a cup, cone, or sundae on a sweltering summer day. If it's homemade, even better: you can skip the line at the store or ice cream parlor, plus you have complete control over the quality and quantity of ingredients and mix-ins.

No need to be intimidated by the idea of DIY ice cream. It's actually incredibly easy, so long as you know the proper method to make it.

We spoke with Kris Hoogerhyde, a Partner and Pastry Chef at Bi-Rite Creamery, to find out what that is. She's whipped up more batches of butter pecan, cookies and cream, mint chip, and more than you can imagine (file under: dream job), so needless to say, she knows a thing or two about homemade ice cream.

Her top tip for how to make the best-ever ice cream at home is one of our favorites of all time. Why? Because there's nothing hack-y, complicated, or contrived about it: "Whatever you do, do not skimp on fat!" Kris says. "Making homemade ice cream is not the time to be on a diet. You need full fat cream to create a creamy velvety ice cream. Cream is the main ingredient in ice cream, so make sure you are using a good-quality, clean-tasting cream to allow your other flavors to shine."

We are very much on board.

Kris is loaded with ice cream intel and gave us other ideas for how you can make your homemade ice cream into dreamy-creamy perfection:

Prep your ice cream base the day before. This allows it to age overnight, which helps the flavors to intensify. You want the base to be as cold as possible when pouring into the machine, this way it will churn faster resulting in smaller ice crystals.

Invest in good equipment. If you're using an ice cream maker with a freezable canister, keep the canister in the freezer at all times. It needs at least 24 hours in the freezer before you can use it, this way you are ready to make ice cream at any time.

Cook your fruit first. Fresh fruit ice cream can be very icy due to the water content in fruit, cook the fruit with a bit of sugar into a jam and then add it to your ice cream base before spinning. This releases the water and concentrates the fruit flavor. Then use extra fresh fruit for a topping!

Chill your mix-ins. When adding a swirl to an ice cream (being a jam, caramel or fudge) make sure it's cold—warm sauces will sink to the bottom of your ice cream while it is freezing.

Swirl in steps. To create the best swirl in your ice cream, layer the sauce with the ice cream in multiple steps: a couple scoops of ice cream, drizzle some sauce, couple scoops of ice cream, drizzle some sauce, etc. Once all the ice cream and sauce is transferred to your container, give the ice cream a quick swirl of your layers. This helps your swirl get distributed throughout the ice cream.

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