Ice creams are normally based on carefully cooked, well-chilled syrups (or heavy custards) added to unwhipped cream, although there are some simple recipes that consist of milk, sugar and flavouring.
When making a ice cream in an ice cream churn, prepare the mix the day before you freeze, to increase yield and to produce a smoother-textured cream. When you do churn it, fill the container only 2/3 full to allow for expansion. When packing the churn around the inner container, use four parts chipped or cracked ice to one part coarse rock salt. Pack about 1/3 of the freezer chamber with ice and add layers of salt and ice around the container until the freezer is full. Allow the pack to stand about three minutes before you start turning the handle. Start slowly at first (+/- 40 revolutions a minute) until a slight pull is felt, then triple the speed for five to six minutes. If any additions are going to be made (fruit, nuts) do it now. Then repack and taper off the churning to about 80 revolutions a minute for a few minutes more. The ice cream should be ready in 10 to 20 minutes, depending on quality and quantity.
Vanilla Ice Cream
Scald over low heat, but do not boil:
1 cup of cream
Stir in, until dissolved:
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 t. salt
If you have a vanilla bean, add to the hot mixture.
Chill. Once chilled, add:
3 cups of cream
Chocolate Ice Cream
Using a double boiler, dissolve together:
2 oz. of unsweetened chocolate
2 cups of milk
1 cup sugar
1/8 t. salt
Remove from heat. Beat with a whisk until cool and fluffy. Add:
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 cup of whipping cream
1 cup of cream
The Joy of Cooking by Irma S Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker have more variations worth checking out
You can also make an 'ice cream churn' from coffee cans. Here's a simple recipe using coffee cans, and as a plus, you don't have to use the stove.
Coffee Can Ice Cream
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
vanilla or other flavouring
Ice (you'll want small ice, probably crushed)
Mix the sugar, whipping cream, and (liquid or semiliquid) flavouring in a 1 lb.
coffee can, and duct tape
the cover on. Put ice, salt and coffee can into a 3 lb. coffee can, which will also need duct tape. Mix for about ten minutes -- the easiest way to do this is by rolling or (gently) kicking it back and forth between two people. After about ten minutes, open it back up and scrape the ice cream that has stuck to the sides of the can, and mix it in. If you want to add any other flavourings (cookie crumbs, chocolate chips, etc.), do it now. If the ice/salt needs changing or topping off, do it now. Seal it all back up and mix for another five minutes or so. And there you have it.
But that's a lot of work, and requires special equipment. Here's an easier way to make ice cream -- but be warned, shortcuts like these may result in an inferior end product, not to mention a big mess.
Ice Cream in a Bag
2 Tablespoon sugar (you may want to add more)
1 cup milk
Vanilla to taste (probably about 1/2 teaspoon)
2 cups ice
3 tablespoons rock salt
Two sealable plastic bags, one sandwich sized, one gallon sized. Yes, I mean ziploc bags, but not necessarily Ziploc(tm) bags.
Mix these sugar, milk, and vanilla in the smaller 'Ziploc' bag, and seal it. Fill the larger bag with the ice, salt, and smaller bag. Shake, roll, knead, and gently pummel the bags for about 15 minutes. If you're having kids help you with this, you may want to double-bag the smaller bag.