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Here's the scoop—we have nothing bad to say about ice cream. It's refreshing, tasty, and it's our go-to when we need an instant pick-me-up after frolicking in the scorching sun with the kids. It also doubles as the perfect dessert to make with your toddler, which is another reason it's high on our list of summer activities. Simply put: Nothing evokes the summer season better than a big bowl of it.

That's why we gathered the yummiest (and sweetest) homemade ice cream recipes to make with your toddler:

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 2 hours 45 mins

Ingredients (makes 8 servings):

  • 1½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 cups low-fat milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 14-ounce can nonfat sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 vanilla bean

Instructions:

1. Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small bowl; let stand, stirring once or twice, while you make the base for the ice cream.

2. Pour 1½ cups milk into a large saucepan. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise; scrape the seeds into the milk and add the pod.

3. Heat the milk mixture over medium heat until steaming. Whisk egg yolks and condensed milk in a medium bowl. Gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking until blended. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the back of the spoon is lightly coated, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not bring to a boil or the custard will curdle.

4. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean large bowl. Add the softened gelatin and whisk until melted.

5. Whisk in the remaining 1½ cups milk. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.

Whisk the ice cream mixture and pour into the canister of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer's directions. If necessary, place the ice cream in the freezer to firm up before serving.

Recipe from Eating Well.

Strawberry Ice Cream with Brown Sugar

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 5 mins

Ingredients (makes 9 servings):

  • 1 package (16 ounces or three cups) Driscoll's Strawberries, halved
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

1. Mix strawberries, sugar and salt in a heavy saucepan. Let stand 10 minutes off heat.

2. Mash mixture with a potato masher until all berries have broken up. 3. Puree one-half strawberry mixture in a blender, then return to the saucepan.

4. Heat mixture gently only until fragrant, about 5 minutes. (Be careful to not overcook.)

5. Stir in heavy cream, milk and vanilla and chill in refrigerator overnight.

6. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions.

Recipe from Driscolls.

Smuckers Caramel Apple Ice Cream

Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups finely chopped, peeled cooking apples, like McIntosh
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 3/4 teaspoon apple pie spice or ground cinnamon
  • 1 (14 ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half cream
  • 1/3 cup Smucker's Caramel Flavored Topping

Instructions:

1. Cook apple in melted butter in large skillet over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in apple cider and apple pie spice; cover and simmer 5 minutes.

2. Whisk sweetened condensed milk and cream in medium bowl until well blended. Stir in apple mixture. Fill a large bowl about halfway with ice cubes and very cold water. Set the medium bowl containing the ice cream mixture inside the large bowl. Stir until very cold, about 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Spread in 8- or 9-inch square pan. Cover and freeze until firm, about 3 hours. Scoop ice cream and mound in pan.

4. Drizzle caramel topping over entire surface, allowing caramel to seep into ice cream. Pack ice cream back into pan. Cover and freeze until ready to serve.

Recipe from Smuckers.

Chamomile Blackberry Ice Cream

Prep Time: 20 mins (plus cooling overnight)

Cook Time: 37 mins

Ingredients:

  • Chamomile Ice Cream
  • 3 cups plus 3 tablespoons whole milk, divided
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 5 tablespoons (2½ ounces) cream cheese cut into cubes
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup dried chamomile
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon vodka, optional

Blackberry Swirl

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 packages (6 ounces each) Driscoll's Blackberries
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions:

1. Pre-freeze ice cream maker bowl according to manufacturer's instructions.

2. Chill a metal loaf pan in freezer until needed.

Blackberry Sauce

1. Whisk together sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.

2. Set aside cornstarch mixture.

3. Place blackberries into a small saucepan. Add lemon juice and cornstarch mixture.

4. Stir to combine ingredients.

5. Cook blackberry mixture over medium-low heat while stirring occasionally until blackberries have broken down and sauce is thick and bubbly, about 10-12 minutes. Allow blackberry mixture to cool slightly.

6. Transfer blackberry mixture a blender or food processor.

7. Puree blackberry mixture until smooth. Press blackberry sauce through a fine-mesh sieve and discard seeds.

8. Chill blackberry sauce in refrigerator until needed.

Chamomile Ice Cream

1. Whisk 3 tablespoons milk with cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth. Set aside cornstarch mixture.

2. Place cream cheese in a medium bowl and set aside.

3. Place remaining 3 cups milk into a medium saucepan. Add cream, sugar, honey, and salt. Boil milk mixture over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes while stirring constantly. Remove milk mixture from heat and stir in dried chamomile. Cover with a lid. Allow milk mixture to steep for 20 minutes.

4. Strain infused milk mixture through a fine mesh strainer lined with a cheesecloth and squeeze cheesecloth firmly to recover all the liquid.

5. Return infused milk mixture to saucepan.

6. Whisk cornstarch slurry again until smooth. Then, wisk cornstarch slurry into infused milk mixture.

7. Cook infused milk mixture over medium-high heat while stirring constantly until mixture lightly coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour ⅓ cup infused milk mixture over cream cheese. Stir cream cheese mixture until smooth. Pour cream cheese mixture back into saucepan. Whisk ice cream base until completely smooth. Stir in vanilla and vodka (if using).

8. Chill ice cream base over ice bath for 30 minutes or in refrigerator 2-4 hours.

9. Pour ice cream base into bowl of ice cream maker. Churn ice cream until frozen according to manufacturer's instructions. Remove loaf pan and blackberry sauce from the freezer. Spread ¼ of ice cream evenly into loaf pan.

10. Dollop ¼ of blackberry sauce in several places over ice cream. Swirl blackberry sauce gently into ice cream using a chopstick or butter knife. Spread another ¼ of ice cream evenly into loaf pan. Dollop another ¼ of blackberry sauce in several places over ice cream. Swirl blackberry sauce gently into ice cream using a chopstick or butter knife.

11. Repeat steps until all blackberry sauce has been swirled into layers of ice cream. Cover loaf pan tightly with plastic wrap. Chill loaf pan in freezer 4 hours or overnight.

12. Let ice cream to rest at room temperature 5-10 minutes before serving

Recipe from Driscolls.

Homemade Cookies-and-Cream Ice Cream

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 40 mins

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 4 ounces chocolate wafer cookies (about 20)

Instructions:

1. Whisk the cream, milk, sugar, vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk 1 cup of the hot cream mixture into the beaten yolks, then pour back into the saucepan, whisking, and return to medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens, coats the spoon and reaches 180 degrees F on a thermometer, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl or measuring cup; discard the solids. Stir often until the mixture cools to room temperature. Lightly press plastic wrap directly against the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Chill until cold, about 3 hours. (For faster chilling, set the bowl of custard in a bowl of ice water and stir until cold.)

2. Place an 8-inch square metal pan in the freezer to chill then freeze the cold custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Put the cookies into a resealable plastic bag and lightly crush with the smooth side of a meat mallet or the bottom of a measuring cup.

3. Remove chilled pan and sprinkle in half of the crumbled cookies. Top with half of the ice cream, then repeat with remaining cookies and ice cream. Working quickly, use a spoon to incorporate the cookies into the ice cream mixing from bottom to the top. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, 2 to 3 hours.

Recipe from Food Network.

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