I could have started off with something simple like Vanilla Ice Cream or even used the hand-picked peaches that we picked, sliced, bagged and froze a few weeks ago, but I was determined to make Date Ice Cream using the Date Crystals that I had purchased. I have never made homemade ice cream before and to the best of my memory, the last time I recall even seeing ice cream being made was probably thirty years ago when my parents made banana ice cream. I had no idea where to begin, but thankfully my friend Cecelia loaned me her Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Maker.
The process to make ice cream using the Kitchen Aid is actually very simple. The basic recipes provided in the instruction manual are easy to follow and with a little bit of adventure and curiosity you can make all difference varieties of ice cream flavors by following the basic ingredients and instructions. I used the basic ingredients and instructions provided by Kitchen Aid to make French Vanilla Ice Cream and from there made modifications.
Ingredients for Homemade Date Ice Cream:
- 3 Cups of Half-And-Half
- 8 Egg Yolks
- ½ Cup of Sugar
- 2 Cups of Whipping Cream (I used Heavy Whipping Cream by accident. Using Heavy Whipping Cream just made the ice cream that much richer.)
- 4 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract (I would recommend using less when making Date Ice Cream)
- 1/8 Teaspoon of Salt (basically a pinch of Salt)
- 1 Cup of Date Crystals
Note: In lieu of Date Crystals, one could also use Date Paste, Date Jam and even pitted Dates that have been chopped, or some combination of all of these Date products. The most important thing to remember is to not use more then 1 – 1 ½ equivalent cups of sugar when using the Dates. Dates are 80% sugar.
Example: Instead of using the above mentioned amounts of Sugar and Date Crystals, you could use ½ Cup of Date Crystals and 1 Cup of pitted Dates that have been chopped to the desired size.
Follow the instructions provided by Kitchen Aid to prepare the ice cream mixture. Add the Date Crystals to the ice cream mixture once the Whipping Cream has been added. Stir the entire mixture to ensure that the Date Crystals are equally distributed throughout the mixture. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least eight hours. Not only chilling the ice cream mixture is very important to assist the Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Maker in creating ice cream, but this time will allow for the Date Crystals to hydrate.
Once the ice cream mixture has been chilled, then continue to follow the instructions. There are two things that I have learned in making ice cream and sorbet with the Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Maker. First, whatever you do, have the churning paddle engaged and stirring before you pour in the mixture. If not, prepare for a big mess. Second, I really do wish Kitchen Aid would develop an overpriced attachment designed to pour liquid into the ice cream bowl easier.
In twenty minutes your Date Ice Cream will have been transformed from a liquid into soft serve ice cream. You can either eat the ice cream then, or scoop the ice cream into air tight containers and allow the ice cream to harden in the freezer and be eaten later that day or some other time. Homemade Date Ice Cream is a wonderful flavor to make and the flavor of Dates is amazing, pairing well with the cream and egg yolks. The ice cream is rich and creamy with small specks of Dates in every bite.