Plus, our food editors' tips for a smooth, creamy finish when you make this frosty treat.

By Erica Sloan
July 07, 2020
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Marcus Nilsson

There's little that's better or that we look forward to more than ice cream, summer's signature treat. Scoops in cones or waffle cups delight on a hot afternoon, and it's all the more delicious when you're digging into a homemade version like Martha's favorite strawberry ice cream.

As you might have gathered, ice cream contains plenty of ice (hence its name), but the particles should ideally be imperceptible. Over-churning can cause these bigger pieces to form. To salvage an extra-frosty batch of homemade ice cream, leave it on the counter for 10 minutes before serving. If that doesn't do the trick, let it melt to liquid in the fridge, and then try re-spinning it, suggests editorial director of food and entertaining Sarah Carey. This works best the first time (in other words, you basically get one do-over), and it tends to be most effective with egg-free ice-cream recipes.

For a smooth, creamy finish whenever you make homemade ice cream, follow these pointers from our food editors.

Go Full-Fat

If you're tempted to sub in skim milk for whole milk, acknowledge your good intentions, then cast them aside: The richness we all scream for comes from dairy fat. For even more silkiness, use a recipe with heavy cream.

Chill Your Base Well

The initial mixture should be very cold before it hits the ice-cream machine; ideally, you'll want to refrigerate it overnight. It'll need less churning time this way, and that will keep ice crystals from snowballing.

Freeze It in Portions

Letting a typical two-quart batch thaw for one serving, then refreezing the leftovers again and again can also make ice crystals grow and expand. Instead, store homemade ice cream in small containers from the start, then eat each in a single sitting.

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