Perfectly fresh sweet cream makes the most delicious ice-cream. A substitute is a preparation of boiled new milk, etc., made late in the evening if for dinner, in the morning if for tea, and placed on ice. One mixture is a custard made as follows: Take two quarts new milk, put on three pints to boil in a custard-kettle, or a pail set within a kettle of boiling water, beat yolks and whites of eight eggs separately, mix the yolks with the remaining pint and stir slowly into the boiling milk, boil two minutes, remove from the stove, immediately add one and a half pounds sugar, let it dissolve, strain while hot through a crash towel, cool, add one quart rich cream and two tablespoons vanilla (or season to taste, remembering that the strength of the flavoring and also the sweetness is very much diminished by the freezing). Set the custard and also the whites (not beaten) in a cool place until needed, and about three hours before serving begin the preparations for freezing. Put the ice in a coarse coffee-sack, pound with an ax or mallet until the lumps are no larger than a small hickory-nut; see that the freezer is properly set in the tub, the beater in and the cover secure; place around it a layer of ice about three inches thick, then a layer of coarse salt - rock salt is best - then ice again, then salt, and so on until packed full, with a layer of ice last. The proportion should be about three-fourths ice and one-fourth salt. Pack very solid, pounding with a broom-handle or stick, then remove the cover and pour the custard to which you have just added the well-whipped whites into the freezer, filling two-thirds full to give room for expansion; replace the cover and begin turning the freezer; after ten minutes pack the ice down again, drain off most of the water, add more ice and turn again, repeating this operation several times until the cream is well frozen, and you can no longer turn the beater. (The above quantity ought to freeze in half an hour, but the more pure cream used the longer it takes to freeze.) Brush the ice and salt from and remove the cover, take out the beater, scrape the cream down from the sides of freezer, beat well several minutes with a wooden paddle, replace the cover, fill the hole with a cork, pour off all the water, pack again with ice (using salt at the bottom, but none at the top of tub), heap the ice on the cover, spread over it a piece of carpet or a thick woolen blanket, and set away in a cool place until needed; or, if molds are used, fill them when you remove the beater, packing the cream in very tightly, and place in ice and salt for two hours. To remove the cream, dip the molds for an instant in warm water. When cream is used in making ice-cream, it is better to whip a part of it, and add just as the cream is beginning to set.
Coffee ice-cream should be thickened with arrowroot; the flavoring for almond cream should be prepared by pounding the kernels to a paste with rose-water, using arrowroot for thickening. For cocoa-nut cream, grate cocoa-nut and add to the cream and sugar just before freezing. The milk should never be heated for pineapple, strawberry, or raspberry cream. Berry flavors are made best by allowing whole berries to stand for awhile well sprinkled with sugar, mashing, straining the juice, adding sugar to it, and stirring it into the cream. For a quart of cream, allow a quart of fruit and a pound of sugar. In addition to this, add whipped cream and sweetened whole berries, just as the cream is beginning to set, in the proportion of a cup of berries and a pint of whipped cream to three pints of the frozen mixture. Canned berries may be used in the same way. A pint of berries or peaches, cut fine, added to a quart of ordinary ice-cream, while in process of freezing, makes a delicious fruit ice-cream.
Freeze ice-cream in a warm place (the more rapid the melting of the ice the quicker the cream freezes), always being careful that no salt or water gets within the freezer. If cream begins to melt while serving, beat up well from the bottom with a long wooden paddle. Water-ices are made from the juices of fruits, mixed with water, sweetened, and frozen like cream. In making them, if they are not well mixed before freezing, the sugar will sink to the bottom, and the mixture will have a sharp, unpleasant taste. It is a better plan to make a syrup of the sugar and water, by boiling and skimming when necessary, and, when cold, add the juice of the fruit.
The following directions for making "self-freezing ice cream" are from "Common Sense in the Household." After preparing the freezer as above, but leaving out the beater, remove the lid carefully, and with a long wooden ladle or flat stick beat the custard as you would batter steadily for five or six minutes. Replace the lid, pack two inches of pounded ice over it; spread above all several folds of blanket or carpet, and leave it untouched for an hour; at the end of that time remove the ice from above the freezer-lid, wipe off carefully and open the freezer. Its sides will be lined with a thick layer of frozen cream. Displace this with the ladle or a long knife, working every part of it loose; beat up the custard again firmly and vigorously for fifteen or twenty minutes, until it is all smooth, half-congealed paste. The perfection of the ice-cream depends upon the thoroughness of the beating at this point. Put on the cover again, pack in more ice and salt, turn off the brine, cover the freezer entirely with the ice, and spread over all the carpet. At the end of two or three hours more, again turn off the brine and add fresh ice and salt, but do not open the freezer for two hours more. At that time take the freezer from the ice, open it, wrap a towel wet in hot water about the lower part, and turn out a solid column of ice-cream, close grained, firm, delicious. Any of the recipes for custard ice-cream may be frozen in this way.
Ice-creams may be formed into fanciful shapes by the use of molds. After the cream is frozen, place in mold, and set in pounded ice and salt until ready to serve. Cream may be frozen without a patent freezer, by simply placing it in a covered tin pail, and setting the latter in an ordinary wooden bucket, and proceed exactly as directed for self-freezing ice-cream, packing into the space between them, very firmly, a mixture of one part salt to two parts of snow or pounded ice. When the space is full to within an inch of the top, remove cover.