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Tips & recipes for making the best homemade ice-cream

Harry’s Ice-Cream’s Lawrence and Jenny share their expert tips for making the best homemade ice-cream.

Tips & recipes for making the best homemade ice-cream

1. Use only the freshest and highest-quality ingredients available to you. Lawrence’s comment: “You can really taste the difference in cream quality when eating homemade ice-cream. Use a pure cream with at least 35 per cent butter fat content and make sure the eggs are fresh.”

2. Keep it simple with a maximum of three additions. Lawrence says: “My best rule of thumb when it comes to creating flavour combinations is to keep it simple, and not overcomplicate it. You want to be able to taste each flavour.”

3. Think about each flavour on a plate and consider if they complement each other – match flavours that have a natural affinity to each other or reflect an existing dessert that works well. Lawrence says: “I’m really open minded to alternative flavour combinations, and while weird and wacky flavours are very on-trend, you want each flavour to complement the others, not compete.”

4. Mix-in ingredients and flavours should be no larger than a 10-cent piece. Lawrence says: “The ice-cream should be the hero, and the mix-ins should be the accompaniment. If the additions are too large, the ice-cream flavour takes the backseat to the mix-ins you’re adding.”

5. If you’re adding a very sweet mix-in, such as white chocolate or honeycomb, consider reducing the amount of sugar in the base mix to ensure the end product isn’t overly sweet. Jenny says: “While ice-cream should be sweet, you don’t want it to be sickly. Often people underestimate the impact mix-ins can have on the overall sweetness. Also, if there is too much sugar, it lowers the freezing point.”

6. Don’t fill your ice-cream maker more than three-quarters full. Lawrence says: “It might look a little empty but if you fill the bowl up to the top, the ice-cream won’t aerate properly and you’ll be left with a sloppy mess.”

7. When you’re ready to freeze your ice-cream, cover the surface with a layer of plastic wrap or wax paper before closing the container. Jenny says: “There’s nothing I hate more than icy ice-cream. The layer of wrap helps prevent ice crystals forming on the surface.”

8. The freezer bowl you’re using should be completely frozen before starting the process – put it in the freezer for 24 hours prior. Jenny says: “Domestic ice-cream makers won’t work properly if the mixing bowl isn’t completely frozen. Be prepared and put the bowl in the freezer the day before.”

9. For easy-to-scoop ice-cream, freeze it in a rectangular container or pan. Lawrence says: “If you’re after that perfect scoop, you’ll need room to drag the ice-cream scoop from back to front.”

10. Homemade ice-cream only keeps well for up to a week. Lawrence says: “After a week, homemade ice-cream will lose its flavour and change texture. Eat it quickly – you can always make more and experiment with different flavour combinations!”

Ice-cream Base

Makes 1 litre

300ml pure cream (at least 35 per cent butter fat)

300ml full cream milk

175g sugar

3 medium egg yolks

mix-ins such as pistachio nuts and butter biscuits, pieces no larger than a 10-cent piece, refrigerated

Place cream and milk in a double saucepan over low-medium heat and heat to 40°C.

Add sugar and eggs and whisk continuously until the temperature reaches 80°C. Remove from the heat and put the bottom of the saucepan in a bowl of iced water to prevent the mixture heating further.

Let the mixture cool to room temperature and then refrigerate to 4°C.

When you’re ready to make your ice-cream, remove the freezer bowl from the freezer and assemble your machine. Turn the machine on first then pour in the mixture.

The ice-cream will take 15-30 minutes to thicken (depending on the machine). Add your choice of mix-ins after about 12-15 minutes, when the ice cream is just beginning to solidify. Once churned, the ice-cream should hold its shape when scooped with a spoon.

Once the ice-cream churning process is complete, transfer the mixture immediately to a freezer-safe container and put it in the freezer. Freeze until your desired consistency, or until ready to serve.


If you’re adding a very sweet mix-in, such as white chocolate or rosewater, consider reducing the amount of sugar in the base mix to ensure the end product isn’t overly sweet.

You can add two extra egg yolks if you prefer a more custard-like ice cream.

Mix-in quantities are dependent on taste and personal preference, more or less may be added of each element as long as the total doesn’t surpass 40-50g.

Mix-ins, such as tarts, biscuits and tortes can be made from shop-bought ingredients for ease.

Lawrence’s Spring Flavour Combinations

Honey, Pistachio & Rosewater

40g ground pistachio

1 tsp rose water

drizzle honey

Adding rosewater can make ice-cream very sweet, so we recommend adjusting the amount of sugar you add to the base mix.

Lime & Ginger Cheesecake

5-7.5ml lime juice (approx. 1 tsp)

lime zest, to add colour

ginger powder, to taste

40g crushed biscuit of your choice 

Add the lime juice to the ice-cream base before churning followed by some lime zest to add colour. It’s best to use powdered ginger but you can also use crushed fresh ginger. Butter biscuit pieces will help to create the cheesecake taste.

Coconut Cream & Macadamia Tart

coconut cream or desiccated coconut, to taste

20g roughly chopped or blended macadamias

20g macadamia tart pieces

The amount of coconut cream you use will affect the recipe and the taste. You can add a small quantity (e.g. 1 tsp-1 tbsp) without adjusting the recipe, however the ice-cream won’t have a very strong coconut flavour. You could replace a portion of the milk for the base recipe with coconut cream to ramp up the coconut flavour (e.g. use 250ml milk and 50ml coconut cream instead of 300ml milk). The coconut cream will increase the fat content of the mix slightly. You could also use desiccated coconut as a mix-in.

Jasmine, Pear, Apple & Cinnamon

½-1 tsp (5g) crushed or fresh jasmine

½-1 tsp (5g) crushed or fresh cinnamon

20g apple

20g pear

Add the jasmine and cinnamon to the ice-cream base prior to churning. Add the apple and pear as mix-ins after.

Apple & Almond Torte

10g chopped or blended almonds

15g apple

15g buttery torte pieces

You can vary the relative quantities of the apple and almonds as long as the total weight of mix-ins comes to 40g.

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