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Thursday, July 23, 2020


GUEST BLOG / By Lesley Kennedy--Of course we don’t need the mercury to be pushing 90 degrees to crave ice cream. It’s just that when summer hits, we want our favorite dessert even more than usual.

“When I was a pastry chef working in restaurants, one of my favorite jobs was to make the ice cream for desserts,” says Gemma Stafford, cookbook author, blogger and host of the online baking show “Bigger Bolder Baking.” “The daily process was laborious but the results were incredible.”

You don’t need a special machine to make homemade ice cream, she adds. Grab a Mason jar and a couple of simple ingredients, and you can whip up delicious ice cream in no time. “It’s such an easy process, you don’t need special equipment, and the best part is you can make any flavor you can imagine at home,” she says.

Sonia Coronado, who shares keto-friendly recipes with her more than 160,000 Instagram followers via her account, @ketosony, says those adhering to the popular diet can still enjoy ice cream with her version of the treat. “Mason jar recipes are normally higher in healthy fats and lower in carbs, making it the perfect keto dessert,” she says.

Yep, whether you’re taking the recipe on the road for your next camping trip, ran out of Ben & Jerry’s, or you just like the idea of a fun DIY treat, making Mason jar ice cream at home is a blast. We asked Stafford and Coronado to share their favorite tricks for making the best flavors. Now, who’s ready to shake things up?

The essentials
First thing you’ll need: Mason jars, duh.

“In order to make ice cream in a jar, you only need a few basic kitchen tools,” Stafford says. “Just make sure your lids twist on tightly, because you’re going to do a lot of shaking.”

Stafford uses a 12-ounce Mason jar from Ball or Kerr to make her ice cream.

Coronado’s favorite thing about Mason jar ice cream? “It’s easy and delicious,” she says. “And, if you’re a mommy like me, you can get the kiddos to help out too. They love shaking the Mason jars.”

Sonia Coronado & Kid
Coronado also likes glass Mason jars from Ball and Kerr. “They seem to be the best for making the Mason jar ice cream,” she says.

The ingredients
When it comes to ingredients, Coronado favors sugar-free ChocZero chocolate, fresh berries and peanut butter. Her keto-friendly, sugar-free recipe for Mason jar ice cream calls for:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 ChocZero peanut butter cups
2 tablespoons ChocZero chocolate syrup
1 tablespoon Splenda
1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla extract
A sprinkle of cinnamon

To make it, just crumble the peanut butter cups and set them aside; then add the other ingredients to your Mason jar. Shake the jar for three to five minutes until the mixture gets thick, then place it in the freezer for two to three hours until the ice cream sets. Top it off with whipped cream and the crumbled peanut butter cups, and feel free to scoop it straight from the jar.

One of the best things about ice cream? Loading it up with yummy toppings. Keto-friendly coconut butter cups contain less than 1 gram of sugar per cup (seven cups per pouch) and are also vegan and gluten-free. They’re available with hazelnut butter now, too.

Stafford’s recipe for Mason jar ice cream calls for just two ingredients: sweetened condensed milk and heavy whipping cream. For one pint of ice cream, add one cup cold heavy whipping cream and four tablespoons cold sweetened condensed milk to a chilled Mason jar. Stir it up with a spoon, seal the jar and then shake it for six to eight minutes until you reach your desired thickness.

Want to add flavors? Stafford suggests adding vanilla extract, fresh strawberries or melted chocolate to the jar. She’s also a big fan of “serious chunkage” in her ice cream. “My favorite add-ons include a graham cracker crust and real strawberries in my Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream or my signature salted caramel sauce and toasted pecans in my Butter Pecan Ice Cream Cake,” she says.

Borden Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (price varies by location; Just combine heavy cream with this pantry basic, made with milk and sugar, to serve as a base for all sorts of ice cream flavors.

Making the ice cream
As far as technique goes, Stafford and Coronado both agree making ice cream in a jar is all about the shake.

After a few minutes of shaking, Coronado notes, you’ll notice your mixture double in size. “If you don’t shake it enough, the ice cream can be a bit icy, and we don’t want that,” she adds.

“Alternate between one and two hands so you can put your entire body into it — it’s a workout with delicious results,” Stafford adds. “After several minutes you’ll hear less liquid in the jar but hold your nerve and keep shaking until you don’t hear anything. Be careful not to overshake and split your ice cream because you won’t be able to save it. Most of all, get creative with your flavors, get physical and have fun!”

Serving suggestions
Now that your arms are toned and your ice cream is ready to eat, it’s time to serve it up. Here are a few gadgets you may want to stock up on.

Tovolo Tilt Up Ice Cream Scoop ($22.99;

This sleek scoop is a favorite of Stafford’s, thanks to its ergonomic handle design. “Tovolo scoops are great since they glide through your ice cream and come in a variety of colors,” she says.

Keep your homemade ice cream fresh (or package up extras for friends!) with simple 1 pint Kraft Paper Food Cups in white that come in a 40-pack. Stafford prefers to freeze extra ice cream in this version, rather than in the jar, as glass jars may crack in the freezer.

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