Coffee Ice Cream

I don’t think that I can pinpoint the exact moment in time when cooking something from scratch became infinitely easier than strapping four kids into car seats to go buy a needed item at a grocery store. However, sometime in the past couple of years, I have often found myself thinking that it would be way easier to bake a loaf of bread, whip up some butter, even make my own ice cream, than it would be to drag four little angels into my local Harris Teeter.

So, the other night, kids in pajamas, mama wanting some coffee ice cream… I scoured the cabinets and found an expired (yup, expired) packet of Starbucks Via Instant Coffee. Eureka. I was all set to make my own coffee ice cream. On the grand scale of make your own vs. go out and buy it … making ice cream is up there at the super easy side of things.

If you have never made ice cream before, the premise is that you need to combine sugar, milk, and egg and thicken it on the stove into a custard. Chill it and then throw it in your ice cream maker. Yup. It is really that simple so let’s get at it… Maybe you need to make yourself some ice cream for Valentine’s Day?!


3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 packet Starbucks Via instant coffee (makes 1 cup of coffee)
Dash of salt
2 cups milk (2 percent)
1 cup half & half
1 egg, whisked


1. Whisk together sugar, corn starch, instant coffee, salt, milk, and half & half in a heavy bottomed sauce pan.

2. Slowly bring to a low boil (barely boil) over medium-low heat, constantly stirring. Do not step away from the stove because you do not want to overboil and create a gross milk skin on your custard.

3. Your mixture will slowly thicken and become custard-like. You know that your custard is thick enough when you can put a spoon into the mixture and draw a line on the back of the spoon that stays clear… See below…

See the line? Your custard is ready!

4. Remove custard from heat and let cool for a bit.

5. Whisk an egg in a separate bowlAdd in about a cup of the cooled custard mixture to the whisked egg. This is called TEMPERING. Once you whisk the egg in with the custard, pour eggy custard back into the saucepan and whisk everything together.

6. Chill in the refrigerator for at least three to four hours before putting the coffee ice cream custard into your ice cream maker. I generally prefer to let it chill overnight – it seems to churn into ice cream a little bit easier if it has been chilled overnight.

7. Pour into your ice cream maker following the manufacturers instructions. I use a super simple (older than my children) ice cream maker from Krups that I admittedly stole from my mother’s house when I moved out of state… (Sorry, mom. I will get you a new one this summer if you are now just noticing that it is gone…)

8. Pack your ice cream into freezer safe container or a cute ice cream canister from Williams-Sonoma… Hide it from your children in a safe place and enjoy!

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