Recipes from Grandma’s Cookbook: Old-Fashioned Strawberry Ice Cream

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Wait, don’t go away! I don’t have an ice cream maker. You can make this without one! 


When we were sorting through the things from my grandmother’s storage unit a few years back, my husband came across one of Grandma’s recipe books. It has handwritten cards in her tight cursive, a few noting friends’ names or special instructions. (My personal favorite is the capitalized note on “Spice Drop Cookies” that says, “NO BLACK.” My husband would appreciate that.)

This recipe caught my eye because Grandma called it “Old-Fashioned Strawberry Ice Cream.” If it was old-fashioned when Grandma wrote out the card, who knows how long ago, what is it now? Antique?

Since I don’t have an ice cream maker, I’ve never attempted ice cream before. But all this one requires is a mixer – and requires is probably the wrong word! Can you imagine the pioneer women beating egg whites to soft peaks with just a whisk? Ow.

This ice cream is gelatin-based. From what I researched, gelatin was used as a stabilizer in store-bought ice creams before they discovered cheaper, yuckier things to use. The gelatin keeps the ice cream from forming big ice crystals, I think.

The flavor of this ice cream is really delicious, but unfortunately the texture is not great. It is a little grainy. I think the continuous churning from an ice cream maker is what gives the dessert its creaminess. I believe if you got the setting ice cream out a few times and beat it with a mixer, it would be much creamier.

I’m going to walk you through step by step so you can try this yourself if you want! Since it has raw eggs, you’ll want to use pasteurized eggs or ones that come from a chicken you know and trust.

Old-Fashioned Strawberry Ice Cream with Gelatin

Yield: about 6 cups

Old-Fashioned Strawberry Ice Cream with Gelatin


  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 c. cold water
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 c. sugar, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. crushed strawberries
  • 2 c. light cream


Dissolve gelatin in cold water, whisking with a fork. Then my original recipe says “dissolve over hot water.” I filled a bowl with hot tap water and put the measuring cup with my gelatin water in it, letting get hot and the gelatin crystals dissolve.

In a large measuring cup or medium-sized freezer-safe container, combine egg yolks, 3/4 cup sugar, salt, vanilla, crushed berries, and cream. (To crush berries, you can use a potato masher. They should look something like this.)

Stir gelatin/water into the strawberry mixture. Freeze until firm.

Using a hand mixer (this is my immersion blender with whisk attachment), beat your egg whites to soft peaks, gradually adding 1/4 cup sugar as you beat.

Take your frozen mixture and dump it into a large, chilled bowl (the bowl that goes to your stand mixer, if you have one). If it won’t come out of the container you froze it in, you can microwave it for 30 seconds or so until it loosens.

Using a wooden spoon, break up the frozen mixture into chunks. With a mixer, beat over medium speed until the mixture is “fluffy-smooth.” Fold in egg whites. Spoon into freezer-safe containers and freeze until firm.

[This is the part where you could keep taking it out and beating it every 30 minutes or so to help the texture, I think.]

Grandma’s recipe says, “Serve as is or top each serving with sugared berries or with a spoonful of marshmallow creme.”

The ice cream stays soft enough that it scoops easily, but it’s not as soft as regular homemade ice cream. The gelatin helps firm it considerably.

I’ll be sharing some more recipes from my grandma’s binder in the coming weeks! It’s a fun summer adventure, right? Would you like to see her recipe for Spicy Meatloaf?

Added to Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

5 thoughts on “Recipes from Grandma’s Cookbook: Old-Fashioned Strawberry Ice Cream

  1. I love old recipes. They always seem to use real ingredients that you can pronounce. I have never made homemade ice cream, but I would like to this summer. I also do not have an ice cream maker, so we will see how it goes.

    I notice it said to use light cream, I wonder, why not heavy cream? Would it matter?

  2. Every time I run across something in Mom’s handwriting it makes my heart hurt just a little (Insert eye wipe with kleenex here). I’m glad you’re sharing her recipes with the world. My experience with Aunt Rachel’s Recipes wasn’t worth sharing, unfortunately, so this will be fun. xoxo

    • I was curious if any of these recipes were keepers that you remember from childhood, or maybe she never made any of them! I certainly don’t remember her making much except sandwiches and oyster dressing.

  3. The meaning of the phrase “ice cream” varies from one country to another. Phrases such as “frozen custard”, “frozen yogurt”, “sorbet”, “gelato” and others are used to distinguish different varieties and styles. In some countries, such as the United States, the phrase “ice cream” applies only to a specific variety, and most governments regulate the commercial use of the various terms according to the relative quantities of the main ingredients.

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