How to Make Delicious Ice Cream at Home With Just Four Ingredients and a Mason Jar

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Anyone who has watched a cooking competition show knows that ice cream is supposedly hard to make. The frozen dessert is typically made with finicky machines that aren't designed for home kitchens. Even some smaller countertop versions can cost more than a year's supply of Ben & Jerry's.

While making ice cream at home isn't as easy as scooping it out of a tub, it's not as difficult as you might think, either. You don't even need any fancy equipment—just a 16-ounce mason jar ($6 on Amazon) and some elbow grease. According to delish, the simplest recipe for homemade ice cream consists of four ingredients. Start by adding 1 cup of heavy cream, 1.5 tablespoons of granulated sugar, .5 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt to the mason jar. Then secure the lid and start shaking.

This is the most strenuous part of the process. The cream needs to be shaken vigorously for 4 to 5 minutes to set up in the freezer. It'll be easier if you recruit other members of your household to help (the promise of ice cream is a good motivator).

Your dessert is ready to freeze once it has doubled in size and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Store the sealed jar in the freezer, and in 3 hours or so, you should have firm, scoopable homemade ice cream.

This recipe keeps things simple, but you're free to add flavorings to the base and toppings to the final product if you want to mix things up. Here are some strange but real ice cream flavors to inspire you.

[h/t delish]