I love ice cream; it's one of life's simple pleasures. Manufacturers have made big business out of producing good quality frozen ice creams, custards and novelty treats. But not all ice cream is created equal. And after so many taste-testing sessions for recipe contests and magazine features, I have become an ice cream snob. (That said, I'd never pass up a tasty treat someone thinks special.)

Over the years, I have compiled a private folder of my favorite ice cream recipes that we've tested here at Taste of Home. I'm not finished adding to this folder yet, but let me tell you, recipes really have to rank high to get in here. For the first time, I'm offering full disclosure of the contents of my folder. Here they are.

Enjoy!
—Diane Werner, Taste of Home Food Director




Strawberry Cheesecake Ice CreamStrawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

The wonderful custard base has added cream cheese. Before pouring the chilled mixture into your ice cream maker, you stir in fresh strawberries and cream. It's incredibly fresh tasting and creamy. Make this for your next party—it makes a gallon!



Apple Streusel Ice CreamApple Streusel Ice Cream

This ice cream is like a piece of caramel apple pie with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream and a homemade streusel topping.




Rocky Road Ice CreamRocky Road Ice Cream

You'll find this better tasting than any ice cream shop can make! The decadent mixture is full of semi-sweet chocolate, whipping cream, mini-marshmallows and chopped pecans. Rocky Road lovers will never eat store-bought ice cream again!



Butter Pecan Ice CreamButter Pecan Ice Cream

While this easy recipe has only 7 ingredients, it tastes like a million. It's from the June/July 2004 contest in Taste of Home, so we probably tasted it in December. Even in the chill of winter, it made it into my favorites folder. Now that I've tried this recipe, I don't care for store-bought butter pecan ice cream anymore. The only problem is it makes just 1 quart!



Peach Ice CreamPeach Ice Cream

When peaches are in season, I'm reminded to make this recipe. With a silky smooth texture, it's the perfect combination of peaches and cream.




Lemon CustardLemon Custard Ice Cream

Another contest runner-up in Taste of Home magazine, this delicious ice cream is sweet and silky smooth. One cup of fresh lemon juice makes it scream out to all you lemon lovers




Java Crunch Ice CreamJava Crunch Ice Cream

Some of my very favorite flavors can be found in this ice cream—coffee, toffee and dark chocolate. Just after making this soft and creamy treat, you fold in a candy mixture made of toffee, pecan halves and dark chocolate. You won't find this combination in the frozen food aisle of your grocery store.



Blueberry Cheesecake Ice CreamBlueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

First you make this wonderful, cooked blueberry mixture and chill. Then, you bake a crushed graham cracker, sugar, cinnamon and butter mixture in the oven and crumble. It makes me remember my days working in a bakery. One of my favorite treats was when we added warm butter to a graham cracker crumb mixture for making crusts, and I would pop one of those graham cracker-crushed butter balls into my mouth. It was heaven! This ice cream adds instant cheesecake vanilla pudding mix to its base of cream, milk and vanilla. The end result is creamy cheesecake flavor with a swirl of blueberries and graham cracker throughout.