Ice Cream in England is older than I had realised. As a matter of fact, it would seem that the first recording serving of ice cream (in England) was in the 1670s. It should come as no surprise that the chief recipient of this was likely royalty, namely Charles II.
Skip a few years and we have the first recorded recipe in England for ‘Iced Cream’ written by Mrs Mary Eales, called Receipts of 1718. The recipe doesn’t seem to include a process for smoothing the ice, so we can assume that early ice creams were rather coarse.
Around a century later, ice cream exploded in popularity as the product became much more readily accessible to everyone. People began to set up moveable carts on streets around the country, selling to anyone and everyone. One particularly popular choice was the penny lick. This was a penny’s worth of ice cream served in a glass.
This proved to be rather infamous over time as these serving glasses were reused constantly, with customers often being encouraged to lick the glass clean before it was served to the next customer. Concerns grew over time, as the penny lick was linked with the spread of disease, notably Cholera & Tuberculosis, and subsequently they were banned (in London) in 1899.
You might also be wondering, why Hokey Pokey? Italian Entrepreneurs, who popularised ice cream stalls, would sell their stock by saying things like ‘Gelati, ecco un poco!’ (Ice cream, here’s a little bit!) or ‘O che poco!’ (Oh, how little/ cheap!), which it is believed then led to the cry of ‘Hokey Pokey!’
So now that we’ve looked at the origins of ice cream in England, let’s try making some of our own! This does not require use of an ice cream maker, but will take a little bit of time.
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups half-and-half cream
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Freeze an empty, freezer-safe shallow bowl or pan. A pyrex pan works well, but anything stainless steel also does well.
In a large bowl, stir all the ingredients until the sugar is dissolved.
Transfer your mixture into the cold pan and stick it back in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes. Around that time, check the ice cream.
Once the edges begin to freeze, take the mixture out and beat it using a hand mixer. By breaking up the ice cream, you’ll make it smoother.
Return the pan to the freezer. Take it back out after around 30 minutes beat the ice cream again. Repeat until it is firmly frozen (usually around four or five mixing sessions). Once it’s frozen, the mixture should be smooth and creamy. If at any time the ice cream becomes too hard, place it in the refrigerator until it becomes soft enough to beat, and then continue the process.
Store the ice cream in a covered freezer container until ready to serve. That’s it!
Recipe courtesy of https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/233928/how-to-make-vanilla-ice-cream/
Mary Eale’s recipe for reference https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mrs._Mary_Eales’s_Receipts