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Small-Batch Red-Raspberry Ice Cream (With and Without Eggs)

I love creating, testing, tasting, analyzing, and photographing new recipes to share.

Red raspberries

Red raspberries

Homemade Red-Raspberry Ice Cream

If only for their color, red raspberries would be a worthy addition to ice cream; they tint each scoop a strong, sophisticated pink that's nothing like the cotton-candy hue of strawberry ice cream. Then there's the taste: a bright, tart twist that shines through heavy, sweetened cream.

Red raspberry ice cream is a good flavor to try a few scoops at a time, partly because the berries can be so pricey. Yet, with only one cup of berries, it's possible to make several servings of ice cream. The following recipes explain how to successfully make small batches of rich, red-raspberry ice cream—with or without eggs.

The first version, Red Raspberry Simplicity, is a basic, eggless ice cream. The second version, Pink Perfection, is a more complicated custard-based ice cream. Each recipe will yield about a pint of ice cream. That's enough for six small scoops or three small bowls.

Note: I created, tested, tasted, analyzed and photographed the recipes in this article.

A Note About Pesky Raspberry Seeds

People who completely adore raspberries tend to ignore the seeds that plague these berries. In fact, they will gulp down anything tasting of raspberries so quickly that they may not even be aware that raspberry seeds exist. (They do.)

For those of us who enjoy raspberries but fall short of true addiction, do not leave the seeds in when making this recipe. Take the time to strain them out. You will want to savor the flavors and smooth textures of homemade raspberry ice cream without any unwanted, frozen lumps.

Version 1: Red Raspberry Simplicity Ice Cream (No Eggs)

Try this eggless raspberry ice cream, and you'll understand why there's a "cream" in ice cream. This raspberry recipe is as simple as they come. It's just a melding of rich, sweetened, frozen dairy with tart, juicy berries.


  • 1 cup of frozen red raspberries, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light cream

Kitchen Equipment

  • Measuring cups
  • Small saucepan
  • Mixing spoon
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Small bowl
  • Ice cream maker


  1. If the raspberries are frozen, put them in the saucepan first and gently defrost them over low heat.
  2. Add the sugar and the cream.
  3. Stir the mixture over very low heat for several minutes. Do not let the mixture boil.
  4. Turn off the heat and keep stirring until the mixture is a uniform color (dark pink) and the sugar is completely dissolved. (If you aren't sure just from looking, it's safe to taste test this recipe. There are no raw eggs to worry about.)
  5. Pour the raspberry mixture through a fine mesh strainer and into a small bowl. Remove as many of the raspberry seeds as possible.
  6. Allow the mixture to chill in the refrigerator for up to an hour.
  7. Pour the cold raspberry and cream mixture into the ice cream maker. The batch should reach soft-serve consistency in about 30 minutes.
  8. Let the ice cream spend several hours in the freezer. This will give the ice cream a good scoop definition when you serve it.

Red Raspberry Simplicity: Nutrition Information






Light cream


Total for the recipe


Per serving


Version 2: Pink Perfection Raspberry Ice Cream (With Eggs)

This recipe involves some slightly trickier steps than Red Raspberry Simplicity. You'll need a candy thermometer, and you'll need to pay more attention to food safety. But if the first version of homemade raspberry ice cream seemed too plain to your taste buds, you may prefer the complexities of egg custard ice cream.

Pink Perfection, with its egg-custard base, is perfected with a dash of vanilla extract.


  • 1 cup of frozen red raspberries, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon of light cream
  • 1/4 cup of skim milk

Kitchen Equipment

  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Small saucepan
  • Small whisk
  • Candy thermometer
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Ice cream maker


  1. Defrost the raspberries in a small saucepan.
  2. Add the heavy cream and the sugar. Stir the mixture for a few minutes. Keep the heat on the burner as low as possible.
  3. Add the egg. Have the candy thermometer and whisk ready to deploy immediately. (You may need to practice balancing the candy thermometer in one hand while stirring with the other.)
  4. Stir, stir, stir. The mixture will shoot from lukewarm to boiling quite quickly if you aren't paying attention. This is especially true if your stove doesn't allow you to keep the heat low enough. Keep a close eye on the candy thermometer. You're waiting for a narrow window. Raw eggs need to reach at least 160˚F to be safe to eat. (I aimed for 170˚F.) At the same time, the egg custard shouldn't be allowed to boil.
  5. Once you've hit the golden temperature, quickly remove the saucepan from the burner and stir in the vanilla extract.
  6. Strain the mixture thoroughly. There may be several teaspoons of raspberry seeds lurking in there. (Straining at this point in the process also gives you a chance to fish out any pieces of egg that somehow morphed into little white lumps and not perfect custard.)
  7. FYI: It's safe to taste-test the mixture again at this point.
  8. Let the strained mixture cool, then chill it in the refrigerator for half an hour.
  9. When the raspberry mixture is cold, stir in the light cream and the skim milk. Pour the mixture into the ice cream maker.
  10. Let the ice cream maker do its work for about half an hour, then let the raspberry ice cream harden for a few more hours in the freezer before serving.

Pink Perfection Ice Cream: Nutrition Information




Heavy cream






Vanilla extract


Light cream


Skim milk


Total for the recipe


Per Serving


How to Make Ice Cream That's Light and Fluffy

What would happen if you skipped the step of using an ice cream maker and just shoved the raspberry mixture in the freezer on top of an ice cube tray? Well, you wouldn't get ice cream.

You'd get a creamy ice pop. The color would stay a dark pink, and the texture is dense and icy. It wouldn't look right, it wouldn't feel right in your mouth, and you'd wonder how any of these recipes were supposed to yield several servings worth of ice cream.

What an ice cream maker does—and what a freezer can't—is to make the finished ice cream fluffy. All the endless churning that goes on inside the machine forces lots of air into the mixture. This is what makes ice cream fluff up as it freezes. Part of that volumizing effect comes from the water in the cream—which expands as it freezes—but much of the expansion comes from mixed-in air bubbles.

Getting just the right amount of air mixed in—not too little and not too much—is what makes good ice cream feel so light, right and smooth in your mouth.

A small, gel canister ice cream maker may not perform this fluffing task as perfectly as a large, commercial ice cream maker. Using a small-batch gel canister machine, I was able to transform a cup and a half of liquid into nearly two cups of ice cream. But your ice cream maker may deliver different results.

Raspberries are the most expensive ingredient in homemade raspberry ice cream.

Raspberries are the most expensive ingredient in homemade raspberry ice cream.

Cost to Make Raspberry Simplicity Ice Cream


Frozen raspberries




Light cream


Total cost per pint


How Cheap Is It to Make Ice Cream at Home?

Ice cream is not cheap. In the United States, a gallon of ice cream costs quite a bit more than a gallon of gasoline. The price varies, but the average cost of a half-gallon of ice cream reached $4.99 in February 2011, according to the Consumer Price Index.

Assuming you were to find a half-gallon of raspberry ice cream in the grocery store, how competitive would a scoop from that carton be with a scoop of homemade raspberry ice cream? The store-bought ice cream would win out.

Each pint in that store-bought carton would cost only $1.25, while the ingredients in homemade Red Raspberry Simplicity would cost $2.68 per pint. (Cost estimates are based on recent grocery store prices in New York City.)

So, if you have a raspberry bush in your yard, enjoy your bounty. The rest of us will enjoy homemade raspberry ice cream as the delicious luxury it is.

© 2011 E. A. Wright