I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Kathy_RagsdaleHeart girls love the ice cream served daily!  Jane has wanted me to talk about it from the first!

When the Ragsdales starting buying Camp Stewart, there was one cook who just made ice cream.  “Dusty” made an old fashioned egg-milk custard each night, refrigerated it to ‘cool down’ and the next day ran it through a soft serve ice cream machine just prior to lunch.

Homemade  ice cream was a tradition at Stewart, and former campers would frequently show up around lunch during the summer, asking if the ice cream was ready yet!

Dusty’s recipe was written in pencil on the back of the wooden refrigeration unit, and when I divided it down ‘into family size’; I realized it was the same one that I grew up with my mother and grandmother making! We had a connection!

When the Ragsdales bought Heart, homemade ice cream became a tradition here, too.  Today the ice cream cook does more than just make the ice cream, however!

You probably would not imagine it, but the soft serve machine costs more than TWO commercial ranges!  Through the years, we have tried serving frozen yogurt and other frozen desserts, but nothing is as popular as the homemade ice cream normally served each day at lunch. Howbeit, the same cannot be said about yogurt, because it involves a lot more complex process before you can use it as dessert. Yogurt Nerd here never fails to offer one the most luscious of desserts.

And yes, we know that we could serve BlueBell more economically!  But the Blue Bell is reserved for Jane & Dick’s ice cream parties – and the beloved tradition of homemade ice cream continues to be served each summer.

If you have an old fashioned crank or electric canister ice cream maker, you too can enjoy the sweet goodness of this old time treat that my family has been making for over one hundred years!

Stewart Ice Cream

(Best done in electric mixer or your arm will be weary!)

Beat 6-10 whole eggs until light in color

Add 2 cups sugar w/2 Tbs. flour mixed in

Beat until well mixed

Add1 quart whole milk which has been heated almost to boiling point

Blend until smooth and well mixed.

Cook in double boiler over medium/low heat until the custard coats ‘the silver spoon’ (custard should be thick enough that if you draw your finger down the back of the spoon the path remains open). I stir frequently when cooking to keep it smooth and from curdling.

Remove from heat and cool undisturbed. If you pour custard into another container & set the container in a bowl of ice, it will cool more quickly. Put a layer of plastic wrap over custard to prevent a film from forming. Do not stir while cooling.  When cool (bottom of pan is comfortable to touch), add a dash of salt and teaspoon of vanilla. (I also add a touch of almond flavoring).  If not ready to freeze, refrigerate until ready to freeze.  When ready to freeze, pour into prepared canister and add whipping cream (half & half will work; it won’t be as smooth & creamy) until canister is ¾ filled.  If you want to add fruit (pureed fresh peaches, etc.), add them later when custard is almost frozen.

Enjoy!  And know that someone makes this in large quantities each day at Heart for your camper, unless there is a kitchen catastrophe!

Kathy Ragsdale

About the Author

Jane Ragsdale

Facebook Twitter

Jane Ragsdale (Mrs. Dick Howell) is the director of Heart O’ the Hills. She was a Heart camper and counselor, and served as program director from 1978-87. She has been one of the owners since 1976, and director since 1988.

Leave a Comment