Old-Fashioned Farmer Boy Ice Cream Recipe (With Blueberry Variation) | Little House on the Prairie (2024)

by Margaret Darazs | Jul 7, 2018

‘Let’s make ice-cream!’ Royal shouted. Eliza Jane loved ice-cream….They set the pail in a tub and packed the snowy crushed ice around it, with salt, and they covered it all with a blanket. Every few minutes they took off the blanket and uncovered the pail, and stirred the freezing ice-cream.

—Farmer Boy

If you’ve ever made ice cream by hand, then you know how much of a delicacy ice cream must have been whenLaura and Almanzowere growing up. The hand-churning, the hand-whipping—it’s a lot of work! A true sign of love and hospitality,something we love about the Ingalls Family.

But I think you’ll find this modern adaptation less tiring and definitely worth the effort. Since my arms aren’t as strong as Ma’s must have been, I used my stand mixer to whip the egg whites and heavy cream. If you’ve ever tried making meringue by hand, you understand why it’s almost impossible to whip the egg whites without some type of mixer.

Another option to consider, which also makes a great gift, is anold-fashioned ice cream maker. Let us know if you try it out!

Mostclassic ice cream recipeswill tell you to flavor your ice cream with vanilla extract, but did you know that in Laura’s time, the most popular flavor would have been lemon because vanilla extract wasn’t widely available or locally grown? It’s true! This is one reason why the party drink recipe at Nellie’s party was adelicious lemonade!

Old-Fashioned Farmer Boy Ice Cream Recipe (With Blueberry Variation) | Little House on the Prairie (1)

Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Recipe

You haven’t lived until you’ve tasted handmade ice cream flavored with freshly squeezed lemons.

Old-Fashioned Farmer Boy Ice Cream Recipe (With Blueberry Variation) | Little House on the Prairie (2)

(Jump to printable recipe)

Ingredients for Traditional Ice Cream:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 2 lemons
  • 5-7 lbs. ice cubes
  • 2-3 lbs.rock salt (ice cream salt)

Directions for Traditional Ice Cream:

1. Separate the eggs into two small bowls, yolks in one and whites in the second. Beat the yolks for about a minute, until lighter in color and smooth.

Old-Fashioned Farmer Boy Ice Cream Recipe (With Blueberry Variation) | Little House on the Prairie (3)

2. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and turn the heat up to medium high and heat until simmering. Make sure not to scald the milk.

Old-Fashioned Farmer Boy Ice Cream Recipe (With Blueberry Variation) | Little House on the Prairie (4)

3. Add in the sugar and stir until dissolved, about 1 ½ minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add in the egg yolks and stir until the custard thickens enough to coat your wooden spoon with a milky film.

4. Pour the custard into a jar and place in the fridge for later use.

Old-Fashioned Farmer Boy Ice Cream Recipe (With Blueberry Variation) | Little House on the Prairie (5)

5. In the bowl of a stand mixer or of a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until some stiff peaks form. Pour in 1 cup of heavy cream and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining cream and stir gently. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Squeeze lemons and strain juice to add in later.

6. Fill a very large wide-mouthed bowl about halfway with ice. Sprinkle on the salt and create a well in the center of the bowl. Take the custard and whipped egg mixture out of the fridge. (Fun fact: The salt will lower the freezing point and produce a solution colder than 32 degrees Fahrenheit.)

Old-Fashioned Farmer Boy Ice Cream Recipe (With Blueberry Variation) | Little House on the Prairie (6)

7. Pour the custard into the bowl with the whipped egg mixture. Place the bowl in the ice and pile ice up on the sides.

8. Stir for 5-10 minutes and cover with a dish towel. Let sit for 10 minutes, then repeat scraping and stirring; repeat this process 3-4 times, or until ice cream reaches soft-serve consistency. Add in the lemon juice.

9. Continue stirring and resting until the ice cream is too stiff to move. This will take about an hour. Let the ice cream sit undisturbed for 30 minutes.

10. To serve, scoop into bowls and top with desired toppings.

Old-Fashioned Farmer Boy Ice Cream Recipe (With Blueberry Variation) | Little House on the Prairie (7)

Blueberry Lemon Ice Cream Recipe

Old-Fashioned Farmer Boy Ice Cream Recipe (With Blueberry Variation) | Little House on the Prairie (8)

For a modern twist on the recipe, what would be better than blueberry lemon flavored ice cream! Bold blueberry mixed with tangy lemon and creamy ice cream is a flavor combo to be reckoned with.Blueberries were a common topping for cakes and dessertsas well.

Ingredients for Blueberry Lemon Ice Cream:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 2 lemons
  • 5-7 lbs. ice cubes
  • 2-3 lbs.rock salt (ice cream salt)
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup water

Old-Fashioned Farmer Boy Ice Cream Recipe (With Blueberry Variation) | Little House on the Prairie (9)

Directions for Blueberry Lemon Ice Cream:

  1. Separate the eggs into two small bowls, whites in one and yolks in another. Beat the yolks for about a minute, until lighter in color and smooth.
  2. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and turn the heat up to medium high and heat until simmering. Make sure not to scald the milk.
  3. Add in the sugar and stir until dissolved, about 1 ½ minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add in the egg yolks and stir until the custard thickens enough to coat your wooden spoon with a milky film.
  4. Pour the custard into a jar and place in the fridge for later use.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until some stiff peaks form. Pour in 1 cup of heavy cream and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining cream and stir gently. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Squeeze lemons and strain juice to add in later.
  6. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, combine the blueberries, remaining sugar, and water. Simmer until sauce thickens and blueberries become soft and mashable. Drain the blueberry syrup into a jar and let cool.
  7. Fill a very large wide-mouthed bowl about halfway with ice. Sprinkle on the salt and create a well in the center of the bowl. Take the custard and whipped egg mixture out of the fridge.
  8. Pour the custard into the bowl with the whipped egg mixture. Place the bowl in the ice and pile ice up on the sides.
  9. Stir for 5-10 minutes and cover with a dish towel. Let sit for 10 minutes, then repeat scraping and stirring; repeat this process 3-4 times, or until ice cream reaches soft-serve consistency. Add in the lemon juice and blueberry syrup.
  10. Continue stirring and resting until the ice cream is too stiff to move. This will take about an hour. Let the ice cream sit undisturbed for 30 minutes.
  11. To serve, scoop into bowls and top with desired toppings.

Old-Fashioned Farmer Boy Ice Cream Recipe (With Blueberry Variation) | Little House on the Prairie (10)

Did you know that summer was the traditional time tomake ice cream? It could only be made by people lucky enough to have ice as well as plenty of cream like the Wilders. When young Almanzo made ice cream, there were no power-driven refrigerators or churns available. They had to work hard for their sweets and use fresh ingredients. For more fun food facts like these, check outThe Little House Cookbook.

Remember tosubscribe to our newsletterfor the latest recipes and other fun ideas.

Note:
The author drew ideas and inspiration fromThe Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Classic Storiesby Barbara M. Walker (New York: Harper & Row, 1979). You can read a review of this wonderful resource by clickinghere.

Ingredients for Traditional Ice Cream:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 2 lemons
  • 5-7 lbs. ice cubes
  • 2-3 lbs.rock salt (ice cream salt)

Directions for Traditional Ice Cream:

  1. Separate the eggs into two small bowls, yolks in one and whites in the second. Beat the yolks for about a minute, until lighter in color and smooth.
  2. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and turn the heat up to medium high and heat until simmering. Make sure not to scald the milk.
  3. Add in the sugar and stir until dissolved, about 1 ½ minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add in the egg yolks and stir until the custard thickens enough to coat your wooden spoon with a milky film.
  4. Pour the custard into a jar and place in the fridge for later use.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer or of a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until some stiff peaks form. Pour in 1 cup of heavy cream and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining cream and stir gently. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Squeeze lemons and strain juice to add in later.
  6. Fill a very large wide-mouthed bowl about halfway with ice. Sprinkle on the salt and create a well in the center of the bowl. Take the custard and whipped egg mixture out of the fridge. (Fun fact: The salt will lower the freezing point and produce a solution colder than 32 degrees Fahrenheit.)
  7. Pour the custard into the bowl with the whipped egg mixture. Place the bowl in the ice and pile ice up on the sides.
  8. Stir for 5-10 minutes and cover with a dish towel. Let sit for 10 minutes, then repeat scraping and stirring; repeat this process 3-4 times, or until ice cream reaches soft-serve consistency. Add in the lemon juice.
  9. Continue stirring and resting until the ice cream is too stiff to move. This will take about an hour. Let the ice cream sit undisturbed for 30 minutes.
  10. To serve, scoop into bowls and top with desired toppings.

Ingredients for Blueberry Lemon Ice Cream:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 2 lemons
  • 5-7 lbs. ice cubes
  • 2-3 lbs.rock salt (ice cream salt)
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup water

Directions for Blueberry Lemon Ice Cream:

  1. Separate the eggs into two small bowls, whites in one and yolks in another. Beat the yolks for about a minute, until lighter in color and smooth.
  2. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and turn the heat up to medium high and heat until simmering. Make sure not to scald the milk.
  3. Add in the sugar and stir until dissolved, about 1 ½ minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add in the egg yolks and stir until the custard thickens enough to coat your wooden spoon with a milky film.
  4. Pour the custard into a jar and place in the fridge for later use.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until some stiff peaks form. Pour in 1 cup of heavy cream and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining cream and stir gently. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Squeeze lemons and strain juice to add in later.
  6. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, combine the blueberries, remaining sugar, and water. Simmer until sauce thickens and blueberries become soft and mashable. Drain the blueberry syrup into a jar and let cool.
  7. Fill a very large wide-mouthed bowl about halfway with ice. Sprinkle on the salt and create a well in the center of the bowl. Take the custard and whipped egg mixture out of the fridge.
  8. Pour the custard into the bowl with the whipped egg mixture. Place the bowl in the ice and pile ice up on the sides.
  9. Stir for 5-10 minutes and cover with a dish towel. Let sit for 10 minutes, then repeat scraping and stirring; repeat this process 3-4 times, or until ice cream reaches soft-serve consistency. Add in the lemon juice and blueberry syrup.
  10. Continue stirring and resting until the ice cream is too stiff to move. This will take about an hour. Let the ice cream sit undisturbed for 30 minutes.
  11. To serve, scoop into bowls and top with desired toppings.

Margaret Darazs

Writer of the food blog, Natural Chow, Margaret Anne is a green-thumbed Christian striving to live a healthy lifestyle and teach others about eating and living naturally. She understands the importance of inexpensive meals, family time, health, having fun, and making foods that are good for your body. See her contributions to Little House on the Prairie below.

  1. Tashaon October 7, 2023 at 6:21 am

    My husband and I both used hand- cranked icecream makers when we were kids. Really glad when family splurged on electric, gave us more time to play!
    I spent much of my childhood on the farm with elderly grandparents and learned a lot about the older ways of doing things.
    I can remember canning, gardening, harvesting, working with cattle, driving a team, driving tractors and combines, doing laundry with a hand crank instead of spin cycle, quilting bee’s, etc.
    Modern conveniences are great, I certainly use my share. By trying the old ways, even for fun, it keeps us aware of how life went on before.

    Reply

  2. DavetteBon May 20, 2022 at 2:22 pm

    To whip egg whites by hand the most efficient method is to use a clean, chilled, and preferably copper bowl. It’s still a workout, but it is easier than the platter.
    BTW, I’ve read all of the books multiple times and read them with my son, but Farmer Boy is his favorite because of all the food Almanzo was always eating.

    Reply

  3. Jillon February 22, 2022 at 1:16 pm

    I’m teaching a class next year I’d like to make this can you tell me about start to finish how long it takes to make?

    Reply

  4. Jane Marinoon April 26, 2019 at 11:33 am

    I can’t wait to make this ice cream! I read almost all the Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books and I enjoyed the ice-cream passage in Farmer Boy.

    Reply

  5. Akhtar Saeedon November 26, 2018 at 11:37 am

    Just love it

    Reply

  6. toyaon April 5, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    so yumyyyyyyyyyyy I loved it!!

    Reply

  7. Jewell chamberson August 14, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Whatever happened to baby Grace! I loved that show! Thanks for informing us where they are.

    Reply

  8. Pat Wilsonon August 9, 2016 at 11:43 am

    I love Little House On The Prairie ! My husband says that is all that you ever watch . I say thats all that is worth watching . I also have read all the books over and over again . I love everything about the Little House On The Paririe . Would like to see the homestead and museum someday .

    Reply

  9. kylieon May 10, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    looks so good i cant wait to make it

    Reply

  10. kylieon May 10, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    looks so good

    Reply

  11. Tammyon August 24, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Has anyone tried the recipe with a modern ice cream maker? I know the purpose is to have the ingredients and method from scratch, but I just wanted to know if anyone tried it in an ice cream maker.

    Reply

    • Pennyon July 23, 2019 at 8:37 am

      Follow the recipe UP to the point of where she added the mixture to the ice bowl. That is the method she is using to “freeze” her ice cream. Churning will depend on your ice cream maker. I have a Cuisinart and I would churn this for about 20 minutes, letting it set for about 10 in the bucket after churning was complete and I scooped it out to eat or freeze it. I would add the lemon juice to the mixture after pouring it into your ice cream maker. I do the same to the bourbon I add to our Coffee Bourbon Chocolate Chip ice cream. Too much or added at the wrong time and the ice cream won’t set!

      Reply

  12. Leslie Laxon July 31, 2015 at 11:15 am

    looks delicious !!!! Need a bit of time to get it done though. 🙂

    Reply

    • Amandaon December 12, 2015 at 7:29 pm

      Looks Good! I’ve read all the Books! and watching the Movies!

      Reply

  13. inahon July 31, 2015 at 9:27 am

    I grew up watching the show and hearing how good ma’s cooking was I had to find some recipes..Good old fashion down home cooking is still the way I cook today.Thanks for keeping this family’s history growing stronger than ever with your page…

    Reply

    • Amandaon February 28, 2016 at 10:27 am

      I ‘m watching the all of them now they are all so good!

      Reply

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Old-Fashioned Farmer Boy Ice Cream Recipe (With Blueberry Variation) | Little House on the Prairie (2024)
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