Making ice cream by hand
It really is worth making ice cream, as it’s far superior to anything you can buy. And the good news is that, even without an ice-cream maker, it is simplicity itself.
If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, you can still make ice-cream. After you have made up your mixture, transfer it to a lidded plastic box (a shallow one enables the freezing to happen more quickly and also makes whisking easier as the beater can go down straight into the box) and put it in the coldest part of the freezer for two hours, or until the contents become firm at the edges. At this stage, empty out the box into a mixing bowl and whisk the ice cream with an electric hand whisk to break down the ice crystals.
Return the box to the freezer and freeze for another two hours, then repeat the whisking process. Refreeze the ice-cream (if making a sorbet that contains a generous quantity of alcohol, freeze overnight) until 30-45 minutes before you want to serve it, at which time you should transfer it into the fridge to soften.
Incidentally, it’s a good idea to arm yourself with a digital kitchen timer to remind you to remove the ice cream and whip it at various stages.