Friday, September 21, 2007

we all scream for...whew! i'm tired.

Time was when making homemade ice cream meant strong backs and lots of patience. The churn above is a commercial version way back when, that was motorized and weighed 500 pounds. I have grown up on homemade ice cream. You know the kind. You had to have a family event just to justify the amount of ice, rock salt, ingredients, etc. Sure the results were heavenly, but it sure wasn't a "I have a hankering for ice cream" kind of thing. If you got such a hankering you usually have to trust the label when it said "tastes like homemade!" Of course my grandmother always told me we had it good, because the only motor they had when she was young were the arms of anxious kids and adults. There have been other ways of course, but convenience wasn't always the case. I treasure old fashioned things, but I'm no Luddite. I embrace technology. So for the past couple of years I've been eyeing Alton Brown's ice cream maker whenever it was featured on Good Eats.

Well, guess what. My mother-in-law recently gave us an early Christmas present: a Cuisinart 2 Qt Ice Cream Maker. Pretty cool. It takes the simplest of ingredients and the easiest of methods to get to soft churned homemade goodness in under half an hour. And it is no unitasker- it can make slushes, sorbets, etc. Cleanup is a breeze. All you really have to do is freeze the bowl part of the Ice Cream Maker the night before and then put your recipe together and pour it in. Place the bowl in the unit, the plastic "churn" piece and lid and place and just turn the thing on. That's it. 25 minutes or so later and it's ready. Eat or freeze for a harder texture. How simple can you get? And it takes no more room on your counter top than a food processor or mixer.

Trust me - I don't think to many people would be complaining if this was available back in the day. "A motor? Pshaw! I prefer to wring my arm out and pouring on the ice and salt and exercise for hours. Take your new fangeled thing outta here." Well, there might have been some who would say that. But you know what? Me and the kids would've been eating some delicious ice cream while he's getting "exercise".

Ok- I know this has nothing to do with classic films, but I wanted to post this anyway. I rarely post anything this private, but I am kind of excited about this - so I am reaching out to Shelfers everywhere. Besides I am trying to finish some new reviews for you guys, so I needed a break to post something fun! So far, we've tried Mint Chocolate Chip (with Mint Chocolate Oreos!), Vanilla and Root Bear floats with some Hires just for that old fashioned flavor. Well, this is where you Shelfers come in. I need some more recipes! I would love to make some Cherry Vanilla. Do you have a favorite recipe? Do you use a counter top churn like this? Share your favorites with us in the comments section. I'm also looking for a Halloween recipe? Share your ideas with us and we'll post our favorites for some of our Shelf Halloween Madness 2007 posts. Sure summertime is almost over, but ice cream is good stuff year round (especially on pie and cobbler) So don't be shy! Sound off in the comments section. We look forward to what you have to say and share!

Oh, I know it's a penny here and a penny there, but look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.

I wanna go on the rides, I wanna go on the rides, I wanna go on the rides!


schmidty said...

I am a kitchen gadget freak. We bought one of these cuisinart ice cream makers about a year ago; a smaller model, though. It works pretty good, but we found the bowl needs to be good and frozen or else you get thick cream rather than ice cream. Now all we need is a bigger refrigerator/freezer, so we can keep the bowl in there at all times, for drop-of-a-hat ice cream deployment. We haven't been quite so adventurous as you all. We're pretty plain vanilla.

J.C. Loophole said...

Aha- you are correct schmidty! I have found that the bowl temp makes a real difference. I even tried chilling the ice cream mixture before churning and that seemed to make a creamier, frozen texture. There is a frozen yogurt recipe I might try and it recommends chilling the mixture also.
BTW- there is nothing wrong with plain vanilla. Vanilla done right is heavenly. We used a vanilla base, added a drop of peppermint extract and then churned, and added crushed oreos 5 min before finish for the oreo mint ice cream. Pretty simple. Vanilla base can pretty much start anything.
Thanks for your comments.

Tammy said...

Here is a vanilla base that I found in a great book called The Perfect Scoop. Buy the book for more stuff.
Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe (from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz)

3 Cups Heavy Cream or 2 Cups Heavy Cream plus 1 Cup Whole Milk
3/4 Cup Sugar
Pinch of Salt
1 Vanilla Bean, split in half length wise
3/4 Teaspoon Vanilla extract

Pour 1 cup of cream into saucepan and add sugar, salt. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into saucepan and add pod to the pot. Warm over medium heat, stirring till sugar has dissolved.

Remove from heat and add remaining cups of cream and milk and vanilla extract. Chill mixture thoroughly and when ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean and freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to instructions.

I also pureed some bananas( about 1 and half) and mixed them in with the mixture before I poured into the churn. I then chopped up the other half of banana and added that and some caramel syrup for a banana caramel ice cream. Try it out!

Laura said...

Oooh, I'm glad you posted this! My 12-year-old daughter is an ice cream fanatic and I've been mulling something like this for her -- maybe Santa could bring one. :) I wondered how well it worked. (I fondly remember the ice cream my grandparents made with the rock salt, etc.!) Funny thing, I saw an ad for the PERFECT SCOOP book in a cookbook catalogue just today. I don't have any recipes to share but rather want to thank you for reviewing this!

Best wishes,

J.C. Loophole said...

Tammy- thanks for the recipe! I will try it out. I haven't been using vanilla beans so maybe now I will try.

I'm an ice cream and gadget junkie so this was right up my alley. If Santa brings her one, everyone will be happy. (TIP: You'll have to make peppermint ice cream with leftover candy canes).
All in all it is a great machine and I have no complaints so far-only one would be that I need a second bowl to keep one handy.
I'll be looking to pick up Perfect Scoop one of these days. If I do, look for a review here.

Laura said...

"(TIP: You'll have to make peppermint ice cream with leftover candy canes)."

Oooh, that sounds good! :)


Anonymous said...

You should share that machine with freinds and family. Maybe take it to your mother's house on a Sunday afternoon!!!:)



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