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Homemade ice cream options

ice cream ballIt may be harder to achieve the fudge ripples and caramel swirls of prepackaged ice creams, but homemade ice cream has its own set of advantages. Now, I’m not going to argue against the convenience factor of store bought ice cream, or the fact that many are of outstanding quality, but they can be pretty expensive, so one of the advantages of making it at home that you can get great quality ice cream on a regular basis (we all know that the lower quality stuff at stores is usually pretty inexpensive and, while it can do in a pinch, you usually get what you pay for). The other advantages are that it is completely customizable as far as flavorings and mix-ins go and it can be fun to make.

The only thing you really need to make homemade ice cream is an ice cream maker. I’ve been making homemade ice cream on a semi-regular basis almost as long as I can remember. My first ice cream maker was a hand-cranked, blue machine shaped like a penguin (no, it wasn’t linux powered) which doesn’t seem to be sold anymore. Instead, for a child, an ice cream ball is a good choice. It can be shaken or kicked around to process the cream base into ice cream fairly quickly. For the more grown up ice cream enthusiast, an electric machine is the way to go. I currently use a Cuisinart 1 1/2qt Automatic Ice Cream Maker for ice creams, frozen yogurts, etc. and have gotten great results with it. It requires the use of a prefrozen canister, but there are many machines that do not require one, like the Deni Compressor Ice Cream Maker.

Once you’ve got the machine, you just need time and a good recipe before you’re ready to churn:

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  • samantha
    June 12, 2007

    hi nic!
    i recently bought that cusinart ice cream maker, and i’m kinda confused about how different recipes can be! i don’t want a heavy or fattening ice cream, but i want it to be creamy. is that possible? howw? can you make ice cream with custard powder.. or do you have to use yolks to make it creamy? any tips would be appreciated. thanks!

  • V
    June 12, 2007

    Hey Nic,
    I have a similar question too. Just opened my cusinart ice cream maker recently, and had only made a green tea ice cream in it. Was wondering about substituting cream for soy milk? What do you think? Any suggestions? Thanks.

  • sunny12
    June 13, 2007

    David Lebovitz has a new book out on ice cream (called the perfect scoop). One recipe that I am going to try this weekend is roasted banana ice cream, which does use whole milk instead of cream–I suspect the bananas help thicken it and make it creamy.

    Also I don’t actually have an ice cream maker, so I am hoping that using my immersion blender will work. It might not be quite as smooth as an ice cream maker, but it beats buying yet another appliance. Wish me luck!

  • Nicole
    June 13, 2007

    I also have a recipe in my archives for Caramelized Banana Buttermilk Ice Cream, which sounds similar to DL’s and is quite low in fat. Many of the recipes in my frozen dessert archives are lower fat ice creams, sorbets and frozen yogurts.

    I think that one of the best things about having a home ice cream maker is that you can play around. Lower fat ingredients (milk vs cream, yogurt, buttermilk) will change the flavor and texture of the end result, but with a little experimentation you can turn out some amazing results. The same goes for using cream instead of whole milk. Try searching online for recipes similar to what you want to make (food blogs or other recipe sources) to give yourself a jumping off point, then change the ingredients in increments until you get exactly what you want – something you definitely can’t do with storebought!

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