The Joy Of Making Your Own Homemade Ice Cream

Buying a home ice cream machineFor anyone with a severe sweet tooth, buying premium ice cream can be a rather expensive habit. On the other hand, purchasing your own ice cream machine for your home can be quite an economical alternative to feed your desire for frozen goodies. If you have never thought about getting one of these for your kitchen, then you are in for a treat…literally. Luckily, quality ice cream making units come in a wide range of prices and features that will enable you to find a capable machine no matter what your budget may be.  With simple push button operation, this is also one of the easiest machines to operate that you will own.  Getting one of these for your home is a great way to treat yourself to something delicious whenever you get a craving.

What Are the Best Ice Cream Machines?

Cuisinart makes some of the most popular units with several models that are highly rated by users. Combing through various reviews of the top ice cream makers online and it is quite apparent that you really can’t go wrong picking up anything made by Cuisinart.  Their ice cream machines continue to be among the highest ranked small kitchen appliances on the market. Breville also has a top rated maker, but it is also quite expensive. Leilo, Hamilton Beach, Nostalgia Electrics, and White Mountain are also very good options with numerous positive feedback from customers. One of the great features of most of these machines is that they are able to make more than just ice cream, they can also make other frozen treats. Gelato, sorbet, frozen drinks, and frozen yogurt can also be produces by most of these machine which helps add to their overall value.

What To Look For In A New Machine?

Most of the more affordable ice cream makers use a bowl that must be frozen before starting the ice cream making process. Some bowls are double insulated which helps speed up the process and save time, however it may take several hours to get the bowl to the right temperature. It will also require you to make room in your freezer for the bowl to fit.

Some of the more expensive models come with their own compressor which does not require you to freeze the bowl. Because of this feature you can truly make a batch whenever you feel like for the ultimate in convenience.  This is the main reason for the higher price tag for machines that contain their own compressor.  This also adds to the overall weight of the machine and will probably make it more of a hassle to move around your kitchen, but the trade off may be worth it.

Capacity is also another important factor when deciding on which model to buy. How much ice cream do you need to make? How many mouths will you need to feed? Higher capacity units may be slightly more expensive. However, in the long run, making your own ice cream will end up saving money.

Do They Produce Good Ice Cream?

I have had experience with several model ice cream makers, and they do indeed produce some great tasting results. The consistency is usually on the soft side, but once done, you can put the ice cream your freezer for an hour or two in order to firm it up if desired. These machines are also really simple to use, with most being as easy as a push of a button. The hardest part of using these home machines is the required patience need while eagerly waiting for the job to get done.

Are They Expensive?

As mentioned earlier, home ice cream makers come in a wide range of price points. From $30 all the way up to over a thousand dollars, finding a machine to fit your budget and your needs should not be to hard.

If you have cabinets full of small appliances that you never use, you may be quite hesitant to add another one to the your collection. But for anyone with a serious ice cream addiction, getting your own machine is a worthy investment.  Your kids will absolutely love you for this and it is a great way to spend time together.  Plus, with all of the different ice cream recipes to choose from, this is something that will never get old.  Indulge a little and pick one of these up for your family, you won’t regret it.

Below is a video that gives a quick look at what one of the better ice cream machines on the market can do and shows just how simple it is to use.

A Brief History of Ice Cream

history of ice creamEvery wonder what the origins of one of our favorite desserts came from?  Ice cream has been around for centuries, but who invented it?  History indicates that Emperor Nero combined ice with fruit toppings in the first century. The Chinese probably concocted the first ice-and-milk refreshments that made their way to royal courts in France and Italy. Myth claims that Marco Polo brought ice cream to Europe in the 13th century, but historical evidence credits China in the first millennium for using ice and salt to freeze milk and cream recipes. Until ice was stored in insulated underground chambers, consumption of ice cream was limited to times of the year when icy conditions prevailed.

Riches to Rags

England’s King Charles II served actual ice cream made with milk in 1672; only royalty throughout Europe indulged in this luxury because is was so difficult to make. There was no way to store ice cream, so it was made and immediately served. First lady Dolly Madison served ice cream to White House guests in 1812. During the later part of the 19th century, commoners enjoyed ice cream, when immigrants carried their ice cream recipes abroad and processes simplified.

Ice Cream Machines

The first ice cream maker was called a pot-freezer – a large ice cream bowl placed inside of a tub filled with ice and salt to reduce the temperature. Technology advanced the hand crank ice cream maker to a covered pail with a handle attached to the lid. Next came the hand-cranked churn that produced smother ice cream in a shorter amount of time, but still used ice and salt to cool.

Manual ice cream machines operated by hand crank that turned the paddle used salt and ice to cool. Today, ice cream makers are themselves inexpensive, but use of salt and ice makes them costly and messy to operate. Smaller electric ice cream machines are constructed with hollow walls filled with coolant, and operate by hand or automatically with the push of a button, making them extremely simple to use and this is what makes such a worthy appliance to own.  Making homemade ice cream has never been easier as we have surely come a long way in time.

Some Ice Cream Recipes To Get Things Going

Ice cream recipesSeriously, who does not like that taste of a chilled bowl of fresh ice cream? If you are one of the smart dessert fans out there who has gone out and purchased their very own ice cream maker then you know what a wonderful appliance this is to have in the kitchen. Whenever you get the craving you can make a batch of your favorite frozen treat. For those that have not tried one of these machines, you just don’t know what you are missing. We will give our favorite ice cream maker reviews in another article, but suffice it to say, the convenience and ability to indulge whenever you choose is a real game changer. Below are just some of the fun recipes that you can try when you finally get your own.

Instant Fruit Ice Cream Recipe

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup of Splenda granular
  • 1/3 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 cups of frozen berries
  • 1/2 cup of milk or 1/2 cup of cream

Preparation

  • Pulse the frozen berries using a processor until they are chopped fine
  • Add sugar or Splenda as the fruits are processing
  • Add milk, cream or vanilla
  • Process until the mixture achieves the required consistency

Serves 4 people

Fun Fruity Ice Cream

The recipe is designed for older ice-cream machine models that yield about a gallon of fruity ice cream. A countertop model requires you to scale down the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
  • 3 cups of chopped strawberries
  • 2 14 ounce cans of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Preparation

  • Combine the condensed milk, cream, salt, milk, vanilla, and fruit in a freezer canister of the ice cream maker
  • Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Prep time is 15 minutes. It will be ready in an hour.

Can make up to 32 servings.

Passion Fruit Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups passion-fruit pulp (thawed and frozen)
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 3 cups of heavy cream

Preparation

  • Whisk the sugar and eggs together
  • Heat the cream over a heavy saucepan (2 1/2 to 3 quart) over moderate heat until it gets to a boil
  • Add hot cream to the egg mixture in a slow stream. Keep whisking.
  • Pour the custard into the saucepan
  • Cook it over moderately low heat. Stir constantly until 170 degree Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer
  • Pour custard via a fine sieve into a clean bowl.
  • Cool it completely.
  • Stir in the passion-fruit pulp
  • Chill when covered
  • Freeze the custard in an ice cream maker
  • Transfer it to an airtight container
  • Put it in a freezer to harden
  • Yields around 2 quartz

Vanilla Fruit Blend

This fruity ice cream recipe is a bit taxing. You will need to prepare the fruit blends first:

a) Mixed berry blend

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of fresh raspberries
  • 4 cups of fresh strawberries (quartered)
  • 1 cup of sugar

Preparation

  • Process all the ingredients in a food processor for about 30 to 45 seconds.
  • Transfer the mixture to a large bowl
  • Cover and chill for 2 hours or more

This yields 4 cups

b) Nectarine-and-Toasted Almond Blend

You can place nectarines in a paper bag to speed ripening

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3/4 cup of silvered almonds
  • 5 cups of peeled and sliced nectarines (around 2 3/4 lbs.)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt

Preparation

  • Process the nectarines and sugar for 30 to 45 seconds
  • Transfer to a large bowl
  • Cover and chill for 2 hours
  • Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a skillet
  • Add the almonds and salt
  • Cook the almonds for 3 to 5 minutes or until they turn golden. Stir frequently.
  • Pour the nut mixture through a fine strainer. Shake to remove excess butter and salt
  • Stir the almonds into the nectarine mixture
  • Cover and chill until you are ready to use it

Makes about 4 cups

Preparation of vanilla ice cream with fruit blend

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of whipping cream
  • Mixed berry blend
  • 3 eggs (large)
  • 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk (2% reduced-fat)
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

Nectarine and toasted almond blend

Preparation

  • Beat the eggs at a medium speed using an electric mixer until they are frothy
  • Mix sugar, salt and flour via stirring them together until they get well blended
  • Add the sugar mixture gradually to the eggs and beat until it thickens
  • Add the milk gradually and beat until it is blended
  • Cook the egg mixture in an oven over medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir constantly. The mixture should be thick so as to coat a spoon.
  • Fill a large bowl or pan with ice
  • Place Dutch oven in the ice
  • Stir occasionally for 10 to 15 minutes until the custard cools completely
  • Transfer the mixture to an airtight container cover and chill 8 hours
  • Stir in whipping cream, the fruit blend and vanilla
  • Pour the mixture into a freezer container of a 1 gallon electric ice-cream maker
  • Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions

This recipe yields 1/2 a gallon. Serve it right out of the ice cream maker’s container. You can also freeze it to ensure a firmer consistency.

If you prepare the fruit blends beforehand, you will need 10 minutes to prep, 20 minutes to cook, and 15 minutes to cool. Chill time is 8 hours.

Start Making Your Own Ice Cream

The amount of different recipes and combinations of fun flavors is almost endless with the only limit being your imagination.  We love to make our own frozen desserts and encourage everyone to go out and get an ice cream maker for their kitchen.  You will be surprised just how affordable they are which makes them an exceptional value for what they can deliver.  Treat yourself today to something that you and your family deserve.