Saturday, July 20, 2013

My Favorite Kitchen Gadgets - Ice Cream Maker

We have an old-fashioned ice cream maker - the kind with the wooden barrel that you fill with ice and rock salt and the metal canister and noisy motor that spins the paddle. But when Some Postman saw this Cuisinart soft serve ice cream maker, he just had to have it! An added bonus was that we got it FREE with our credit card points.

I learned an interesting lesson using this machine last night....if you forget to put in the freezer canister, it makes a really big mess. It's a good thing I had to plug it in next to the bathroom sink (Some Postman was fixing an electrical outlet so I had no power at the kitchen counter where I usually put this thing.) The really nice thing about this machine is that no ice is required - just keep the canister in the deep freeze all the time and it's ready to go at a moment's notice! As you can see, we don't keep sprinkles or toppings in the little compartments at the top, but I did test it out once. When you press down on one of the levers on the side, the toppings are supposed to go down that clear plastic thingy and mix with the ice cream as you pull down the handle in front. It works - sort of - as long as you use tiny toppings. But since that means more parts to clean, and because we don't really care for toppings, I just leave those empty.

There's a super-easy ice cream recipe that I've modified for using with the Cuisinart soft serve ice cream maker (it only makes about a quart of ice cream). This is pretty much the only recipe I've ever used for this machine, although it did come with a booklet full of recipes.

1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups half and half
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together; chill in refrigerator about an hour before pouring into ice cream freezer.

Last night, I subbed vanilla almond milk and 2 egg yolks for the half and half, since my tummy has been balking at dairy products lately. And I switched up the flavoring with a combination of vanilla, butterscotch and almond extracts. Mmm...yummy! I've added diced peaches to the mix before (decrease half and half by the amount of peaches you're adding), as well as added some chocolate syrup. It's pretty easy to adapt for different flavors.

Look at that frosty sweetness swirling around!

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