I love ice cream. No, I mean I really love ice cream. I love ice cream so much that I ditched our ancient, puny, barely-functioning refrigerator and bought a new refrigerator because the old one wouldn't freeze my ice cream canister. I even had to rip out two of the six cabinets in our kitchen to fit a normal-sized refrigerator. No, I swear it's true.
I decided that if I was going to go to such lengths for ice cream, then the next step would be to figure out how to maximize the potential of my electric ice cream maker. It's a Cuisinart. It gets really good reviews, and it does work well as long as you use it correctly. After much trial and error, here are the steps that I found were crucial:
1) Freeze the hell out of the canister and don't take it out of the freezer until you are completely set up and ready to freeze your creamy delight.
2) Everything should be prepared in advance. The ice cream base needs to be super cold. The machine should be on the work surface, plugged in. Have an ice cream receptacle (that you will transfer the semi-frozen treat into) ready along with some plastic wrap. Get a rubber spatula.
3) Your adrenaline should kick in at this point. Everything needs to be done quickly. Run to the freezer, grab the canister, slam it onto the machine base, put the beater into place, put on the top, turn on the machine, and then pour in your base.
4) Okay, now you can relax, sit back, have a glass of wine, make some chocolate sauce, whatever. Just keep that motor running for about 30 minutes. Once your base starts to resemble ice cream, you need to start moving quickly again. Use the spatula to get it into the receptacle. Seal it with a kiss, or plastic wrap, and toss it into the freezer for a little while to firm up.
Of course, none of this matters if you don't have a good recipe. Personally, I prefer French-style custard ice cream, rich with egg yolks and cream. If you are even thinking of substituting skim milk for the cream, don't bother making the ice cream. Gelato is a whole different story (don't worry, I'll get to that in another IC Chron). Which is what leads me to my new favorite ice cream recipe: Meyer lemon ice cream. (Yes, ice cream is seasonal, good for all seasons, and just as delicious in the winter as it is in the heat of the summer--you just have to crank up the heat and snuggle under a blanket to enjoy it).
Kim's Meyer Lemon Ice Cream