It’s cold outside, why would we want to know how to make ice cream at this time of year?
I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question.
So, some impulse buys don’t work out too well. I know you just had something pop into your head and then you winced, right? Am I right? Don’t worry about it, it happens to the best of us, although I’m guessing that’s really a first world problem. Well, I had an impulse buy surprise me this year – it was so, so worth every penny and I would totally buy it again in a heartbeat.
It was this counter top frozen yogurt/ice cream maker - mine is made by Cuisinart but whatever, the design is genius. Do you know what this thing will do? You mix up (I just use my blender) four or five cups of any kind of milk, including coconut, with some kind of sweetener, maybe a farm fresh egg if you’re into that (and, oh, we so are), any kind of flavor (like cocoa) and pour it into the bowl that fits into the unit. The unit that sits on your counter. The unit that does not require bags of ice or boxes of salt. The unit that, yeah, ok, it’s not quiet but it’s sure not as loud as that electric ice cream maker of my youth.
The process is as simple as what was stated above. Really. So, you follow the recipe and mix all your contents together, minus any add ins like chocolate chips or bits of fruit (if you put them in earlier, they turn into little frozen rocks). Cocoa and vanilla don’t count, though – throw them in now.
You have to keep the bowl to the unit in your freezer so make sure you have freezer space for that – it’s a 2 qt., 7 inch bowl. If you have more than four people you’re making ice cream for, I recommend getting an extra bowl because it only makes two quarts tops.
No, that’s not enough. You can only use the frozen bowl once to make ice cream before it needs to go back in the fridge so it can be ready to go again in a few hours. If you try to reuse the same bowl twice, your second batch is really just milkshake. So, anyway, put your frozen bowl into your unit and then pour your ice cream base into the bowl. Add the paddle and put the clear, plastic lid on – this locks the paddle into a static position so the ice cream churns around it. Plug it in and turn the switch to “on”.
In half an hour, you have ice cream. A half hour. Ice cream. On your countertop.
After that half hour you’ll hear the bowl start to labor to spin around and that’s how you know it’s done. Usually I have descending hordes come and devour all of what’s in the bowl, thereby obliterating the need to store it in the freezer. I’m trying to create a stash for the holidays, though, so I’m viciously guarding my batches and actually putting them in the freezer. You can’t store the ice cream in the unit’s bowl in the freezer so, using a soft spatula, pour it into a freezable container. I’ve used bread pans, glass bowl, casserole dishes all lined with parchment paper and that’s worked pretty well. Once they’re frozen you can wrap them in freezer paper and label them.
Obviously, this is a great opportunity to de-junk a treat. Have you ever read the back of a box of ice cream? Uh, please do. It’s terrifying. From anti freeze to beef parts to chemicals that you can’t even pronounce. Forget all that and try this. Use rich, raw milk (or pasteurized if you must) or any alternative milk of your choice sourced from a place you trust. Switch out the typical corn syrup and Sorbitol for raw sugar, succanat, honey, maple syrup or even raw agave (although, it’s not really the healthiest thing but this is the treat section, right?). Already you’ve taken a store bought nightmare indulgence into the realm of whole foods, won’t-go-out-of-it’s-way-to-kill-you-young. We’ve even switched out the sugar for raw honey and had this stuff for lunch! Yes, I am the best mother in the world.
Oh, and the most important thing, you ask? Add one to two teaspoons of organic beef gelatin. No one would choose to ingest anti freeze like in those store bought brands but neither do we want our ice cream to be a solid brick. As I researched homemade ice cream recipes this summer, the most helpful hint I found was to add the gelatin to the liquid base before you freeze it and it truly works! Your homemade ice cream will freeze up semi hard to hard in the freezer (hence the term, freezer) so just take it our twenty minutes before you need to eat it, place it in a dish and the gelatin will provide you with a smooth, creamy texture. Plus, add lots of healthy fat to your ice cream base.
Now, of course, you can use that old electric ice cream maker and it will work just fine; and ice cream is always a good idea and anything you make will be healthier for you than the store bought garbage. However, Christmas is coming and you may really need this unit. To make ice cream. On your counter top. Just sayin’.
What are our favorite flavors? That’s a very relative answer. We turned a kefir, Marionberry smoothie into ice cream by adding enough cream to get to four or five cups and 1 cup of raw sugar and that was simply divine. It tasted a bit like a sherbet because the kefir gave it a little kick.
Another tasty invention was salted vanilla. Salted caramel is probably our favorite of the recipes we’ve tried and you make it with succanat, with all that natural caramel flavor infusing your ice cream with wonderfulness. Well, I’m out of succanat but I do have raw sugar and homemade vanilla extra and sea salt so I improvised. May I recommend improvisation?
So, there you go – use quality cream, healthy sugar and certainly the gelatin. And if you can, get a counter top ice cream maker. “We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing”, indeed; I love having things for which to be thankful.
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**This post was shared at the Homestead Barn Hop, Homemade Monday, Motivation Monday, Natural Living Monday, Backyard Farming Connection, Fat Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesday, The Gathering Spot, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Wellness Wednesday, Mama’s Moment, Clever Chicks Blog Hop, Tuesdays with a Twist, Tasty Tuesday, Homemaking Link Up, Encourage one another Wednesday, The HomeAcre Hop, Thank your Body Thursday, Tasty Traditions, Natural Family Friday, Old Fashioned Friday