I recently made a purchase I was quite hesitant about, but am now extremely glad I did. I bought an ice cream maker. In my mind it was the old fashioned, electric crank style of maker.
I remember a few times making ice cream in one of those as a kid. My mom mixed cream and sugar with other ingredients and filled a long cylinder with the mixture and a long beater. Then my dad would seal the cylinder and slide it into another container. Into that container went ice and rock salt.
Then, the electric crank was attached to the part of the beater sticking out of the top of the cylinder and we waited for the ice to melt all of its coldness into the metal canister, freezing the ingredients inside as they continued to mix.
It seemed to take forever.
The machine I bought is not like that kind. Sure, it has an electric top that attaches to a beater, but there is no ice or rock salt required.
Instead, the machine’s base gets frozen overnight before being attached to the top. Once it is attached, the liquid is poured into the machine through a port in the lid. Then, it only takes about 20 minutes to have soft serve ice cream.
A recipe for vanilla ice cream came inside the box.
For the first batch, I followed that recipe exactly. I decided it was a good idea to use a tried-and-true recipe while learning how to use the machine. I didn’t want to leave too much to chance.
Despite the differences in the machine of my memory and the one on my counter, the ice cream was just as creamy and delicious. I don’t know if there was any of the first batch that was left alone long enough to let it get hard enough to scoop.
A few days later, I made a second batch.
This time, I added cocoa powder to the base recipe. I figured, cocoa is the only difference between the recipes for my homemade vanilla and chocolate puddings, so it seemed like a legitimate thing to try. Another 20 minutes passed before we were eating pretty decent chocolate ice cream.
It only took those two successes for me to become bolder with the recipes. I have since blended fresh pineapple into the base. It wasn’t bad, but should have had a touch more sugar in the mix. We ate it with a small drizzle of chocolate syrup on top.
Most recenlty, I mixed a half cup of raspberry jam into the base in place of the sugar.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
This was the perfect mixture of sweetness and it added chunks of fruit – oh, it was hard to stop eating this batch.
I’m sure there will be a few failures involved in this summer’s experiments. Fortunately, among the differences between the machines is that the new one is much smaller than the one from my youth. It doesn’t make much more than enough for our family to each have one serving, so a less than stellar batch won’t last long anyhow.
Although, to be fair, the best recipes will be made over and over again and I’m pretty sure they won’t last long either.