Friday, December 16, 2011

Home Made Ice Cream

Not my chocolate ice cream... we ate ours before I even thought to take a photo of it!

"That is the best chocolate ice cream I have ever tasted!"  That was what my wife (a chocolate addict/snob by the way) said after she tasted a spoonful of the chocolate ice cream I just scraped out of the ice cream maker.  It was smooth, creamy, and rich... delicious!

I've also made a batch of vanilla and a batch of blueberry-banana sorbet.  Both were some of the best ice creams I have ever had, but I have to agree with my wife.  Those ice creams were really, really good, but that was the best chocolate ice cream I have ever had... and I made it!

I am a foodie.  I admit it.  I love to eat.  I love to cook.  And I cook a lot... a whole lot.  I am pretty good at it.  However, I feel I am honest enough to say that there are a lot of things I make that are not the best I have ever tasted.  I can always throw together something that is good, and at times I make food that is really good.  Fewer still are the times something is great.  But I can count on one hand the times that I have made a meal or dish that is the best I have ever tasted.

So this is a big deal.

With all that said, I have really enjoyed making ice cream.  There are a number if things that I like about it.  As I have just mentioned, I love to make food.  I also love to make food where I know all the ingredients and where they came from.  Cream, milk, sugar, chocolate, eggs, a little vanilla, and just a pinch of salt.  Those were the ingredients in the chocolate ice cream.  Simple!  Maybe not the most healthy, but as an occasional treat, it is not too bad.  Especially compared to the mass produced cartons with ingredients you can't pronounce that you typically find at the grocery store.

The blueberry-banana sorbet was even more simple and healthier... blueberries, a banana, sugar, some water, and a little bit of lime juice.  I plan on experimenting with some more natural sugars, like honey, in the future to see if I can make an even more healthy treat.



Okay, so how am I making my ice cream?  I have two vital tools.  First is the book:  The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz.  The author used to be the pastry chef at Chez Panisse, which was really about the first restaurant to use organic, locally grown food ingredients, and then presented them in a simple or traditional manner that really emphasized the quality of the food itself.  If I ever make it to Berkeley, California, this will be a place I visit.  Sorry for the tangent... this book is great!  Great photos.  Great instructions.  Humor.  And best of all, really, really good results!  I highly recommend this book if you are interested in learning how to make your own ice cream.



The second tool is the ice cream maker machine itself.  I am using the Cuisinart ICE-30BC Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker.  I like it quite a bit.  It is simple to use.  It has only a few parts.  And at under $75, I feel that it is a good price.  Ice cream makers can range from $30 for a hand-crank machine to a few hundred dollars for a quality home machine to a few thousand dollars for a very high-end machine.  So, yeah, under $75 is not bad.

That is it for now.  I'll probably be working my way through David Lebovitz book for a while before I start branching out on my own.  When I do, I'll write about it.  So stay tuned!


2 comments:

  1. I've got the same Cuisinart machine, and I love it. We make ice cream at least once, sometimes twice per week, and have been using the same machine for over 3 years. It's solidly built and just keeps going.

    We haven't even considered going back to supermarket ice cream in all that time. My kids even decline ice cream at their grandparents place, because it's not home made!

    Probably the best batch I ever made was a dulce de leche recipe I found on the net.

    We also make "slushies" in summer - just put cordial through it to make a great treat for the kids.

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  2. When I worked on a dairy farm many years ago, I used to make icecream without any machines except a freezer compartment at the top of the fridge:--
    Our own double cream from Jersey cows, crushed, fully ripe to squidgy raspberries, you only need sugar if the raspberries aren't ripe enough. Mix raspberries and cream, put in freezer, after an hour take it out and stir in all the ice crystals, repeat a bit later. Timing depends on how fast the freezing happens.

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