Ice Creme or sorbet without an ice creme maker?
Is it possible to make decent ice creme or sorbets without an ice creme maker? If so, anybody have any simple recipes or methods to share?
I was especially interested in lavender flavoured ice creme and a watermelon sorbet.
I sympathize with having a tiny kitchen. My kitchen is so small that I often pretend I'm living on a boat (one that I could afford, that is).
Sorbets and granitas are the way to go. For sorbets, just blend the ingredients and freeze - reblending if necessary to break up the iciness. For watermelon sorbet, freeze chunks of watermelon, then whiz with some sort of liquid (rum or mint-flavored sugar syrup or white grape juice or whatever), then freeze again. If you want a granita, occasionally scrape the half-frozen mixture with a fork.
Another cool trick is to make a really thick smoothie in the blender, starting with half frozen and half unfrozen fruit, and pop it in the freezer for an hour or so to firm up.
Tonight's dessert was a smoothie with banana (unfrozen), blueberry (frozen) and Chambord (enough to make the blender go; i.e., lots). Except we were too impatient to freeze it afterwards. Yum!
I actually have an ice cream maker, but I also accidentally discovered a way to make chocolate ice cream.
I had made a chocolate sauce by melting down a bag of chocolate chips in a double boiler and adding a pint of fat free half and half to it, whisking until smooth. We used it for dipping macaroons, and there was so much sauce left over I decided I couldn't use it up soon, so I put it in a plastic gladware container and froze it. When it was frozen, it just looked like ice cream to me, so out of curiosity I scooped a little out with a spoon, and lo and behold it was delicious, creamy ice cream! I was very pleased with my little discovery, even though it will only work for flavors available as chips and even though I have an ice cream maker.
I bought a Deni with an extra bowl, I think I paid under $40 for the lot. It's not a lot of space, I think the unit is about 15" high and 6 - 8" across. It will simplify your ice cream making considerably.
No, home made ice cream is not cheaper than most store bought. It's comparable with the ultra premium brands - Haagen Dazs, Ben & Jerry's. But IMO the flavors are far superior. I don't like the sweetness of most commercial ice creams, even the boutique versions, so I can reduce the amount of sugar to suit my taste. That's just one example, I put a lot more fruit into my mixes because I want an intensely fruity flavor. And so on and so on.
Nigella Lawson describes a labor intensive method of making ice cream by taking the custard or whatever out of the freezer every so often and beating it like crazy to break up the ice crystals and to incorporate air into the mixture. I've never tried this, but I'm assuming it works ok. I have a small Krups ice cream maker that I bought when I lived in a small apartment with what seemed like a miniscule kitchen and it was pretty inexpensive (under $80). I eat a lot of ice cream, and I can't really make enough to keep up with my habit, so I make some and buy some. I don't know that it's much cheaper to make your own -- the ingredients can be pricey depending on what you are making and it does take a small amount of effort, but the purity, flavor, and variety of what you can make just makes it worth it.
I didn't want to buy one because of space. I live in a teeny tiny little Manhattan studio.
Is there a small-sized, space saving one you can recommend? That's also easy to use? I don't have a Kitechen Aid processor. I just have a blender.
Would you say it's more or less expensive to make your own ice creme versus buying it at the grocery store?
I've been making and enjoying a lot of ice cream this summer. I see Chowpatty has already described some methods. But an electric churn makes the whole thing sooooo much easier.
Is there a reason you don't want to get one? They're cheap now. As little as $50 for one of the coolant in the sealed bowl type. If space is an issue and you have a KitchenAid you can get such a bowl adapted for the stand mixer and only have a single bowl to store.
Then I can give you recipes if you like. I have a good number that I heartily endorse. But the best things we've had this summer is fresh very ripe fruit mashed to a rough puree with cream. We sweeten this to just a tad sweet and freeze. The sugar is important for the texture of the ice cream as well as flavor. And the reason to go a little on the sweet side is that freezing will dull the flavors so you want to compensate a little. Other things can be added - an extract, a splash of limoncello, Grand Marnier or whatever sounds good. And things like nuts or chips can be folded in when you pack the churned cream into an airtight freezer container to cure for several hours or overnight.
You'll be so glad you made it yourself.
You don't need any different kind of recipe, just a good method. The other night on the Food Channel they made ice cream by putting the ingredients in a ziplock bag, then putting a bunch of ice in a garbage bag and throwing it back and forth. They also tried those balls you roll around on the floor with ice cream in them.
Granitas are traditionally made by just scraping a frozen pan of ingredients. A watermelon granita would probably be a good place to start, just google some recipes.