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Jul 31, 2006 11:59 PM

Got my ice cream maker...............what should I make first?!


Thanks to everybody for the ice cream maker tips this weekend. I just got my ice cream maker. I decided on the cuisinart one as that's what was available.

Any suggestions for a good recipe to start with? I've had my mind stuck on making lavender ice cream but have no idea how. Also, are there any particular ingredients that are best? I.e. whole milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream, etc?

I'm soooooo excited to start using this machine. As soon as I came home, I stuck the bowl in the freezer. :)



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  1. I've been using mine heavily this summer and here's my impression:

    1. There are two basic types of ice cream (I'm not talking about sherbets, sorbets, granitas etc.) One is flavored frozen cream, sometimes called "Philadelphia style;" the other is flavored frozen custard, sometimes called "French style." Both are good but I like the texture of the custard type better; I have a theory that the cooked egg proteins form a lattice that inhibits ice crystal growth, but I may just have watched too many Alton Brown shows.

    2. The custard formula I've used is:

    1 cup whole milk
    1/3 cup sugar
    4 egg yolks
    1 3/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream

    Measure the cream into a bowl. In another bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks. In a saucepan, heat the milk and sugar, stirring to dissolve, until little bubbles just begin to form around the edge. Drizzle this slowly into the yolks, stirring constantly; return the egg-milk mixture to the pan and heat gently until it "coats the spoon." (Roughly 170° F.) Pour this custard into the cream and stir to combine. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate at least four hours, preferably overnight.

    I've combined this with raspberry or blackberry puree (just ran the berries through a food mill with the fine disk to keep out the seeds)--about one-half as much fruit as custard--and poured it into the Cuisinart machine which I then run for a half hour. The result will still be pretty soft; pack it into a container and freeze it for several hours, and there you are. If the berry puree needs sweetening, use simple syrup (sugar boiled in water so it becomes a solution.)

    It's really important to have the custard and the fruit puree really cold before you put them in the machine, and to have the bowl of the machine frozen solid--if you can hear the refrigerant sloshing, it's not cold enough.

    Finally: I just got Emily Luchetti's ice cream recipe book from the Jessica's Biscuit web site, 40% off list price. I've eaten dessert at restaurants where she worked and she really knows what she's talking about.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rootlesscosmo

      The directions above are great... one thing. When you are doing a custard-based recipe, I'd really use a thermometer if you can. When I got my first ice cream maker a long time ago, I tried a custard-based recipe. I used the "coat the back of the spoon" method for trying to see if it was done. The whole thing was eggy. So I didn't do another custard version for a few years. Finally, I tried it again, using a good thermometer. It was wonderful. The key is to make sure that egg custard (after it's been tempered) never gets over 175. To this day, I don't know if I'd know the exact time to turn the heat off - even with the spoon method. However, with a thermometer its almost foolproof. Make sure to strain it after you are done through a fine seive.

      Also, when you first heat the milk and cream (sans egg) - heat it to about 180. It kills the enzymes or proteins or whatever it is that inhibits the lovely creaminess. Then you temper in the eggs (adding some hot liquid to whisked eggs, then adding the eggs back into the rest) bring it to 175, remove it and strain it.

      If you do want to go the non-egg route, alton brown's vanilla bean recipe is very good, very creamy and very vanilla-y:

      Enjoy playing with your ice cream maker. Just remember... even the screw ups still make great eating.

    2. Here is the recipe i like from Gourmet 2003.

      I just modified it last week, to make mango gelato. I like this one because it does not have eggs, and the fat content is relatively low. It is also really easy, if you are used to making pudding.

      Peace, Jill

      There are no eggs in this recipe — it's the cornstarch that gives the gelato a smooth, silky texture. Fine-quality chocolate provides its rich flavor.

      Active time: 20 min Start to finish: 5 hr (includes chilling and freezing)

      3 cups whole milk
      1/4 cup sugar
      3 tablespoons cornstarch
      Scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
      7 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped
      Special equipment: an ice cream maker

      Bring 2 1/4 cups milk just to a boil in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat. While milk is heating, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, and 1/4 cup (cold) milk in a bowl until smooth, then whisk into boiling milk and bring to a boil over moderate heat, whisking. Boil, whisking frequently, 3 minutes (mixture will be very thick). Remove from heat.
      Bring remaining 1/2 cup (cold) milk just to a boil in a 1-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Pour hot milk over chocolate in a bowl and let stand until chocolate is melted, about 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Stir into cornstarch-milk mixture and force through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Cool slightly, stirring frequently to prevent a skin from forming, then cover surface with wax paper and chill until cold, at least 1 1/2 hours.

      Freeze mixture in ice cream maker, then transfer to an airtight container and freeze until hardened, about 3 hours. Let soften 5 minutes before serving.

      Cooks' note:
      • Gelato keeps 1 week.

      Makes about 1 qt.
      September 2003

      5 Replies
      1. re: jill kibler

        "Cooks' note:
        • Gelato keeps 1 week."

        Not around MY house, it doesn't!


        1. re: jill kibler

          How did you modify it for the mango flavoured gelato? Do you think that this could be made plain with just the lavender boiled in the milk for a lavender flavoured gelato?

          Thanks for the recipe.


          1. re: gtrekker2003

            I had two incredibly ripe mangoes, so I chuked them, put them in the blender with the 1/4 cup milk that was supposed to go on the chocolate, and made a beautiful mango cream, then I added it to the custard just as the recipe suggests. You could also add cubed mangoe at the end of the chruning. I hurried along the cooling by placing the bowl with the custard and mango mixture into a bowl of ice and stirring frequently until it was cool. then right into the churn.

            I made basil gelato by infusing the milkwith the flavor of the basil by adding the basil to the warm milk in the first part of the recipe. i bet it would work with the lavendertoo. I am not sure how much lavender you would add, but it might be good if you strained the milk lavender before making the custard. peace, jill

            1. re: jill kibler

              Hi again, Jill!

              Sorry to ask again.I'm not clear on when to add the mangoes. I imagine you don't boil the mango in the milk, right?

              Is this the part where you add the mango:
              "Bring remaining 1/2 cup (cold) milk just to a boil in a 1-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Pour hot milk over chocolate in a bowl and let stand until chocolate is melted, about 1 minute, then whisk until smooth."

              Regarding the basil 'infusing', do you mean you just boil the basil in the milk in the first part of the recipe? When do you remove it? And is this just normal basil that one uses for a pesto?

              Cheers again!


              1. re: gtrekker2003

                Sorry from me...I was not clear. I added the mango milk mixture to the custard just as the recipe tells you to add the chocolate. you don't want to boil the mango mixture.

                By infuse, I meant to heat the milk with the basil, yep. It is normal pest basil, and you can remove it when you are done, or not. up to you. someone else suggested adding the basil, or lavender, to the milk and let it sit in the fridge overnight, for better results. I will try this, becasue I am going to make green tea gelato today.

                We were discussion lavender chocolate gelato at my table last night, mmmmmm. sounds yummy too.

                peace, jill

        2. We tend to use our ice cream maker more for sorbet more than ice cream, especially during the summer when I don't want to heat anything on the stove. The recipe from The Dessert Bible is outstanding, and you can make it with peaches, pineapples, strawberries, you name it.

          We also love Alton Brown's recipe for banana ice cream. It gets grainy a little faster than some ice creams, but it usually doesn't last that long around our house, so it hasn't been a problem.

          1. To make a simple lavender ice cream, just throw a handful of lavender in milk. Bring to a simmer, turn off the heat, cover and let steep in the milk. Strain, then use in any of the recipes above. Lavender ice cream is really great, I especially love it with homemade shortbread (which you can also make as lavender shortbread). Enjoy your ice cream maker!

            2 Replies
            1. re: grubn

              Keep in mind when you go out picking lavender from the garden that some varieties are high in camphor which will NOT taste good!

              1. re: grubn

                if you can remember to do it ahead of time, you can also put your lavender (or any tea or herb) in your milk and put it in the fridge overnight. i think it tends to coax more flavor in this gentle way!

              2. Unless you're already good at making cooked custards, I would say to make a fruity sorbet or cooking-free recipe first just to get the hang of using the machine. The easiest ice cream in my repotoire is banana. Make a milkshake with two bananas and a little milk, then add sweetened condensed milk until the mixture tastes just too sweet to be pleasant. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime to prevent browning, chill the mixture if necessary (not necessary if everything is cold), and churn in ice cream machine. It's a soft, scoopable, refreshing ice cream. And if you add a shot of rum, the texture will stay perfect for days in the freezer.