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New Ice Cream Maker!

First of all let me begin with this, I am so thrilled! I finally bought an ice cream maker. I am not sure about the brand, I haven't researched consumer reports but it is a Cuisinart.
Anyway,I have wanted one so badly for so long.
Do any of you have this machine, and even if you don't but you do make ice cream and or yogurt, what is your favorite and would you share your recipe with me?

I am anxiously awaiting the white peaches that my friendly neighbors give to me every year. That and the figs. Has anyone a good recipe for peach ice cream? or any other for that matter? Do you use it for any other chilly desserts or savory food items?

Talk to me!

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  1. I miss my ice cream maker! After much pleading a got one for christmas when I was about 13 (what can I say...I was a strange teenager) and it has long since bit the dust after falling of a high shelf and cracking the bowl, but in the years it was in operation we ate A LOT of ice cream.

    I'm pretty sure it was a cuisinart. I loved it, but I had no basis for comparison. It was a little loud and my mom always made me make ice cream on the front porch so she didn''t have to listen to it, but besides that I never had any complaints. The motor kept going strong no matter what I threw in there, and I made some chunky ice creams.

    The winners in our house were cheesecake ice cream and raspberry custard ice cream. (not cheesecake raspberry custard though...although that sounds good now) I love super rich creamy ice creams, so any fruit or vanilla ice cream I started out with a basic custard recipe (I used the one in the booklet that came with the ice cream maker, but I'm sure any basic custard would do) And then just added the various fruits, sometimes cooked down, sometimes left chunky, sometimes a mix of both. Usually at least sprinkled with sugar and left to sit to accumulate some juice either way. Always sugar to taste since fruit varies in sweetness.

    Cheesecake Ice Cream - very rich. Very fattening. Very simple (as all good ice creams are).

    1 c. heavy cream
    1 c. sour cream
    1 package cream cheese (8 oz?)
    3/4 c. sugar
    big splash of lemon juice
    splash of vanilla

    Mix everything together until smooth, starting with various dairys and then adding sugar, lemon and vanilla, chill and freeze "according to manufacturer's directions."

    I always thought about adding swirls of buttery graham cracker crumbs for the crust, but I could never make myself mess with it.

    19 Replies
    1. re: wawajb

      Oh you are my hero!!! Cheesecake ice cream how decadent!
      Thank you I will definitely use you recipe, I have most all of the ingredients on your list, need the heavy cream though. And I take it there are products that read "whipping cream" or "cream" that I shoudl go for one that reads "heavy" since it will probably affect the outcome?
      I am with you on the super rich creamy ice creams. I also want to make gelattos so I know that I will get a lot of enjoyment and be become very popular with my new machine!

      1. re: chef chicklet

        I think it'd be fine with any variation on cream, although obviously a little lighter with light cream or half and half. So just 'cream' or whipping cream or heavy cream...whatever you can find should be fine really.

      2. re: wawajb

        There's an ice cream place in Philly where they mix cream cheese, graham cracker crumbs, and a topping of your choice (strawberries or chocolate chips mostly) into vanilla ice cream and it is amazing. I think adding graham cracker to your ice cream might be even better.

        1. re: Adrienne

          Where in Philly? My mom lives there and I might require an ice cream excursion next time I visit...

          1. re: wawajb

            ScoopDeVille. Used to be on 18th off Chesnut, I think it's the reverse now (on Chestnut, off 18th). They have a wide array of things they will slurry into an ice cream for you - and they have a pretty good selection of flavors including decent low fat vanilla and chocolate -- I recommend the low fat vanilla as the base for the cheesecake mix if you still want to go with that after you read all the choices :)

        2. re: wawajb

          Any idea how to best in incorporate fresh strawberries into this ice cream? TIA

          1. re: TerriL

            Chop some strawberries up in your food processor or by hand. Try to separate the excess liquid from the berries as it tends to create ice in the freezing process. I think I would fold them into your mixture as it's freezing.

            1. re: fini

              Thanks for your reply -- what do you think about adding sugar to the strawberries or heating them first? Tart strawberries might be flavorless, but undissolved sugar would be grainy. Maybe it would be better to just make a sauce to go on top.

              1. re: TerriL

                It really depends on how sweet the berries are and how sweet you really want your ice cream. I tend to lean on subtle sweetness, so I would go with sweet berries and only a tiny amount of sugar if any. It also depends on how much sugar is already in your ice cream/gelato base.

                1. re: TerriL

                  Maybe sweeten the berries with a sugar syrup instead of regular white sugar?

                  1. re: TerriL

                    I agree with fini...and yes, tart strawberries might be flavorless, but you don't just want to throw sugar in there randomly. I think it depends a bit on what kind of texture you are looking for with the strawberries. Are you looking for a vanilla ice cream with strawberry chunks or a strawberry ice cream with strawberry chunks or a smooth strawberry flavored ice cream?
                    For the first I'd say follow fini's advice.
                    For strawberry ice cream with chunks I'd suggest taking about 2/3 of the strawberries, chopping small and cooking down with some sugar to taste. (make it so you'd want to eat it with a spoon, not super-sweet), mixing the (cooled) cooked strawberry mush into your base before freezing and then folding in the remaining chopped strawberries while freezing.
                    For straight stawberry ice cream I'd suggest throwing them in a food processor and then cooking down (with sugar to taste again) to a syrupy constancy and then adding to your unfrozen base. (after cooling of course)

                    Another thing that might help is if you feel you need a sugar adjustment at the last minute and have concerns about undisolvoed sugar, a drizzle of simple syrup might be the way to go.

                    1. re: wawajb

                      I think this is great advice. Also, if you don't have simple syrup on hand and don't want to deal with making it and waiting for it to cool, I've found powdered sugar to be a great last-minute addition for ice cream -- it really doesn't alter the texture, and as long as you give it a few minutes in the machine it should spread out nicely.

                      1. re: Adrienne

                        Thanks for all the tips, and to wawajb for providing the original recipe. I made the cheesecake ice cream today and it was fantastic -- very smooth and creamy. I decided to make it plain the first time, so I could taste the flavors better, and decide how to proceed with strawberries. After trying it, I think I would actually make a compote to put on top, so that the strawberry flavor is more intense.

                        1. re: TerriL

                          I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'm actually pretty new here on chowhound and I think this is the first time that I've suggested a recipe and somebody has used it! I'm absurdly giddy...I love this place. :)

                          1. re: wawajb

                            Cool! I also wanted to report that this ice cream keeps extremely well -- I assume because it is nothing but fat. I stored in it a flattish tupperware and pressed plastic wrap tightly on top, sort of like storing gelato.

                2. re: TerriL

                  Hope someone can help.

                  Made Cherries Garcia last year and the cheeries were as hard as a tootsie pop. how do you keep these guys from turning to rocks in the freezer?

                  1. re: jfood

                    I have had limited success with three basic methods, all designed around making the fruit more "freeze proof".

                    Easiest (but least satisfying) is the simply leave the cherries out in colander with a layer of superfine sugar to help deiscate them. Loss of juice can be quite a lot for ripe cherries.

                    A little more effective is to deliberately choose some slightly less ripe cherries and then steep then in a cooled simple syrup. If the syrup is too hot the cherries cook and the whole texture of fresh fruit is lost.

                    Another option is kirsch. You don't want to marinate the cherries in the liquor (unless that is what you want, kirsch ice cream) but a light 'dressing' is somewhat effective in keeping the fruit chewy.

                    I suspect that the Ben & Jerrys guys have some other secrets -- probably directly related to the temp of the ice cream making machines/freezing point of the cream/milk mix.

                    1. re: renov8r

                      I have a jar of cherries from Trader Joes in my pantry. Dark, plump Bing Cherries that I'm wondering if I drain them well, could be used somehow with dark chocolate chunks. Make the ice cream pink with the juice? And then add the cherries and chocolate at the end. Kirsch might be addional taste to add as you suggest. I like that idea. Since I probably will have to some testings before I get the amounts that I want. Do you swap the liquids in the recipes when adding flavors that are in liquid form?

                    2. re: jfood

                      Had the same thing happen with my Cherries Garcia. Simmer the halved cherries with a small amount of sugar and touch of water. The sugar and heat leaches out some of the juice inside the cherries. Cook till the liquid concentrates (the water component of the juice will evaporate -- that's the culprit) and the syrup is re-absorbed into the cherries. Use a low heat and watchful eyes.

                3. The recipe book that comes with the Cuisinart Ice Cream maker has some very good recipes. I use those recipes. I also have a wonderful but slightly complicated recipe for corn ice cream that I make when corn is in season- let me know if you want it and I will post it (have to look for it).

                  1. I have a cuisinart ice cream maker. I love it! There are a few things to know though.

                    First, make sure you've frozen your insert for at least 48 hours for it to work most effectively. The longer the better. As a matter of fact, I keep both inserts at all times in my chest freezer. If you've got room, it's the thing to do.

                    Secondly, the machine is very loud. I'd recommend not using it when you expect to sit around in the same room and talk to people.

                    With that said, I've made plain old vanilla ice cream in it. I've also made a lemon-champagne granita. Last weekend I made a canteloupe sorbet with a hint of vanilla that came out very yummy.

                    I'm looking forward to peach season as well, because I'm making peach ice cream. I'll be doing strawberry too when my berries ripen. I was thinking of maybe throwing a touch of balsamic in the strawberry, or making a thick reduction and doing a balsamic swirl.
                    I also want to do more herbal ice creams/sorbets. Basil and watermelon...stuff like that.

                    Enjoy it! It's a wonderful addition to your kitchen!

                    18 Replies
                    1. re: QueenB

                      QB,

                      Jfood needs a favor. I am staring at a large cantaloupe and a large honeydew, with one of each already cut in the fridge. Mrs Jfood and little jfood leaving tomorrow night for some girlie R&R so I need something to make with these two fruits. I thought about cantaloupe ice cream (I had some in NJ in 1970 and remember how much I liked it).

                      My eyes lit up with Cantaloupe sorbet. Any chance for a primer on how you made it. TIA

                      And I gotta remember to put my insert in the freezer when I get home. :-)))

                      1. re: jfood

                        Sure thing jfood.
                        First, make up a simple syrup (I used 1 c white sugar to 1 c water). Stir until combined, then bring to a boil. Let it boil until the syrup is clear (I believe it took about 3-4 minutes). Let it cool down a bit until it's at room temp. You can keep the leftover syrup in the fridge forever.

                        Then, take your food processor, or a blender, and whirl half a cantaloupe (or honeydew) until it's pureed. Add the juice of half a lime, and two tablespoons of vanilla vodka (you can leave this part out). Then put in 1/2 cup of your simple syrup, whirl to combine and taste. If it isn't sweet enough for you (this will totally depend on the sweetness of your melon) add more syrup until you get the taste you like. (Then, I added a cup of milk to make it more creamy, but you can leave this out)

                        Pour into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your instructions. This fills up my 1 1/2 qt Cuisinart.

                        It's a great way to show off the sweetness of the melon. You could also make a mint-infused syrup that would go really well. Or basil...

                        Enjoy your time alone!

                        PS - you can do this with any soft fruit. If you use raspberries/blackberries, etc, make sure you strain the puree before freezing, to get the seeds out.

                        1. re: QueenB

                          Thanks QB. Will report back if I get to it during the Hazan-a-thon.

                          1. re: jfood

                            help again please

                            took out of freezer and it is not smooth as expected but very hard. any idea what i might have done wrong or do i need to leave out for a few minutes before scooping?

                            tia

                            1. re: jfood

                              According to Shirley Corriher in Cookwise, the most important factor in getting a scoopable ice or ice cream is sugar concentration. The sugar is supposed to depress the freezing point enough to prevent getting a giant popsicle. Pectin, honey, or alcohol are supossed to help too.

                              1. re: jfood

                                First, did you add any alcohol? If not, that's ok, but it helps keep the sorbet smooth and soft.

                                I'd leave it out a bit and see what happens. They do say that sorbet is best when it's eaten within the first day. After that, the texture does change.

                                1. re: jfood

                                  jfood, one more thing...how did you actually make your sorbet? (how much sugar syrup, alcohol...did you use milk?)

                                  The reason I ask is because I took mine out of the freezer just now (one week after I made it) and it has the exact texture of "wooder ice" AKA water ice. Soft and crumbly, not hard at all.

                                  So, trying to figure out what happened with yours.

                                  1. re: QueenB

                                    Made both a cantaloupe and a strawberry yesterday.

                                    Each was fruit in the processor until smooth. Into a bowl and added about 1/2 C of sugar syrup and maybe a 1/3 C of whole milk. Into Cuisinart IC maker. Freezer reads about -1 to -5 degrees and both are as you described, ice water. Instead of taking a chance tonight went to the grocer and picked up some B&J ice cream. Will try to thaw a little tomorrow when the other Jfoods come back but tonight I suffer through Cherries Garcia and Double fudge.

                                    I am at a loss as well as you.

                                    1. re: jfood

                                      Geez jfood, I have no idea, but I feel really bad, considering it was my recipe. It was definitely creamy on the first day, but as Bittman says, maybe the texture has been lost, making it more of a water ice...which still tastes darn good. Sorry about that.
                                      I hope you manage to suffer through your Ben & Jerry's. ;-)

                                      1. re: QueenB

                                        No biggie, and i learned something. All the other dishes went great, some pork dumplings, a cheeseburger, and Hazan's canneloni. Mrs Jfood and I will eat some tomorrow noght anyway.

                                  2. re: jfood

                                    How frozen was it when you first put it IN the freezer? It should be at a texture where you could eat it before putting it in the freezer for the best results.

                                    When I first got my machine I had what you're describing happen a few times -- especially with sorbet -- and I ultimately realized that if I let it freeze & spin for twice as long as the machine instructions said, it improved the texture later on quite a bit. For my particular machine, that also means freezing the bucket for at least twice as long as the instructions said (I honestly usually leave it in the freezer for about 3 days before using it) in order to keep it cold enough to go for an hour without starting to melt.

                                    1. re: Adrienne

                                      A

                                      I did not process anywhere close to an hour, maybe 20 minutes. Ther's a theory i need to think about.

                                      1. re: jfood

                                        Well jfood, did you and Mrs jfood eat it?

                                        1. re: QueenB

                                          QB

                                          Last night I took the strawberry out of the freezer and left it on the counter for ten minutes. It had a lousy texture but the tqaste was really good. So i scraped some into a bowl and ate some of it. I told Mrs jfood I was going to throw it away. I also think someone had the right idea of trying to "overfreeze" it in the ice cream maker and i am givingthat a shot with some honeydew tomorrow.

                                          To satisfy my sweet tooth I was luck enough to lister to some Chowers about some great oranges from Texas, which arrived over the weekend. I ate two of these wahile Mrs jfood crashed after a long day.

                                          Tonight is Idol so I'll defrost some of the cantaloupe and try a bowl of this one.

                                          I hope the overfreeze works.

                                          Did you eat or toss?

                                          1. re: jfood

                                            Ate. I like the "Italian Water Ice" texture. Reminds me of home. I have a feeling that mine turned out differently texture-wise than yours did though. Mine never froze solid, it stayed soft.

                                            1. re: QueenB

                                              Ode to Sorbet.

                                              I tried to defrost, add some sugar syrup to bring down freeze point and placed back into Cuisinart. I froze until it did not turn any more. I scooped it out and tried. The texture right out of the machine was a perfect 10, so my spirits lifted. :-00

                                              Then back into the freezer. 24-hour later I have Rita's Water Ice again. :-((

                                              My solution.

                                              Serve only the night it is made. Get all of the ingredients really cold. Take machine and place in Mrs Jfood's office because it is too loud for the kitchen. When I plate the entrees, place the mixture in the machine and turn it on and close the door.

                                              By the time dessert is served, the sorbet should be ready.

                                2. re: QueenB

                                  Just came out of the cuisinart. Fantastic. TY so much.

                                  Cannister back into the freezer for strawberry sorebt later today.

                                  1. re: jfood

                                    You're welcome! Really glad you like it.

                            2. Lucky, lucky you! I too received one only recently (a Cuisinart). It is loud as others have mentioned...so either make it before company comes or have it churn out of earshot. So far I have only made the basic vanilla and chocolate listed in the book. THe vanilla ice cream (w/ about a tablespoon of extract) is, imo, best fresh...all soft-serve and vanilla-y. The chocolate, while very good and of course lacking those icky gums in store bought ice cream, didn't seem quite as extraordinary but yummy none the less. Can't wait to experiment with sorbets if it ever warms up for good around here!

                              Enjoy!

                              1. I have a Cuisinart ice cream maker as well. For the most part, I am happy with the machine and the ensuing product.

                                I really like a smooth, creamy texture to my ice cream. However, I have noticed the ice cream I make in the Cuisinart tends to crystallize pretty quickly. Does anyone have any tips to minimize the crystallization?

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: marthadumptruck

                                  More fat! Usually the fattier the ice cream mix the easier it is to get it nice and creamy. So nothing less than whole milk, and preferablly a good portion of cream. Also custard bases usually come out creamier than just straight uncooked milk bases.

                                  Without resorting to the kinds of gums and stableizers that commercial ice cream makers use, I have no idea how to make a low-fat creamy ice cream. Although that doesn't mean there isn't a way to do it. :)

                                  1. re: wawajb

                                    Yes, I agree with wawajb. Custard based ice creams tend to not crystallize and come out much creamier than lower-fat ice creams.

                                    1. re: wawajb

                                      Does plain gelatin count as "resorting"? My frozen yogurt recipe has a pack of gelatin in it and I'm pretty sure that's the only reason it comes together.

                                      1. re: wawajb

                                        My trick is nonfat powdered milk and/or low-fat evaporated milk (NOT sweetened condensed). I usually start with whole or 2% milk and then add either or both of the above until it looks thick enough (I'm sorry this is so subjective, but I realized that I have absolutely no idea what quantities I use: I just try to get it as "thick" as the full-fat version) I also use fruit sugars (reduced no sugar added fruit juices, pureed fruit, or cane juice) as they have a lower glycemic value than straight glucose.

                                        My husband just showed me a quick recipe I had jotted down for him one time for Banana-Maple ice cream:
                                        1 c whole milk
                                        2 egg yolks
                                        -- combine over medium heat, whisking, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and cool.
                                        Add: 1/4 c nonfat dry milk, splash of vanilla extract, 2 overripe bananas (mashed), 1/4-1/3 cup maple syrup (to taste).
                                        Mix well and throw into your ice cream maker!

                                        TIPS:
                                        If it's too thick, add a bit more whole milk.
                                        Chopped pecans or walnuts add nice taste and texture

                                        The mashed banana helps thicken the mixture, and I usually make this when I haven't been diligent about getting through that bunch of bananas and I end up with nearly black ones ... =)