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I Scream for Ice Cream (Maker)

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So I'm throwing a fancy shmancy gourmet barbecue (no, that's not an oxymoron) for about 40 friends in July. At the end of the day, I'd like to hand out bowls of my homemade gelato to everyone. Problem is, the gelato should be served immediately, 3 days in the freezer at most (and compromising on quality at that). I figure I'll need 1-2 gallons for my guests. I have a one-quart cuisinart, but I need 24 hours in between each quart to freeze the damn freezer bowl part of the machine. You see my (time needed to make gelato) vs. (volume capability of my machine) predicament?? My question is, does anyone know of a company in my area (Chester County, PA ... I'm in Exton) that rents ice cream machines? If not, how likely do you think it is that a local ice cream shop will allow me, for a predetermined fee, to bring them my base and have them put it through their machines? Help.

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  1. Phil, you could try a rental company like Taylor Rentals in Malvern. I know they rent other food equipment (chocolate fountains, popcorn machines, etc) so perhaps they can rent you an ice cream machine. Keep in mind, though that the gelato recipe you make which turns out great quarts might not do so "great" when multiplied the 8-16 times needed to make the 1-2 gallons you mention above. I'm not sure how you could test your recipe out ahead of time, but I would be prepared for a very different product than the one you are used to. To answer your second question, I really doubt that a local ice cream shop would allow you to use their machines--for various liability reasons--but I'd love to be proved wrong in the event that I ever decide to go crazy and throw a fancy shmancy gourmet barbecue filled with gallons of gelato. Good luck!

    1. If you're in a bind, you can buy extra freezer bowls for the ice cream maker, and have some on standby. That should reduce some of your downtime.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Kramer

        Perhaps you could also consider purchasing one of the self-refrigerating machines which don't require pre-freezing, meaning they can turn out batch after batch after batch without that annoying 24-hour freezing time in between. Though I believe some of the really good ones are really pricey (meaning over $1000) I think there are some lower end models which get the job done and don't eat your paycheck. If you're interested in learning more I'd do a search/posting on the cookware board.

      2. Just so you know a commercial gelato making machine is different than an ice cream maker. You need to find a Gelato Maker but since your batch may be quite small compared to the minimum size you may not get the same results. I am a professional ice cream maker and as others responded I would not like to take on the added liability of running your batch thru my machine. Why don't you ask someone ( a Gelato Maker) if they will make it from Scratch with your recipe. I hope you know that most Gelato sold in the US is not authentic and typically is made from a power base mixed with a 2% or Whole milk product. I personally think you are looking for a needle in a Haystack especially if you think the 3 day old Gelato is old.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ICECREAMEXPERT

          For your information, smartypants ... and the rest of you "the-glass-is-half-empty" pessimists ... I did find a very gracious and very reputable ice cream maker in Chester Springs (The Creamery), who will be putting MY gelato through THEIR machine ... as "zany and hairbrained" as that sounds. They are charging me $35 bucks. See, it's all in the power of diplomacy, people. Take a lesson.

          While I'm here and since you're an ice cream expert, what is the difference between ice cream and gelato, because I've gotten 25 different and conflicting answers on that?

          1. re: Phil_A_Mignon

            Hi Phil,

            I'm glad you found someone who could churn your product, and that you have a great sense of humor on top of it. However, I think that you still need to keep two things in mind:

            1. You typically (though not always) can't just take a recipe the yields X number of servings and evenly multiply it by however many additional servings you hope to yield in order to get the same end product in a larger volume. Assuming you are using a cooked mixture, ice cream making is more similar to baking than cooking, and in baking multiplication doesn't follow the normal rules. Even when you double a recipe certain ingredients might not get fully doubled, lest they screw up the end result. I hope what they churn out turns out as you are expecting.

            2. I think the point that many of us were trying to make is that a creamery probably "shouldn't" agree to this, as I believe it might violate some health codes and, in general, just puts their product's integrity at risk. Unless they are planning on fully sanitizing their machines after they churn your gelato through them they are risking the integrity (and safety) of some of their future batches. I'm not saying it's likely that anything bad would result, but I do think it is a possibility that a food establishment shouldn't be taking. I wouldn't want to buy ice cream from a place who just churned my neighbors batch of ice cream, if only because who knows what kind of crap my neighbor put into it, and with what level of sanitation he did it.

            Again, good luck with your gelato.

            1. re: Laura D.

              I see your point. All I can say is, they're rollin' the dice on me. If a widespread e coli epidemic hits the Chester County area around the third week in July, you know where it came from.

              On other matters, you sound proficient in ice cream making. So let me ask you: How does one take a recipe that makes 3 1/2 cups and increase it to yield enough for about 30 people??

              1. re: Phil_A_Mignon

                Hi Phil,

                Honestly, I can't answer that question as it's not something I've ever done. I could give you advice on baking (things like how much baking powder/baking soda to use when you increase a recipe threefold) but I can't with this. Perhaps ICECREAMEXPERT, above, could, or perhaps the creamery where you are taking your mixture would be of help. I definitely don't think your product would be bad if you just kept the recipe as is and multiplied it by whatever number you needed to feed 30, but I think perhaps it could be "better" if you tinkered with the quantities a bit. If you are really curious I'd post on the home cooking page, as there are lots of people there who are very proficient at ice cream making and have much more knowledge than I. I hope it turns out well!

        2. What are the chances of calling a half dozen of your friends to round up a hand full of machines? You might be surprised at how many macvhines are around just gathering dust.

          3 Replies
          1. re: yayadave

            Great idea, but my friends couldn't tell an ice cream maker from a '67 Chevy, let alone own one.

            1. re: Phil_A_Mignon

              Sometimes we just have to bite the bullet and scale down our planning. Desserts that have to be made the day of are really demanding. And if you're having 40 guests, you'll probably have plenty to do without that pressure. Maybe there's an upscale geletoria around?

              1. re: yayadave

                Hey Dave,

                Thanks, but refer to my response to ICECREAMEXPERT above. I got it handled, no problem.

          2. Hi:

            We've split off a discussion of the difference between gelato and ice cream to the General Topics board:

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/533161