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Aug 11, 2008 09:36 AM

Making Ice Cream with new Cuisinart. I SUCK :( HELP PLZ!

Bought a Cuisinart Ice-30 and David Lebowitz's Perfect scoop last weekend. This is an ice cream maker where you have to pre-freeze the bowl hours in advance. Excited about the possibility of fresh decadent ice cream I got to work.

1rst try: Vietnamese coffe ice cream. Followed the recipe to a T. Pre-froze my bowl the recommended time(maybe started a little sooner). Churned for the maximum amount of time they suggested. RESULT = SOUPY LIQUID MUSH ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH.
Threw it in the freezer, became solid but had so many ice crystals in it, it was mroe like granita sigh....

2nd try: Strawberry frozen yogurt. Followed recipe again. Froze the bowl even longer again even though I could still faintly hear water swish-swashing. Churned for like 15 minutes more than in the instructions. RESULT = SOUPY MESS ONCE AGAIN. Froze it, and it became hard granita(delicious but not what i wanted) WTF......

Patience isn't one of my many qualities so this is frustrating me so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I dont know what I'm doing wrong:

-Can it be I'm screwing up the recipe? I don't think so. I'm measuring everything quite precisely.
-Can it be the machine? I don't think so. It's suppost to spin the bowl which it's doing.
-Can it be the recipe book? NO WAY. Everyone is raving about Mr. Lebowitz's recipes and are having great results...

My guess: freezing the bowl or freezing the base. Maybe it isn't cold enough. Maybe my freezer isn't cold enough(I just checked it and it was at medium, I put it to extra cold).

I'm going to try it for a 3rd time later this week. A basic vanilla egg based ice cream. I've froze the bowl for more than 48 hours with my freezer at full blast. I'm going to chill the base for atleast 4 hours. PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD MAKE IT WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyone with any experience plz feel free to help :(. I am desperate and sooooo pissed off.

ps. A question: some recipes tell you to chill the base some to freeze it. If im suppost to freeze it for how long? won't it become a block of ice?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Well hard to say, but I have a feeling your bowl isn't cold enough. I keep mine wrapped in the plastic bag it came in, ( we have the same machine) and then I leave it in the freezer all the time. I noticed that mine starts looking like ice cream in about 20 minutes. I use the recipes that came with the ice cream maker... sometimes I use cream, or I have also used milk and even low fat with great results. Now I've never used a custard (egg based) recipe, so I am not familar with those.
    Maybe try the recipe for vanilla ice cream from Cuisnart, if you need it, I can get it for you.

    After you've made your ice cream, also a little trick I do is, I lay plastic wrap over the surface of the ice cream before I put the lid on. For whatever that's worth, I don't get ice crystals.For storage,I use a standard RubberMaid container with a snap air tight lid If that doesn't work, I'm at a loss.

    I've never chilled a mix overnight either..but that might be necessary for custards/

    This is a photo of when I first got the machine, it is Cuisnart's vanilla ice cream recipe with berry puree swirled in. Is so good!

    2 Replies
    1. re: chef chicklet

      Concur on temperature.

      I have the KitchenAid bowl and churn.

      The first time I used it, I froze the bowl in my fridge's freezer. Result was not good.

      Then, I threw the bowl in my chest deep-freezer (don't ask why I didn't do this in the first place!). MUCH better results.

      Seems these bowls are designed to get very cold.

      Hope this helps.

      1. re: Monch

        Well, this is really good advice only if one has a chest deep freezer. It seems a bit extravagant to purchase one just for ice cream-making purposes.

        I have a Donvier hand-cranker and keep the freezer container in the freezer all the time. I started do this when I wanted ice cream and realized that I'd washed and put away the canister in the cupboard.

        This has always worked for me, but, as I say, I have a Donvier not a Cuisinart.

        Good luck!

    2. If you have a suitable thermometer (probe thermometers work well for this), check the temperature of your freezer. It should be 0* f or below. If it is above that you should try cleaning out the heat exchanger with a vacuum or some compressed air. Older freezers may require a Freon charge if there has been some leakage over the years. I generally chill my base for at least six hours before using it in my similar style ice cream freezer. Other things that could cause the problem you are experiencing would be too much sugar or alcohol in the ice cream base.

      1. Definitely chill the ice cream mixture before you put it in the machine. Put it in the fridge, not the freezer, for several hours.

        I had the same experiences with my ice cream maker. I was sure it was busted ( ), but once I chilled the mixture overnight, it was fine ( ).

        Yeah, it's a pain to have to wait for ice cream, but that's life. Mix it up in the morning, then process at night. Or mix it up in the evening, and process the next day. As you get more experienced, you can experiment to see how many hours it really takes get the mixture cold enough.


        1. How long do you have to churn before you actually see a change in texture? I churn it for like 40 minutes and it changes from liquid to a slurpy like thing. It must be the bowl isn't cold enough. What is it suppost to look like when it's done? haagendaz hard? Breyers medium consistency? Or Soft serve Ice cream?

          10 Replies
          1. re: Evilbanana11

            You're churning too long.

            freeze the bowl at least 24 hours. Like others I leave mine in the freezer all the time so it's always ready to go. But if I'm making more than one batch in a week I always make sure it's frozen at least 24 hours.

            Make sure everythign is cold cold cold. I usually let my base chill in the fridge over ngiht. But at least a few hours. If I'm really in a hurry I'll cool it in an ice bath in the freezer. Always make sure's it's very cold. Even if I make a non-custard base I chill stuff until it's very cold(for instance the cheesecake ice cream in the Perfect Scoop. make it in the food processor but I chill it overnight before churning).

            Churn 15-20 minutes. You'll see it change texture. It should be like soft serve when you take it out of the machine. Then put it in a container to harden/ripen in the freezer if you wish.

            Letting it go 40 minutes, you've gotten past the prime poitn and your bowl is probably starting to warm and melt.

            1. re: Evilbanana11

              It's going to look more like soft serve consistency. If you are hearing liquid in the bowl, it isn't frozen enough to get the job done. I don't chill my base overnite, just until it's uniformly cold, and I've had no problems. You should see a change in the texture after 15-20 minutes, it starts as slush around the edges.

              1. re: Evilbanana11

                You will get a thick milk shake like consistency.I think your ice cream is fine, you just need to freeze it and store it properly. If you looked at the photo I provided, that's after I put it back in the freezer to firm up, then its scoopable...About 4 hours. And I keep the plastic always on top to prevent ice crystals. Usually the ice cream only last at the most 3-4 days.

                1. re: chef chicklet

                  No mine looks nothing like that, even after being frozen. I will try again and post the results by this weekend. Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

                  Wish me luck.

                  1. re: Evilbanana11

                    Have you tried a recipe yet without using a custard base?
                    If that fails, then I might question the machine...
                    How disappointing!

                    Well good luck to you, keeping my fingers crossed!

                    1. re: chef chicklet

                      I've tried to make both a vietnamese coffee ice cream and a strawberry frozen yogurt. They both came out of the machine in a slurpy like state. After some time in the freezer they solidify and are completely fine taste-wise but the texture is more like a granita/sorbet. I'm looking for something a lot more smooth tasting like the ice cream we buy.

                      I've decided on Lebowitz's normal Coffee ice cream(egg yolk and cream based) for my next experiment. My churning bowl has been in the freezer since Sunday, I will make the ice cream base thursday, chill it overnight and finish the whole thing friday.

                      Hope it works this time. :)

                      1. re: Evilbanana11

                        Your ice cream could be freezing too solidly because it's not getting enough air churned into it while freezing. A properly frozen bowl will freeze the ice cream mixture with air churned into it - it'll still be like soft serve when done, but after being the freezer it should stay creamy and not get icy.

                        The coffee ice cream was one of my favorites, but I make it without the eggs. Also, I have to use decaf coffee beans or I can't eat the ice cream at night!

                        1. re: leanneabe

                          If I want to reduce the number of eggs or eliminate them completely, should I modify anything else in the recipe?

                          1. re: Evilbanana11

                            There are a few recipes that I prefer w/o eggs. I basically just eliminate the eggs entirely and follow the basic no-egg vanilla recipe + flavor add-ins. I think I steeped the coffee beans as directed in the coffee recipe but used the ratio of milk/cream/sugar from the vanilla.

                2. re: Evilbanana11

                  It's supposed to look somewhere from soft-serve ice cream to quite firm soft serve. Definitely not hard. I churn mine in the same machine you have (a couple years older, though) about 20 minutes.

                  It makes a world of difference if my freezer bowl is in the freezer a full 24 hours, in the back of the freezer. I only have a crappy fridge (thanks, landlord!) and I'm sure my dud batches early on were due to a bowl that wasn't cold enough.

                  And make your custard the day ahead and chill it ALL THE WAY COLD.

                3. Refrigerate the ice cream base until it's cold (even if you start with cold ingredients). I start with a couple of hours, then "test" it by sampling with a spoon (you know, temperature and taste test).

                  If you can hear sloshing in the ice cream bowl, it's not frozen enough. We leave the bowl in the freezer during ice cream season, but if it's been out for a while, I leave it in for 2 days before I try to use it. But, even if the bowl is cold enough, if you don't start with a cold base, you'll end up with slushy ice cream.

                  Also, don't try to make 2 batches of ice cream one after the other. You'll think the bowl is still cold enough, but it's not. Wash the bowl, put it back in the freezer, and start the second batch the next night.