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Jan 16, 2012 10:00 AM

Can't master the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker

Got a new appliance for my birthday, but Im getting milkshakes instead of ice cream. Im freezing the freezer cup overnight; leaving the mixer bowl in there too. Even put the airtight plastic final presentation bowl in the freezer...and one day later I still have milkshakes. Any tips or insights?

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  1. Your freezer may not be cold enough, your base may be too warm when you put it in the freezer bowl, or your base may have too much sugar/alcohol in it to freeze properly. You can get a thermometer to check your freezer temp, it should be around zero degrees Fahrenheit. I usually chill my base at least six hours or overnight in the fridge to make sure it's well chilled before trying to churn in the ice cream maker. The closer to the warm side of freezing you can get it the better. If you post your base recipe someone may be able to see if there are problems with the ratios that may be preventing freezing.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Coogles

      my problem is that the book says it should take 20 minutes to churn, but my ice cream is done churning (soft serve to medium) at about 12 minutes. My freezer is/was set at -5 degrees F. I have, as of today, set it at O degrees F. I think it does not have enough air turned in. I use the Cuisinart and I also use the Kitchen Aid attachment. The Kitchen-Aid starts the clicking-tell-you when it is done and at that point, they both produce the same looking ice cream. (It would sit on a cone.) After I freeze it in the deep freeze, I cannot get it from the container, as it is like a ROCK! It needs to sit out for almost an hour before I can dish it from the container. I was considering adding some vodka to keep it from becoming a rock, but there are diabetics to consider. The last recipe I tried was 1 qt frozen Greek style yogurt, 1 cup sugar, 2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 c chopped blueberries (added during the last 5 mins). But the recipe, so far, makes no difference. They all turn to ROCK! Any suggestions?

      1. re: kateeskloset

        Add the vodka.

        Also the lack of fat is contributiing to the hardness.

        As to the diabetics, the sugar is the problem here, not any vodka you might add. And the lack of fat makes this recipe even worse for diabetics.

        Then you need to take it from the deep freeze and let it warm to about 5-10F before scooping.

        1. re: acgold7

          How much vodka would you add? (makes 1.5 qts) The yogurt was whole milk greek style. Maybe I should cut the amount of yogurt amount in half and and 2 c heavy cream and still add the vodka. Wadda ya think?

          1. re: kateeskloset

            A couple of tablespoons should suffice. I think your idea about subbing cream for half the yogurt is a good one.

          2. re: acgold7

            BTW.. alcohol is bad for some diabetics. see: I know it makes my blood sugar lever soar!

            1. re: kateeskloset

              That article is one of the worst ever. It only concerns massive consumption for those with advanced nerve damage, not small amounts of alcohol for those with their symptoms under control. The only risk is mentioned later in the article, which is the risk of low blood sugar, which obviously isn't an issue if they're eating ice cream loaded with sugar. Don't worry -- the amount of alcohol you'd use is minuscule compared to the massive amount of sugar in the recipe.

     should generally be considered to be one of the least reliable sources of info on the web.

          3. re: kateeskloset

            You're correct to set out the ice cream for some time. I use double cream and egg yolks (=lots of fat), and sugar, but my ice cream is also rock hard from the freezer. So is Haagen-Dazs.

            I always intend to store freshly made ice cream in individual serving cups to speed up the softening time, and to avoid the hassle of softening more than I will be using. Silicone cupcake cases are the ideal size and the ice cream would be easy to unmold.

        2. Personally I think the old style ice and salt ice cream makers freeze better. I love my White Mountain with the cast iron dasher. I have retired the Cuisinart one I have.

          As for tips, everything needs to be very cold. From the freezing bowl, to the ice cream base. I agree maybe your freezer isn't cold enough? Break out the thermometer.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rasputina

            I have the Cuisinart one and love it. Very easy to use and the ice cream turns out perfect. Either robin4 has a lemon or as in the previous post her freezer is not cold enough, etc.

          2. sounds like your freezers not cold enough... not the ice cream maker. even if i do the "put the base directly in the freezer and stir every 30 minutes" method of making ice cream, i still have a completely solid base after a few hours

            1. I echo the advice to get a thermometer and check freezer temp. My freezer wasn't cold enough to effectively freeze the Cuisinart insert, even set at the coldest setting and though it froze food solid without problems. I cleaned all the dust, etc., from the back of the fridge and that helped bring the actual temp down to zero, which will freeze the insert adequately. Nevertheless, I still recommend leaving it in there at least 48 hours before using, and either chilling your ice cream/sorbet/fro-yo base overnight in the fridge or for 20-30 minutes in the freezer from room temperature.

              1. Before you clean out your freezer, or buy a new fridge, can you tell us what your ice cream recipe is?

                Things like sugar (too much of it), alcohol, and fats can make it hard for your ice cream to reach a frozen consistency because sugar and alcohol do not freeze.

                I ask because most people have ice cream that is too hard using the Cuisinart machine, not the other way around.

                Sometimes what you put into your ice cream maker makes as much difference as what you are putting your ice cream maker into.