The only way to get the “secret ingredient” into ice cream is to use an ice cream maker.
Why can’t you just pour the cream, milk, sugar and flavorings into an airtight container and put it in your freezer? Well, you can, but it won’t be good. The reason boils down to one thing: air. Ice cream needs to have some air, but not too much. Higher quality ice cream has less air than your basic commercial ice cream.
Have you ever wondered why there is such a vast difference in price between name-brand premium ice creams and off-brand cheap ice creams? If you look at the ingredient list, you will see that the cheap ice creams have a lot of the items in the “no no” list above, but they also have a ton of air. Many of these ice creams have up to 50% air, which is the legal limit. The reason they are so cheap is because you are paying for air. However, as mentioned previously, you do need some air in your ice cream, and that’s where an ice cream maker comes in. It has a special component called a “dasher” that causes the ice cream to flow in such a way that air is introduced. I don’t know how else to get air into ice cream. I suppose I could pour it in a pan and then take a straw and blow air into it, but I highly suspect this would be gloriously ineffective.
There are several types if ice cream makers on the market, but the Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream Maker is my favorite. There is no ice and no salt involved. No hand-cranking or wondering where in the heck you will store the thing. It comes with a bowl that you keep in the freezer and remove any time you want to make ice cream. Lest you think you have no room for anything else in your freezer, please realize that you can store other freezer items inside this bowl. Frozen peas fit nicely.
Once removing the bowl from the freezer (and the frozen peas from the bowl), you simply set it on the base of the ice cream maker, put in the dasher, pop on the lid, and you’re good to go. Well, you do also have to pour in your ice cream mix, plug it in and turn it on, but that’s it. Seriously so easy. You can have soft-serve vanilla or mint ice cream ready in 30 minutes, and you are actually only doing work for five of those minutes. Other types of ice cream take more time, but no more time than any other dessert.
Have I convinced you? Do you feel the need? If you don’t feel the need, but only feel the want, that’s o.k. Get yourself a present you know you will love. If you get the Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream Maker and don’t love it, I will eat my shorts. Not really. I only have one pair of shorts, and I need them. You can suggest to me something to eat, and I will eat it. Maybe. Unless it’s squid. I have eaten squid in every form imaginable, and I have made a vow never to eat it again. But no way I’m eating anything nasty, because you’re going to love it 🙂