Making your own ice cream at home is both fun and rewarding! Ice cream makers have made it easy to produce a delicious frozen dessert in little time with minimal work. The old fashioned machines required plenty of ice and rock salt to get the temperature low enough for the cream and other ingredients to freeze. A hand crank was used to keep mixing the ingredients to keep it from becoming a big solid ice cube. Today you can use an appliance that has a motor to mix the ice cream and even a refrigerated bowl to freeze the ingredients. The ice cream makers with the freezer built in are more expensive than those that have a removable, freezable bowl that contains a liquid that freezes and melts slowly. However, you do need to remember to put the bowl in the freezer about 24 hrs ahead of time, or simply store the bowl in the freezer so that it is always ready.
What kind of ice cream can you make? There are many recipes available, and your machine should come with at least a basic recipe book. Some recipes require you to first cook the ingredients, but there are others that require no cooking either. Not only can you make ice cream but you can produce frozen yogurt, and sorbets too.
Because you get to decide what ingredients to use you don’t have to worry about all the preservatives that are in most store bought ice creams. Try reading the ingredients and that delicious treat is not so appetizing. What the heck are soy lecithin, propylene glycol mono-esters or polysorbate 80 anyway? These preservative and emulsifiers in commercial ice cream allow it to be scooped easily when stored in a freezer. After storing, your home made ice cream may come out of the freezer a little harder, but it only requires a few minutes at room temperature until it is soft enough to scoop easily. If you eat the ice cream fresh right after making, you won’t have this problem.
Ice cream machines come in different sizes that make from one to several quarts of ice cream. You can find many ice cream maker reviews all over the internet, and you should not buy a new one before going through at least a dozen reviews to find the best one for you family The 1.5 quart sizes are good for most people unless you want to serve a large crowd. 1.5 quarts is the typical size of container that you would find at a supermarket in the U.S. These machines are quite affordable, starting at around $50 for a basic model up to several hundred for the ones with the built in refrigeration unit. This makes giving an ice cream maker a good gift idea whether for a wedding, anniversary, birthday or Christmas.