On our recent week away in Cheltenham I made full use of the household’s ice cream machine. You can make ice cream without one, but have to remember to take your mix out of the freezer and stir it well on a regular basis to prevent ice crystals forming. However, with a machine ice cream making becomes somewhat easier.
To make good ice cream you need to stir or churn the mix as it freezes, this breaks up ice crystals as they form giving a smooth cream texture, otherwise you would get a solid lump. There are two types of machines, the cheaper where you freeze the base for 24 hours prior to use (this needs freezer space a valuable commodity in the Fuss Free kitchen), or the more expensive, larger and heavier machines that have a compressor which chills the mix. Both have paddles that will churn the mixture.
My experiments taught me a few things.
- Do not pour all your ingredients into the frozen bowl of the machine, then try to fit the paddle and the lid, especially if you have not used the machine before, and are unsure as to how it all fits together. I did this and could not work out how the machine worked then realised that there was a layer of frozen mix at the bottom of the base that was stopping me putting the paddle in properly. The only solution was to pour everything into another container, allow the base to defrost along with the solid ice cream, clean the base and refreeze. This takes over 24 hours.
- Ice cream from the machine still needs a spell in the freezer to firm up, I found it very soft straight from the machine.
- My photographic skills are not up to the challenge of making ice cream look attractive. To buy myself some time I carefully scooped my ice cream into the bowl and then popped it into the freezer for an hour so everything was solid before I started.
Many ice creams are custard based, and would be an excellent use of all the spare egg yolks I end up with in the freezer when making meringues, but we are on holiday and I wanted an ultra easy ice cream without the faff of making custard.
This is based on a supposedly no churn recipe that was in the BBC Good Food Magazine a couple of months ago. The recipe did not really work for me as the resultant ice cream was hard and crystalline. Only 4 ingredients are used here. Simply pour everything in and let the machine do its magic! If destined for children leave the framboise liqueur out! The resulting ice cream is super creamy, and if you use low fat yogurt low in fat too!
Recipe: Easy Peasy Strawberry Ice Cream
Makes 1 litre
500ml pot natural yogurt – any is fine
400 g tin of condensed milk
4 – 6 oz Strawberries – well mashed with a fork
Espresso cup (60ml) Framboise or other fruity liqueur (optional)
Turn the ice cream machine on, pour everything in and leave to do its magic for 20 mins.
Scoop into a container and pop into the freezer to firm up.
This recipe is very adaptable, try with fruity yogurt or different berries or liqueurs.
Click Here for a printable recipe