I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! There's no better time to scream for ice cream than July since it's National Ice Cream Month.
When I got married, my husband and I registered for, and received, an electric ice cream maker that used rock salt and ice, lots and lots of ice. I used it a half dozen times and then put it in the back of the closet, pulling it out only for special occasions. It was just too much trouble to use.
Several years ago, I bought an automatic ice cream maker that does not require rock salt or ice. I was so impressed with how easy it was to use, I sold the electric ice cream maker at a yard sale. The automatic ice cream maker not only looks different from an electric ice cream maker, it works differently too.
- You need to plan accordingly so you have plenty of time to freeze the bowl, chill the mix and, if desired, let the ice cream harden before you serve it. I generally start the process two days before I'm going to serve the ice cream.
- It's not as large as a regular ice cream maker so you can't make more than 1 1/2 quarts at one time. Since most ice cream recipes make more than that, it's a good idea to purchase a second bowl. If you don't, you'll have to freeze the bowl again before you can finish making the batch.
- The ice cream mix must also be made a day ahead and refrigerated so it's very cold when your pour it into the frozen bowl.
- Unlike the old ice cream makers that had to be packed with rock salt and ice and allowed to "ripen," this ice cream is ready to eat as soon as it's done. If you like soft ice cream, this is a good thing. We prefer a firmer ice cream so I immediately transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze it overnight.