July 21, 2010

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream

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Margaret's Morsels | Vanilla Ice Cream

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.

Margaret's Morsels | Vanilla Ice Cream
Automatic Ice Cream Maker

The automatic ice cream maker comes with a bowl that contains a liquid inside its walls.  The bowl must be put in the freezer for 24 hours before you make the ice cream.  The liquid in the walls freezes which lets you make the ice cream without rock salt or ice.  Once the bowl is frozen, put the bowl in the ice cream maker, insert the paddle, put on the lid and turn the unit on.  The bowl starts turning and you pour the thoroughly chilled ice cream mix into the bowl through an opening in the lid.  Twenty minutes later you have ice cream.

Although this ice cream maker has a lot of pros, it also has some cons.
  • 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.

Margaret's Morsels | Vanilla Ice Cream
Soft ice cream is ready in 20 minutes.

Margaret's Morsels | Vanilla Ice Cream
The ice cream after being frozen overnight.

My favorite ice cream recipe is the one my mother used.  I have no idea where the recipe came from, but it's the only one she ever used.  The only change I've made is using egg substitute instead of raw eggs.  Well, that and the fact that I don't need rock salt and ice!

Vanilla Ice Cream
3 Quarts

egg substitute equal to 6 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 (14 oz.) cans sweetened condensed milk
3 qt. whole milk
1/4 cup pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt

You need a very large bowl.  If you don't have one, make two batches using half the ingredients in each batch, or halve the recipe and make 1 1/2 quarts.

Put egg substitute in a bowl.  Add sugar; stir.  Add the remaining ingredients; mix well.  Pour into freezer container and freeze according to manufacturer's directions.

If you use an automatic ice cream maker, you need to refrigerate the mixture in advance.  It's easier to pour in the machine if you store it in gallon jugs or 2-liter bottles.  Shake or stir the mixture before pouring it into the machine so the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

© Margaret's Morsels

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