January 12, 2019

Delicious Homemade Ice Cream AND a great ice cream maker that I absolutely love! The Cuisinart ICE-60 Cool Creations

Growing up, we would go to my Grandparents for Christmas and one of the traditions would involve someone going outside to get buckets of snow, and Grandma setting up the ice cream maker.  A manual version, a couple of my uncles would take turns turning it, adding salt and more snow as it melted down, and patiently letting us little kids each give the ice cream maker a few cranks when we wanted to 'help' before our little skinny arms would ache after just a few turns and we would declare ourselves 'tired' of it.  When the ice cream was hardened, everyone would get a bowl full and then I would look around at my Grandmother and a couple Aunts and Uncles bowls and wonder why in the world they would ruin perfectly good ice cream by eating it with ...  saltine crackers.

But I guess how people choose to eat their ice cream isn't what this post is about!  It's about the fact that making homemade ice cream is something I've grown up with literally my whole life.  Our family also had a hand-cranked version and we usually only got homemade ice cream in the winter time; when there was free and easy snow to be had right outside the door to pack it with.

When I married, we received an electric ice cream maker as a gift and although I was excited, I admit we rarely used it because we had moved to Los Angeles, California and snow wasn't readily available in Southern California.  Instead, I had to remember to buy a bag of ice or plan to make ice cream a week in advance so I could spare every minute I remembered, grabbing the ice tray out of the freezer, dumping it into a larger bowl, and refilling the trays to make more ice until I had enough to fill the bucket of the machine.  Needless to say we had homemade ice cream about once a year... or every two years. 

Ice cream just wasn't a 'thing' in our home for years after that. But recently I've been wanting a new ice cream maker.  When you are eating sugar free, the option of making your own ice cream is a great way to know exactly what is in your ice cream, knowing you've used all fresh or natural products and you can also have fun making whatever kinds you wish.

My wish however was for an electric ice cream maker this time that did not need ice.  As a matter of fact, I didn't even want the kind you had to keep a bowl frozen in the deep freezer for.  I originally wanted the kind that self freezes it.  But then reality set in and I realized I not only didn't have nor want to spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars for that style, but that was just a very expensive part to break and need replacing in a couple years as it burns out. 

So I researched... and researched... and talked about ice cream makers so much that Mr. Husband jokingly laughed and said "Just buy one already so you stop talking about the damn thing!"  So I did.  And then I talked about how anxious I was for it to be delivered.  And then talked about how it had been delivered that day and what kind of ice cream I was going to make first!  And then talked about the ice cream being so delicious...  and I laughed and told him I obviously was STILL 'talking about the damn thing' - bah ha!

And boy is it getting used!  As a matter of fact, tonight I walked into the kitchen to find my husband using the last of the previous batch so I told him I'd whip up another.  And I did.  It's absolutely amazing to me that the 2-3 hour process of my childhood has now been reduced to about a 35 minute start to finish process and I'm eating amazing home made ice cream. 

I will link to the ice cream maker I chose (after way too many days of researching!) at the bottom of this post.

Our favorite is vanilla; because using that as a base, we can make it into almost any kind we wish at the time of serving.  Last night it was coffee ice cream.  Tonight my husband made his chocolate and I opted for plain vanilla.  Peanut butter, cookies and cream, chocolate peanut butter marshmallow, lemon cookie crunch, salted caramel, cherry nut....  make any kind you wish out of it! 

Homemade Ice Cream

4 cups heavy cream
3 egg yolks
dash of salt
1 T unflavored gelatin powder
3/4 c natural sweetener(s) of choice
3 T vanilla

In a saucepan on the stove but with the heat off, place 2 cups of the heavy cream, along with all the other ingredients.  Whisking them briskly, turn the heat on and heat over medium until it starts to steam and you start to see tiny bubbles start to form around the edge but do not let it simmer or boil.  Just remove it from heat.  Whisk in the rest of the cream and either chill it in the refrigerator until you wish to use it, or pour it directly into your machine. 

Turn it on and press the button for ICE CREAM.  And wait.  In about 30-35 minutes you have soft serve ice cream ready to eat and you can put the rest of it into a container of your choice, seal it tight and place it into the freezer to harden for scooping at another time.

(Remember your ice cream maker bowl needs to come straight from the deep freezer and needs to be frozen solid.  If you can hear the liquid swishing around the inside, then your freezer isn't cold enough or the bowl needs to be moved to a colder part of your freezer because it needs to freeze solid.  (Note: my upright freezer doesn't get as cold as our chest style deep freezer.  The bowl freezes solid within about 6 hours in that one!  But 24 hours in our upright style barely gets it solid.) 

*I like to fill a coffee mug with ice cream and pour 6 ounces of strong brewed coffee over mine.


I did NOT have a big budget to spend so I debated long and hard before purchasing!  I also price comparison shopped all over from Best Buy to Walmart, to Bed, Bath & Beyond to Amazon and more.  In the end Amazon had the best price - plus they currently have a 5% coupon the listing (as of this posting) which I used as well.

I did not buy the ICE 70 Cool Creations Gelateria only because of the price point.  I bought it's 'little brother' which works perfectly well for me.  Both make ice cream, gelato or sorbet with the touch of a button and yes, the machine comes with recipes!

Cuisinart ICE-60W Cool Creations Ice Cream Maker, White


When the ice cream is 'done' it's soft serve and ohhh  so creamy.

Serve it somewhat soft now or place it in another container to get harder for scooping later.

Soft serve, straight from the machine.

YES it tastes just as good as it looks.

You have to hurry to get the ice cream out because your bowl is still frozen and freezing the mixture that is closest to its walls.  If you work fast enough to scrape all the soft ice cream out into another container, you won't have much left that is hardened on the bowl... but then again, I always figure that's my first serving!  I just grab a spoon and dig in!

Here is the exact model I bought from Amazon. I chose it because although it's almost exactly like the improved ICE-70 version, this one does not have a digital timer 'count down' to count down the 35 minutes for you.  That wasn't important to me however and for the budget I had to work with, this one was perfectly fine!

Cuisinart ICE-60W Cool Creations Ice Cream Maker, White

Here is the one I mentioned that is one step up.  At about $120 it's still very affordable and it comes with the timer to let you know when your ice cream, gelato or sorbet is finished.

  Cuisinart ICE-70 Electronic Ice Cream Maker, Brushed Chrome

Ahhh, the electric bucket version.  It needs ice or snow packed in with rock salt to get it cold enough, but the memories of this one make me smile; and if you live where it's winter 7 months out of the year (like where I grew up) then you could have ice cream every day for months if you wished without ever having to buy ice a bad from the store!

   Nostalgia Electric Wood Bucket Ice Cream Maker, 4-Quart, Brown

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