American Table: Don’t chase ice cream trucks – making it at home is easy
Summer is synonymous with ice cream. And I think it would be safe to say that it is a universal experience. But making ice cream at home has changed since I was a child.
When we were young, my sisters and our cousins made hand-cranked ice cream using a White Mountain Wooden Bucket Ice Cream Maker that used ice and rock salt to freeze the ice cream. My grandmother loved having her grandkids use the hand cranker. The wooden-bucket style ice-cream maker is still popular today and comes with an electric motor, and the option of the hand cranker for a nostalgic experience. My mother used the electric motor exclusively and when she wanted to make smaller quantities of ice cream, she used the electric machines with the inserts that you leave in the freezer until you are ready to make ice cream. I’ve used those models, but the truth is that I never have enough room to leave the insert in the freezer for 24 or more hours, and so I rarely make ice cream.
But every summer, I still have a yearning to make my own ice cream. Since you can now buy ice cream machines that come with a compressor, I decided that this summer I was going to start making ice cream at home. With a self-refrigerating machine, you don’t have to plan in advance and remember to freeze the insert, and you can make batch after batch if you are making different flavors. The machine that I choose after consulting a few ice cream experts was the Cuisinart ICE-100. It is streamlined and doesn’t take up too much room on your counter. It is also very simple to operate and works like a dream. The machine is mostly the compressor with a small bucket insert that holds and churns the ice cream, and can be removed for easy cleaning. My ice cream was ready in 45 minutes, and the timer can be set for up to 60 minutes.
Now that I had the machine, I needed a recipe. I decided to turn to my friend David Lebovitz’ newly revised ice cream book, “The Perfect Scoop.” This book has something for everyone! I grew up making custard ice creams with egg yolks and David has very good instructions for these. He also has a number of Philadelphia-style ice creams made without eggs, as well as frozen yogurts, gelatos, sorbets and so much more.
But what intrigued me the most were the ice creams with a fruit component. Those he makes with a combination of sour cream and half-and-half or heavy cream. When I asked him why he used sour cream as part of the dairy component, he said, “I usually only use it with fruit because I want less cream (and less fat) as it interferes with the refreshing nature of the fruits and berries.” The sour cream also contains “natural gums so it helps keep the texture of the finished ice cream better.”
That explanation made perfect sense to me and it only took me a second to choose his Orange Popsicle Ice Cream. The six ingredient recipe was easy, chock full of quality ingredients and immediately conjured memories of summers past, ice cream trucks and creamsicles. I couldn’t wait to make it.
I zested the oranges, juiced them and put all the ingredients in a blender to combine. It couldn’t have been easier. I put the mixture in the refrigerator overnight and made the ice cream the next day. I poured the mixture in the bucket, pressed the power button, set the timer and before I knew it, I had a softly frozen, smooth and delicious ice cream that was reminiscent of my favorite childhood treat.
DAVID LEBOVITZ’ ORANGE
POPSICLE ICE CREAM
Servings: 6 (Makes about 1 quart)
Start to finish: 1 hour
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
Zest of 3 large oranges, zested with a microplane
1 1/4 cups freshly squeezed orange juice from 4-5 large oranges
1 cup full-fat sour cream
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 teaspoons Grand Marnier
In a blender, pulverize sugar and zest until well mixed. Add the orange juice, sour cream, half-and-half and Grand Marnier. Blend until the sugar is completely dissolved. I use the smoothie function.
Chill the mixture in your refrigerator according to the manufacturer’s instructions_most machines specify how long you need to chill the mixture. The Cuisinart ICE-100 states that you don’t need to refrigerate the mixture but I like to make the ice cream mixture the day before I make it and let the flavors chill and marry overnight in the refrigerator.
Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions and transfer to a glass or plastic container and keep in the freezer until ready to serve.
Nutrition information per serving: 223 calories; 81 calories from fat; 9 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 34 mg cholesterol; 23 mg sodium; 31 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 29 g sugar; 2 g protein.