Ice cream base is very simple to make; all it takes is a little patience and vigilance at the stove. I use a simple $60 ice cream machine from Cuisinart that requires you to freeze the bowl before use. It is nothing fancy, and after five years of using it, it runs like a champ, making perfect ice cream every time. I have even used it to test small batches of ice cream recipes in restaurants.
- Always make sure your ice cream maker bowl is completely frozen. I have attempted to spin ice cream in a bowl that is slushy-sounding inside, and the results are soupy. If you know you want to make ice cream flavors back-to-back, I suggest investing in a second bowl.
- Standing at the hot stove stirring a custard in this weather is not ideal, but I promise the rewards are worth it. Don't be tempted to turn the heat up on the custard to get it to thicken faster. You will end up with a broken custard if you get overly harsh with your heat.
- Thus leading to this tip: for a broken custard, immediately take an immersion blender to your custard and it should pull the custard back together. Your ice cream may taste a little egg-ier, but it will still be delicious.
- Chill your bases completely before putting them in your ice cream maker and spinning.
- When using booze in an ice cream, be cautious about how much you add. As you know from storing vodka in the freezer, alcohol doesn't freeze. Find that balance of how much you can add where your ice cream will still freeze.
- Since it is currently very hot, I like to pop my spun ice cream into the freezer for a couple of hours, to let it firm up a bit more before serving. Definitely do this if you are intending to douse your ice cream with hot fudge or hot caramel sauce.
- Please adapt these recipes and make flavors or combinations that you love. Part of experimenting in your own kitchen is the fun of getting to play mad chef!
- Read the ice cream recipe from start to finish, and prep all your tools ahead of time. It will make the whole process a lot easier.