Celebrate National Ice Cream Month with a Homemade Recipe
When it comes to dessert, ice cream is usually at the top of everyone’s list — along with frozen yogurt, sorbet, and gelato. If you think you need a special occasion to enjoy some ice cream, then you will be thrilled to hear that July is National Ice Cream Month! Why not celebrate the occasion with a new ice cream maker?
The beauty of making your own ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet, is that you can customize a flavor to be just the way you want it. As a bonus, some machines also make frozen drinks! If you have never used an ice cream maker, you’ll be surprised at how easy it can be. NFM offers a mix of brands, styles and sizes to choose from, so you can find one that fits your lifestyle.
Some smaller machines (1-2 quarts) use an insulated freezer bowl that you must freeze ahead of time. If you have limited space and you are organized enough to plan ahead, then this is a great option for you.
I have a tiny kitchen, so I use something similar to the Cuisinart Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker, which has a 1 ½ quart capacity, is fully automatic and takes about 20 minutes. The Cuisinart 2 Quart Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet and Ice Cream Maker is a larger capacity version.
You simply freeze the bowl one or two days ahead, add the ingredients and turn on the machine. Your delicious treat will freeze before your eyes as it churns in the frozen bowl. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
I am embarrassed to admit it, but… I once forgot to pre-freeze the bowl, and then wondered why the ice cream was not freezing! Well, I guess the summer heat was going straight to my head that day – but, I promise you that it is actually very easy to use these kinds of machines as long as you follow the directions.
In fact, it is so easy I even invented my own recipe. It tastes a little bit like apple pie.
Honey Cinnamon-Apple Frozen Yogurt:
(Makes 1 ½ quarts) *Pre-freeze the freezer bowl for 1-2 days.
14 ounces peeled, finely chopped sweet apples (or natural, unsweetened applesauce)
2 cups plain yogurt
1/3 cup sugar
2 ½ teaspoons raw honey
½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
Mix the ingredients to dissolve the sugar. Turn on the machine and pour the mixture into the opening. Allow to churn for about 25 minutes or until thick.
Another small size, pre-freeze style machine is the Timberlake Chef Buddy Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker, which takes 20-40 minutes and makes one quart. This one comes with seven recipes in the manual.
Also check out the KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment, which allows you to make two quarts of ice cream in about 25 minutes with your own KitchenAid stand mixer. This would be good fit for a mixer owner who is short on storage space. Pre-freezing of the bowl will be required.
Alternatively, if you are looking for a larger batch of ice cream, or if you just want that old-fashioned ice cream maker experience, you should look at machines that use the classic ice bucket method and yield multiple quarts. With these machines, you add ice to a bucket around the outside of the metal ice cream canister, and let it churn. You will not need to plan ahead because no pre-freezing is required, but you will need access to plenty of ice.
When I was young we had a huge old ice cream machine. I thought it was very exciting to use, and the ice cream lasted for weeks. The only trouble was choosing a single flavor. The machine made such a large quantity, it felt like a serious flavor commitment. That can be tough for some people. However, if you want to have fun, spontaneous summer parties with homemade ice cream for everyone, then a large ice bucket style machine is the right choice for you.
The Nostalgia Electrics 4-Quart Electric Ice Cream Maker will give you four quarts and uses the ice bucket method to provide a homemade ice cream experience with modern convenience. It features a lined wooden bucket and a see-through lid so you can watch the process. There is also a version with a plastic outer bucket instead of the wood.
Whatever machine you decide on, you can eat your way through National Ice Cream Month with all of the many delicious frozen desserts you will be make. If you want to keep it light, just make frozen yogurt or sorbet instead. And how about inventing your own flavor? Go wild! I am thinking of some new flavor combinations already: blueberry-almond, strawberry-basil, or chocolate with grated orange rind…I am telling you, July is going to be a great month!