I love ice cream, and after reading statements and conversations from companies that others' have posted about shared machinery and cross contamination of nuts at ice cream factories, I probably won't be eating any brand of ice cream. Most factories use the same mixers and machines. The consensus online (from people who have actually called every single ice cream company and/or screenshotted statements) is that there are no safe ice creams that can promise there's no flecks or crumbs of nut particles contaminating the non-nut batches. There were some vanilla brands that were safe for a while but they changed their practices at least within the last few months.
For Valentine's day Jake got me the Cuisinart Ice Cream maker, and we've had ice cream in our freezer ever since. Homemade ice cream is so delicious and this is such an easy machine to get the same flavor as those old wooden crank ice cream makers. I've only tried out a few flavors so far (vanilla, brownie, and Oreo) and the Oreo is our current favorite.
Tips for the cuisinart ice cream machine that we wish we would have known the first time:
- 1/2 the recipe in the book will ensure you don't have any problems with it freezing at all
- the frozen bowl has to be in the freezer for 12-24 hours - the book says 6-24 hours but if you do 6 it will be soupy ice cream that you will have to put in the freezer to freeze and can't enjoy right away
- cool your cream mixture in the fridge for 30-60 minutes before you add it to the machine for a better freeze
This is an adapted vanilla recipe that came from the book with the machine.
Recipe (fills the 2quart machine 2/3 full) :
- Mix these two ingredients with a mixer for one minute: 3/4 cup whole milk and 1/2 cup sugar
- Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1.5 cups heavy cream
- Refrigerate mixture for 30 minutes, then add to machine and turn the machine on for 25 minutes
- When there's 5 minutes left on the ice cream machine, add a bowl full (one cup) of chopped Oreos or another favorite cookie
As you can see, it makes a semi-soft serve ice cream right away, but once you scoop the mixture into a freezer safe container, the next day it's still soft but a thicker consistency.