How to make perfect ice cream using the Cuisinart ice cream maker

Making ice cream at home is a fun activity for families and people of all ages. It is a blank slate of a desert with variations only limited by your own imagination. Peanut butter ice cream? Okay. Jellybean ice cream? Sure. Bacon ice cream? Why not?! If you think of a flavor, there’s no reason you can’t make it in the comfort of your own home. But while making ice cream can be fun, it can also be incredibly frustrating. Using a quality machine like the Cuisinart ice cream maker takes away all of the frustration and keeps all of the fun!


Buying the machine won’t guarantee perfect ice cream every time. You have to understand the fundamental qualities of the perfect scoop. For the machine to work its magic we need to put the right ingredients in it.

The perfect ice cream base

Sadly, there is no such thing as the perfect ice cream base, as everybody likes theirs differently. The proportions of milk, cream/fat, sugar, non-fat milk solids, eggs, and stabilizers will affect the consistency, texture and taste of your ice cream base. As an easy to remember ratio of 2:1:0.5 of cream/milk/sugar is perfect for a beginner ice cream base.

Different bases work better with different flavors. You may like thick, chewy ice cream or you may like a more balanced ice cream. If you’re making ice cream at home then you will probably need a higher proportion of eggs due to the lack of cooling power that commercial equipment has, this will reduce the chance of having large ice crystals form in your ice cream. Of course, through experimentation you’ll find your own perfect base, but here’s a guideline for you to get started:

Ingredient                                Weight (g)                    % Total Weight

Egg Yolk                                  75g                                8%

Sugar                                       140g                              15%

Milk (Full fat)                        370g                             39%

Heavy Cream                         370g                             39%

Salt                                           0.7g                              0.07%

Ice Cream Stabilizer             3g                                 0.3%

Ingredients

Go fresh when you can. Opting for fresh ingredients when appropriate will enhance the end flavor beyond measure. Remember that your ice cream is only as tasty as the ingredients you put in it, so it’s a smart move to choose quality!

Whole ingredients & Zests

Let’s assume you want to flavor your ice cream with chili. You don’t want a full chili in your ice cream, just the flavor! What you do is combine the ingredient with the cream and gently heat it up. Let it sit for up to an hour for the flavors to infuse, then make sure the cream is completely cold before you start making your ice cream.

Powders

Many ingredients come in powder form. Cocoa, cinnamon etc. If your recipe calls for powders, you can just add them to the mixture before you put it in the machine.

Alcohol

Alcohol affects how the ice cream freezes. Too much and it won’t freeze at all. Always add the alcohol in the last few minutes of the freezing process to avoid impeding the freezing process.

Sugary things

Such as honey or treacle. Use these ingredients to replace the sugar, rather than using them in addition to the sugar. Otherwise, you could end up with super sweet ice cream.

Extracts & Liquids

Add them to the cool mixture before the freezing process.

Chunks

Chocolate chip ice cream is one of the most popular flavors, so you need to know how to add chunks into the mix! Add them too early and they won’t be chunks for long, so run the machine for a while and add them approximately 5 minutes before the end so they don’t get broken up. For even better results, freeze your chunky ingredients before you add them to prevent the temperature of the ice cream rising.

Preparing the machine

We’re using the Cuisinart ice cream maker, but most other non-commercial models feature a removable freezer bowl too. It’s important to make sure that the bowl is completely frozen before each use. If you’re making more than one recipe, clean and re-freeze the bowl between uses. Don’t fill the freezer bowl more than ¾ full. The contents will expand during the freezing process. Filling too much can stop the ice cream aerating properly.

Get mixing!

Hopefully by now you have your ice cream base made, your recipe chosen and you know exactly how to incorporate the flavors into your ice cream using the guide above. If you haven’t selected a recipe yet, check some out here. Now we’re on track to producing some perfect home-made ice cream!

All that’s left now is to turn on your Cuisinart ice cream maker, pour your mixture into the freezer bowl (making sure it’s frozen) and let the machine go to work. It will take approximately 15-20 minutes to thicken the ice cream and it should have a soft, creamy texture. If you have ingredients to add to the mixture, add them at the appropriate times. If, at the end of the mixing process, you want a firmer texture simply transfer the mixture to an airtight container and place in the freezer for an hour or two.

The final bit is easy. Just enjoy your amazing home-made perfect ice cream and fantasize about all the other flavors you could make!