Ice cream season cometh
The Donvier Manual Ice Cream Maker
When I was a kid one of my favourite things to do with my Dad was make ice cream. That said, it wasn’t an unfettered joy. It involved creating an egg custard with sugar and cream and eggs which had to be heated on the stove and constantly stirred to keep the eggs from curdling. Sometimes, despite the sincerest form of stirring, they still curdled. That made my father angry but he was a good-natured, forgiving man at heart and we’d begin the delicate process again. Once complete, the mixture was put in the refrigerator to cool as we prepared the ice cream maker ¬— an old time affair consisting of a wooden pail into which a metal container was placed and surrounded with ice and salt.
After the custard was added, a geared crank was fitted on and turned until the ingredients miraculously became the most wonderful ice cream ever. The cranking did, however, take some time with frequent stops to add more ice and salt. A messy process. We usually did it on the kitchen floor on a stack of newspapers to soak up the water from the melting ice. The cranking seemed endless to my 10-year-old self. I had to bite my tongue to keep from asking, ”Is it ready yet, Dad?” every two minutes or so. That risked getting on his nerves — especially if it was a hot day and he was wearing one of his white nylon go-to-work shirts. Truth be told he sweat like a horse and cursed like a sailor until the delicious nectar was ready to be served.
Since then everything about homemade ice cream has changed except the marvelous taste. A wide range of electric contraptions are available that will take the effort out of cranking, but I’ve remained a purist. I like my ice cream hand cranked. Fortunately there are also new frozen desert recipes that leave out the eggs and the threat of salmonella and yet still taste scrumptious. Ben and Jerry’s have a book of ice cream recipes that includes this one: Sweet Cream Base #2, which consists of 2 cups (500 ml) heavy whipping cream, 3/4 cup sugar (180 ml) and 2/3 cup (160 ml) half-and-half.
Simple enough but own my favourite recipe is even simpler. It uses yogurt chilled to 40 degrees and added directly to the canister. The Donvier Manual Ice Cream Maker also does away with ice and salt entirely! Instead you put the metal container in the freezer for a couple of hours, add the ingredients and you’re off to the races. To turn the yogurt into a firm, scoop-able delight takes about 30 minutes with cranking stops every four or five minutes to let the mixture rest. It can be a bonding group experience if performed around the dinner or picnic table.
My daughter and her partner have come up with a tasty enhancement: reduce a saucepan of pomegranate juice over medium heat until it becomes a syrup and pour over a scoop that has been sprinkled with pomegranate seeds — a visual and flavour extravaganza. You can find the one-quart Donvier Manual Ice Cream Maker at better kitchen shops or order it from Amazon.ca. $50 or $58 with Ben and Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream and Dessert Book by Ben Cohen.
Win one of two Donvier Manual Ice Cream Makers by entering the Gadget of the Month contest here.
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