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How to use an ice cream machine

The summer months may seem a long way off, but that doesn’t mean there’s no need for ice cream! However rather than buying a tub from the shop, if you’ve ever thought ‘I wonder how to make ice cream’, then Annette Yates’ book is for you. It includes simple recipes for you to make ice cream at home, which include light and airy yoghurt mixtures, refreshing fruit filled sorbets and icy granitas! And if you don’t know which ice cream machines are best for you or how to churn your own ice cream, her book explains all! Get ready, because it’s time for some guilt-free, ice cream scoffing!

Why should I make my own ice cream?

Firstly, it’s super easy to do, plus you can be spontaneous and indulge and be adventurous in creating a tasty sweet treat using ingredients that make you happy.

Is it healthy?

Absolutely! Unlike shop bought products, most home-made ice cream contain no thickeners, emulsifiers, artificial flavourings and colouring, preservatives or stabilisers.

How expensive is it? 

Admittedly, making home-made ice cream isn’t cheap because using fresh ingredients sometimes works out more than buying a tub of the shop stuf, but you can’t beat the flavour and satisfaction of creating something that good, with your own fair hands.

Do I need equipment? 

You can make ice cream by hand, but machine will always produce a product that us smoother, creamier and lighter. There is also a cost benefit when using a machine, as some ingredients will make a larger quantity too.

How does a machine work?

By gradually freezing the ice cream mixture while simultaneously churning it into a creamy concoction. By keeping the mixture moving and repeatedly churning, it prevents the formation of crystals and beats in air, making the mixture light and airy.

What type of machine should I buy?

i) A fully automatic ice cream machine 

Whilst these are not cheap and might take up a lot of space on your work surface, they’re great for when you want to make a quick batch last minute. To make ice cream you simple switch on the freezer unit, wait a few minutes until the correct temperature is reached. Switch on the paddle and while it’s turning, add the ingredients and leave the rest to the machine. These usually take 20 minutes.

ii) An ice cream machine with detachable bowl

These are much more affordable and can make small quantities. They’re quite noisy and the texture can differ from each model, so sometimes ice crystals form. Always do your research before buying! To make ice cream, the detachable bowl needs to be pre-frozen in the freezer for approx. 24 hours. Once it is completely frozen, the motorized paddle is fixed at the top of the frozen bowl and while the paddle is churning, the ingredients are poured in through the chute. This can take 20-40 minutes.

What if I don’t have an ice cream machine?

You can make sorbet and granite. This takes much longer, takes a lot of effort on your part and the end product won’t be smooth and light like in a machine, but more crunchy with ice crystals. To make the sorbet or granita, mix all the ingredients together and pop into the freezer. Stir it often to break up the ice crystals and beat in air so the texture of ice becomes as smooth as possible.

For loads of ice cream recipes look out for Ice Cream Made Easy: Homemade Recipes for Ice Cream Machines by Annette Yates