Sunday, July 25, 2010


Here's the scoop - you can make homemade ice cream in your Donvier ice cream maker, even if you lose one of the most important components.

The dasher.

The thingy that scrapes the now-frozen ice cream base off the side of the maker.

I know, because that's what I did. Don't ask me where it went astray - if I knew that, I wouldn't have had to improvise.

I had made the ice cream base the day before I made this startling discovery, so time was of the essence. I considered just buying a new one, but visiting three stores (one cooking store, one bed-and-bath store and one department store) didn't convince me that I needed to spend anywhere from $30-$100 for an electric ice cream maker and it seems nobody sells these simple, hand-cranked versions any more. I looked at online sources but, unless I wanted to pay as much in postage as the ice cream maker was worth, it wouldn't arrive before the base was fuzz-bearing history.

And so, the improv. After making a few false starts and slopping ice cream base around a little, I perfected my technique. A stiff spatula, using an up-and-down sawing sort of motion will work. As the base freezes to the sides of the maker, you scrape it off every few minutes, reading the paper or staring off into the middle distance in between stirrings. As more and more freezes, the process speeds up a bit - kind of like scrambling eggs when the first several minutes feel like they will never get cooked and the last few seconds you can't get the pan off the heat soon enough.

It took less than 15 minutes of freezing and sawing.
Well worth the effort to produce homemade coffee ice cream that was really quite delicious. I scooped the finished ice cream into a small plastic container and popped it into the freezer to harden up a bit more. I played a little bit with the original recipe, enough to discover that the richer the cream-to-milk ratio, the better the ice cream. I subbed in some half-and-half for cream but, if I was doing it again, I'd go for the full-cream version. I don't expect I'll be doing this very often and, well, in for a pound, right? I'd also add very fine coffee grounds to the base to reduce the sweetness, add a tiny bit of texture and enhance the rich coffee flavor.

Although coffee is my favorite flavor, I'm already planning lighter summer "ices" - such as cantaloupe, strawberry and peach, since the fruit this year has been exceptional. If I find a similar ice cream maker at a garage sale I may replace my lost dasher but it's good to know I can make a reasonable scoop even without it.

Improv Coffee Ice Cream

2-1/2 tsp. freeze-dried coffee powder dissolved in minimal water
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup half-and-half
2 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

*About 1 Tbs very finely ground coffee? I didn't try it, but I will next time. You could also fold in some toasted almonds and chocolate syrup after it freezes... *sigh*

Beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until thick and cream-colored. Add cream, half-and-half and vanilla. Mix well. Add coffee dissolved in water, mixing well again. Chill thoroughly (6 hours or overnight in refrigerator) before pouring into the ice cream maker. Follow directions for the ice cream maker.



Blogger cookiecrumb said...

I love your description of scrambling eggs!

Cranky adores coffee ice cream; I will tell him of your success.

Sunday, July 25, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, you've got an ice cream maker - you could make him some coffee ice (low fat - I know you two are careful).

Monday, July 26, 2010  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Actually, we have no problem with real ice cream, as long as the rest of the day's diet is adjusted. And... Who said I have to make it for him? Hmph. :)

Monday, July 26, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

I never meant to imply that you _had_ to make it for him, just that you could! :-)

Monday, July 26, 2010  

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