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A Hint or Two and some tastes to try
on October 13, 2010
I've had one of these Cuisinart Freezers for a few years, and bought a second one on sale- having two is great, and here is why. With two (or even a second freezer can) you can split the recipe in half and process it in two smaller batches which will get more air into it and increase the volume while making ice cream with a finer texture. As I often use Liqueur for flavoring, the alcohol can impair freezing because it can lower the freezing point too much to be frozen by a single can's capacity to freeze. Using two freezer cans helps avoid this by lowering the volume being frozen at one time. The expense might be a problem, but you may be able to find another one on sale.
How you make your base affects the final product, (well duh!) An egg custard helps give a richer taste and better texture, especially if you are avoiding or limiting cream. A good custard recipe seems to work fine as long as it is well chilled before freezing. If you are lazy like I am, you can speed things up by making your base with an instant pudding mix. Just mix it well together before freezing. I sometimes use one and a half mixes for more richness. Be sure to add some vanilla as the mixes are rather weakly flavored. I make my own Vanilla (I get a pound of beans on the internet fairly reasonably. I split 22-24 beans and put them in a bottle of good Vodka for six months, You can also split and scrape the vanilla bean's seeds out and put them in the base. They are very tiny, and are the specks in good "French vanilla" ice cream. With the mixes you can add a bit of extra milk to bring the volume up to standard recipe size. I seldom use cream on doctor's orders.
As for flavors:
Rusty Nail is a favorite! Just add about 3/4 to 1 oz each of Drambuie and a not too peaty Scotch, together with some good vanilla and Wowzer. Made with butterscoth pudding it is even better.
Cinnamon (Goldschlager) and vanilla is also good, and makes a great mate to warm apple crisp. 3/4-1 oz each of Goldschlager and real vanilla.
Raspberry Ice cream is great. Use a a cup or two of Raspberries, crushed and mixed with a cup of sugar, a splash of vanilla and the juice and zest of a lemon. Mix this well and add to the base. The vanilla and lemon make this great.
Lemon Ice cream can be made with the juice and zest of a lemon,or two if they are small, an oz of Lemoncello liqueur and 1/2 oz of Vanilla added to the base.
You can experiment with lots of flavors and I find the liqueur aisle in the friendly neighborhood Liquor store, very inspirational - the ice creams above are not very intoxicating, but if you are worried, I suppose you could add the liqueurs to hot custards as they are cooked to evaporate most of the alcohol, but where is the fun in that? A little alcohol also serves to keep lower fat ice creams from becoming too hard, as does the pudding mixes or custards.