Homemade Ice Cream

Way back in the days before we knew that we we’re both diabetic, I gave my brother a Lello Gelato 4090 Pro, ice cream maker one year for Christmas. It’s fully self-contained, with its own freon compressor, the cream bucket holds 1/2 gallon. The entire machine is pretty easy to clean, with the exception of any ice cream that over flows the cream bucket and collects around the edges, and that’s no big deal to clean.  It’s not my intention to teach you how to cook here, rather like give you a list of quarks and a few tips that we have learned over the years.

A good, cheap, fast freezing base recipe is:
3 cups of half and half.
1/2 cup of sugar.
1/8 tsp salt.
*1/2 pint of flavoring/Heavy whipping cream, condensed milk, etc. and so on….  Not a requirement.

From there you can make about anything you desire by tweaking and adjusting the last ingredient group.   We have never tried a recipe that required cooking, but using the general base above is delicious in every sense of the term.  It will usually freeze within 30 minutes to a maximum of just under an hour.**   If you eat it All, immediately you will never hear a complaint. If you freeze it for an hour, stir it and freeze an additional hour it will get very firm. Generally the next day 24 hours + you will have a grainy texture with noticeable ice crystals in it.  It’s OK I guess, but not as “delicious” as when left to set for only an hour or two, in my opinion…

** Adding Alcohol.
My personal favorite is a creation I call Chalkta Chocolate.  The base above, substitute heavy cream for a full jar of Smuckers Hot Fudge and 2 to a MAX of 4 ounces of kahlua.   We did it with a full cup of kahlua once. LOL It never froze, but OMG add another 4 ounces of vodka and it will be the best milk shake you have ever had in your life…  Still waiting 4 hours for the concoction to thicken to the consistency of a loose milk shake was dramatic…   You need to heat/soften the hot fudge. I always mixed it with a pint of half & half, then added the rest of the ingredients to that mixture and to the freezer for 40 minutes or so.

**Adding any alcohol makes it softer/longer to freeze.  Bailey’s Irish Cream, is an exception to the rule -and Very Delicious!!

We stopped using salt, the finished ice cream was much more smooth and with a creamer texture.  It added about 10 to 20 minutes to the freezing time. It seemed to melt faster???

Adding Hunks of ??? Fruit/Anything:  (advanced)
My brothers favorite flavor is Strawberries-N-Cream, the base above less a half pint of half & half, plus fresh sliced strawberries – No Salt…   OMG, Delicious!!!

Adding hunks of anything brings its own set of challenges.  If the “hunks” are larger than the holes in the paddle tends to clog it rather quickly.   The easiest way to use fruit in the recipe is to add the fruit, crushed Oreo cookies, chocolate bar, chopped  Reese’s Peanut butter cups, etc. and so on, to the mixture once it’s about 5 to 10 minutes from finished.   Pull out the paddle and set aside, add the “Hunks” to the mixture and stir in with a wooden spoon.  Let it set for 5 minutes, use the spoon to scrape the sides, pulling it towards to center. Let stand another 5 minutes and repeat as needed. Usually 2 or 3 time is more than sufficient.

We’ve done chocolate chips before and it was OK, but with a little creativity you keep the just OK… Shaved Hershey chocolate bars ROCK…. I’m sure by now you see where I am going with this. So have fun, be creative and enjoy some homemade ice cream your own way!!

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