Call me crazy, but I never considered myself an ice cream fan until owning this ice cream maker and discovering that store bought ice cream doesn’t even come close to the unbelievable goodness of fresh homemade ice cream. I wondered, previous to owning this machine, if an ice cream machine would sit unused and forgotten for months at a time in my pantry. We actually make ice cream with it fairly frequently--probably 2 to 3 times a month in the year and a half we’ve owned it--so I think it has definitely earned a permanent spot in our kitchen.

"Call me crazy, but I never considered myself an ice cream fan until owning this ice cream maker and discovering that store bought ice cream doesn’t even come close to the unbelievable goodness of fresh homemade ice cream."

One reason I didn’t cave earlier to buy an ice cream maker was because I remember my parents’ old ice cream maker being such a pain to use--from the awkward crank to the heavy barrel to adding ice and rock salt (and making a huge mess with it, of course). I love that my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker is small and simple to use. It stores easily and neatly in my pantry and doesn’t take up much room. And since the bowl freezes, it doesn’t need any ice or rock salt like the older machines do. I actually just keep the bowl stored in the freezer all the time, so it’s always ready to go anytime we might feel in the mood for making ice cream.

Putting the ice cream maker together is really simple--the freezable bowl sits on top of the machine, the mixer sits inside of the bowl, and the plastic cover goes over the top. There aren’t any locks or mechanisms to hold things into place, so it’s a cinch to put together.

After mixing up the ingredients, turn the machine on and pour the mixture in through the opening at the top. Let it mix for 15-20 minutes, and it will reach a perfect soft-serve consistency.

The ice cream tastes great at this point, but I always prefer it to be a bit more form, so I transfer it to a container and stick it in the freezer for another 1-2 hours to let it harden up more. I love that it can be ready to eat right away (if I haven’t planned ahead and went to enjoy it immediately), or that I have the option of freezing it for longer to reach a more firm consistency. 

After moving the ice cream to another container, I let the bowl thaw out completely, then wash and dry it, and put it right back in the freezer so it will be ready to go another day.