Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Search for the Ideal Ice Cream Maker

I like to eat healthy food and I like to eat ice cream. This is only a problem if you don't make your own. However, I have been looking for the ice cream maker of my dreams for a few years now.

You may remember my early blog post about making ice cream in plastic bags. If not, you can read it here. This works. You can make single servings of ice cream, and it's fun... Of course, it is true that sometimes a plastic bag breaks... It still is the way to go for camping, or for a fun thing to do at parties where everyone can make their own and choose their own flavor...

But I did want an ice cream maker.

I tried a bowl-in-the-freezer kind, but it made too much for one person to eat, and homemade ice cream doesn't really keep as well as if it had all the nasty conditioners and stuff in it. It's best eaten fresh.

I found a smaller bowl-in-the-freezer one, with a hand crank. That was good. But still too big for one.

I gave those away and then got the kind you put ice and salt around the ice cream tub. It's not the traditional round tub - this one's more trash can shaped. Smaller. Fits nicely in the motorhome. But I made a half-tub of ice cream and fed 2 people and still put away a quart in the freezer. I'll keep it, but it's not for regular personal use.

This week, I solved the problem.

I was in Target for something else and happened to notice an ice cream machine in a box that was way too small for any ice cream machine I've ever seen.

Hamilton Beach Half Pint Ice Cream maker box

Hamilton Beach Half Pint. It comes with 2 pretty blue freezer bowls and a motor with paddle.

Half Pint compared to cappuccino can

These bowls are small enough for even my RV freezer and hold about a cup of ice cream to be. Pop the motor on top, plug it in, turn it on, wait 10-15 minutes, and it's ready to eat as soft serve or you can ripen it which makes it harder. That's about as convenient as it gets. You can eat it in the bowl.

Half Pint mixing bowl is serving bowl

You can make a cup, or a half-cup, as you wish.

Stevia-sweetened ice cream, fruit-sweetened ice cream, sherbet...