Ice cream, frozen the old-fashioned way by churning it in a canister surrounded by ice and salt, used to be a treat reserved for special occasions. But modern ice cream makers with a container you simply chill in the freezer make it a breeze for home cooks to churn up their own frozen desserts. And by making your own, you can limit the butterfat and focus on fresh and fruity flavors.
Here are a few pointers for successful frozen-dessert making.
Allow enough time to thoroughly chill the ice cream, sorbet or frozen yogurt base before churning. The better the freezing process, the smoother the final texture.
To improve the texture of lower-fat frozen ice creams, add gelatin or milk solids in the form of nonfat sweetened condensed milk.
If possible, once the frozen dessert is ready let it chill in the freezer for about 1 hour before scooping, to reach an ideal texture. Prechill the storage container and serving dishes; low-fat frozen confections melt faster than full-fat ones.
Homemade ice creams, frozen yogurts and sorbets can become very hard when stored in the freezer for prolonged periods. To temper them, transfer to the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes before scooping. Alternatively, microwave on Defrost or medium-low for 30 to 60 seconds.