Cold comfort

Written by Joe Stumpe

There's a hole in our hearts and kitchen that needs filling.

Not to be overly dramatic. I refer to our countertop electric ice cream maker, which was dropped and cracked in a tragic  er, unfortunate  accident awhile back.

If you haven't tried one of those devices, you should before any more of the summer melts away. These machines eliminate all of the mess and uncertainty that goes along with making frozen treats in old-fashioned ice cream makers. No more piling on ice and salt and wondering if the mixture inside the closed canister has finally been transformed into ice cream.

With a tabletop maker, you simply plug it in and keep an eye on things through an opening in the top. It'll free you up to make some of the best ice cream you've ever tasted, whether it's the simple, classic combination of heavy cream and sugar or a concoction of nuts, candies, liqueur or other additions. Sorbets, gelatos and other frozen desserts are just as easy to make.

About all you have to do is remember to put the machine's inner sleeve in the freezer 24 hours ahead of time. We suggest washing it and doing so immediately after every use. Just don't drop it, or it may break and break your heart, too.

The accompanying recipes, from the classic "Ice Cream! The Whole Scoop" by Gail Damerow, each make about one quart.

Basic Fruit Ice

This recipe is a great way to feature summer's blackberries, peaches and other fruits and berries. When using berries with seeds, strain the puree to remove them.

 2/3 cup sugar
 2 2/3 cup boiling water
 1 1/3 cup fruit puree
 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Dissolve sugar in the water. Cool. Add fruit puree and lemon juice. Chill and freeze according to ice cream maker's directions.

Daiquiri Sorbet

 12 oz. limeade concentrate
 1 1/2 cups cold water
 1/4 cup powdered sugar
 1/2 cup light rum


Mix together all ingredients. Chill and freeze according to ice cream maker's directions.

Philadelphia Vanilla Ice Cream

For historical reasons, the nation's birthplace was also its top ice cream maker for years.

 3 cups cream
 2/3 cup sugar
 1/2 tablespoon vanilla


Heat cream just until bubbles form. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Cool and add vanilla. Chill and freeze according to ice cream maker's directions.

Espresso Gelato

Gelatos have a denser, richer texture than traditional ice thanks to the inclusion of egg yolks.

 2 1/2 cups milk
 1/2 teaspoon grated orange or lemon rind
 6 egg yolks
 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
 2 tablespoons instant espresso


In a heavy saucepan, heat milk and rind. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Beat egg yokes until thick, then stir into milk mixture. Over low heat, stir until mixture coats a metal spoon, about 10 minutes. Cool, strain and add vanilla and instant espresso. Chill and freeze according to ice cream maker's directions.

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