Ice Cream Daze

Nothing says summer like a big bowl of strawberry ice cream chock full of fresh berries. Or the cooling hit of lime sorbet on a hot day.

by Mary Bailey

With prices for premium ice cream climbing and the list of ingredients in most commercial brands getting longer and longer, the idea of a home ice cream maker started to look, if not sensible, then at least reasonable. The Cuisinart Company gave a gracious yes to my request to try out both their top-of-the-line Supreme Commercial quality ice-cream maker and the semi automatic Pure Indulgence machine. (Le Gnome carries all the Cuisinart machines plus the Donvier line.) Talk about kid in the candy store. For a few weeks friends were treated to this experiment and that flavour disaster, plus some #1 hits. I worked these machines through sorbet and gelato, rich custard-based ice creams and milkbased confections. The one thing everybody agreed upon: home made is better, even compared to Häagen Dazs or Marble Slab. It’s fresher tasting with clearer, more focused fruit flavours. And it’s more fun. You can do anything; add candy, your favourite liqueurs, chocolate bars, fresh herbs, whatever.


Cool, refreshing and fragile describes sorbet. The sorbet I used to make in my freezer was often grainy due to variations in temperature and humidity within the freezer. Both Cuisinart machines made impeccable sorbet — ultra-smooth with no ice crystals and singing with avour. The simple syrup can be made ahead. Use it to make ginger or basil syrup. Add a handful of sliced ginger or chopped fresh basil to the liquid to simmer.

Key Lime Sorbet

2 c sugar
2 c water
1½ c fresh squeezed juice from key limes
1 t finely chopped zest from the limes
simple syrup

Combine the sugar and the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer without stirring while the sugar dissolves, about 3-5 minutes. Cool. Add the lime juice and zest and make according to manufacturers instructions.


Mohito Sorbet
Add 3 T mint to the simple syrup and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain. Add 1 T best quality white rum to the lime juice and zest. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.

Margarita Sorbet
Add 1 t sea salt and 1 T best quality blanca tequila to the lime and zest. Garnish with lime rounds.

Mango Sorbet
Puree 1 c fresh or frozen mango instead of the lime juice, and process with the zest and simple syrup. Garnish with more zest.

Hendrick’s Cucumber Sorbet
Chop one small English cucumber, seeds removed, drain and puree with fresh mint. Add 1 T Hendricks gin, zest of 1/2 lime to the simple syrup. Process according to manufacturers instructions or make a granita by putting in the freezer, and stirring until frozen. Garnish with mint leaves and cucumber rounds.

Ice cream
The most luxurious tasting, ultra- creamy, ice cream is made using the custard method. The big surprise was the no-custard ice cream — less creamy, but with lots of flavour and a more than acceptable texture. The advantage was their no-muss, no-fuss prep and the bonus of fewer calories.

Mango Ice Cream
This was inspired by lassi, the refreshing milk-based Indian drink.

2 c mango chunks
2 c 10% milk (or a combination of buttermilk or yogurt with the milk to make 2 cups)
½ c basil syrup (see above)
1 T finely chopped basil (do not use if you don’t want green flecks in the ice cream)
½ c berry sugar or to taste

Puree one cup mango chunks with the milk, sugar, chopped basil and basil syrup in a food processor. Process until smooth and the sugar granules are dissolved. Place in the ice cream maker and follow the instructions. A few minutes before the ice cream is ready, pour in the reserved cup of mango chunks.

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
Adapted from the Cuisinart recipe book

3 c fresh ripe strawberries, stemmed and sliced
4 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1½ c sugar, divided
1¼ c whole milk
2¾ c heavy cream
1½ t pure vanilla extract

In a small bowl, combine the strawberries with the lemon juice and ½ cup of the sugar. Stir gently and allow the strawberries to macerate in the juices for 2 hours. Strain the berries, reserving juices. Mash or purée half the berries.

In a mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the milk and remaining granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream, reserved strawberry juice, mashed strawberries, and vanilla. Turn the machine on; pour the mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes. Five minutes before mixing is completed, add the reserved sliced strawberries. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.


Use fresh Okanagan peaches, sliced; fresh cherries, blueberries or freshpicked raspberries in place of the strawberries, or a mix of fruit such as strawberries and peaches.

Add approx ¼-½ cup of grated and chunked, best quality dark or milk chocolate 3-5 minutes before the cherry ice cream is ready.

Mocha Latte Ice Cream
Adapted from Cuisinart instruction booklet.

1 c whole milk or skim Lactaid
¾ c brown sugar, packed
2 T espresso powder
2 T cocoa powder
2 c heavy (35%) cream

Whisk together ¼ cup of the milk with the sugar, espresso powder and cocoa to make a smooth paste. Add the rest of the milk and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cream and vanilla. Place in the ice cream maker and follow the instructions.


Caramel Macchiato

Omit cocoa powder from ingredients and add the following caramel syrup a few minutes minutes before the ice cream is finished.

1½ c sugar
½ c water
1 c heavy cream
1 t vanilla extract
½ t salt
3 t butter

Stir the sugar and water together over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. When sugar has dissolved, turn heat to high and stir for about 5-7 minutes until the mixture is a medium amber colour. Remove from heat, stir in cream. Expect steam. Add vanilla and salt. Cool five minute and whisk in butter. Pour, in a thin stream, into the ice cream while the paddle is turning.

Chocolate Ginger Macadamia Nut Ice Cream

2¼ c whole milk
2¼ c heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
2 T sliced fresh ginger
1⅛ c granulated sugar
1⅛ c Dutch process cocoa (Fry’s or Droste)
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 t pure vanilla extract
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 c macadamia nuts, coarse chopped, reserved
1⅛ c Dutch process cocoa (Fry’s or Droste)

In a large saucepan, combine the whole milk and heavy cream over medium-low heat. With a sharp knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise; use the blunt edge of the knife to scrape out the seeds of the vanilla bean. Stir the seeds and bean pod into the milk/ cream mixture. Add ginger. Simmer the milk/cream mixture over low heat for 30 minutes. Remove and discard vanilla bean pod and ginger pieces. Combine the sugar, cocoa, eggs, and egg yolks in a medium bowl, and beat until thickened, like mayonnaise.

With the mixer on low speed, add one cup of hot milk/cream to the cocoa mixture in a slow, steady stream and mix until completely incorporated. Stir the chopped chocolate into the saucepan with the hot milk/cream. Then stir the rest of the egg mixture into the hot milk/cream. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and begins to resemble a chocolate pudding. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a bowl and stir in vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the chocolate mixture, and refrigerate until completely cooled. Pour the chilled custard into the freezer bowl, and follow the directions. A few minutes before the ice cream is finished, add the nuts.