ice cream maker woes

when i've been using my ice cream maker, which is a cuisinart kind with the frozen bowl that spins around a stationary plastic baton/scraper, to make soy-based and yogurt-based treats, there seems to be a ton of waste from the scraper not pulling all the frozen parts off the sides and bottom of the frozen bowl. i can't remember the problem being this severe with egg custard-based ice creams (but maybe i just don't remember). is it a texture/consistency issue with the new ingredients I'm using? would adding cookies or nuts to the mix help break up the side-frozen bits? is my blade somehow ill-fitted all of a sudden? anyone have a tried-and-true solution?

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betteirene May 7, 2011
To me, it's easier to make a grand wedding cake than it is to make a decent frozen confection. There's as much science, if not more, behind an ice cream recipe with five ingredients than there is underneath a five-tiered fondant-covered buttercream-iced cake.

Whether you've gor a hand-cranked wooden model or a frozen gel-filled electric bowl, your mixture is always going to be thicker and harder where it's coldest. The dasher not only churns your ice cream base, it also aerates it so that you get ice cream instead of milk popsicles. But like the beater on a KitchenAid, the dasher was not engineered to scrape clean the sides of the bowl.

I think Cuisinart makes a model with a non-stick lining--that's not a help to you now, but it's something to look forward to when you're in the market for another machine.

Until then, you can do two things:

1. Make sure you follow a proven recipe, preferably one with a cream:milk:sugar ratio of 2:1:5, whether you're using dairy or soy or sugar or honey or agave. If you're using soy milk, you might try adding a teaspoon or two of vegetable oil to your base mix before churning; otherwise, use soy cream. And make sure your yogurt is the whole milk kind. The sugar/fat proportion is important--allows you to churn your ice cream long enough to incorporate air before it freezes, but not so long that the mixture warms up and turns back into a liquid. If you're using heavy cream, it also prevents you from making butter.

2. Don't let your ice cream mix rob the cold from your bowl. Make sure all your ingredients are as cold as you can get them, just short of frozen, before pouring them into the ice cream maker's bowl. You'll have more "smooth and creamy" and less "chunky and hard" if your mixture is nearly as cold as your bowl is. Any additional ingredients, such as Oreos, Reese's cups, bananas or strawberries, should be chopped and frozen before adding it 10 minutes before you think your ice cream is done churning.

No matter what the recipe instructs, no matter what the owner's manual says, no matter what brand of machine it is, no matter if the recipe is dairy or non-dairy: When your mixture has reached the consistency of creamy mashed potatoes, stop churning and put it in the freezer.
ChefJune May 6, 2011
I use the same ice cream maker (I'm on my second one -- wore the first one out!) and find that happens more when the machine is in its "dotage." When I got a new one, it wasn't an issue. Now that the 2nd one is getting on in years, I'm noticing it again.

I've always stopped the churning before the ice cream gets firm all the way through.
Anitalectric May 6, 2011
Ha! I use the same ice cream maker to make vegan ice cream and that is my biggest complaint. I have found that if you let the machine go only just until the ice cream is set, and no more, it sticks less. I am curious to know when other people stop the machine. Once the ice cream is not moving around anymore, it's done, right?

Also, sometimes (if I have the patience) I put all the ice cream away, then scoop out all the hard, stuck-on ice cream with a spoon and transfer to a food processor, and pulse until smooth....then add it to the "good" ice cream.

Hope this helps! I am shopping around for a better one.
boulangere May 5, 2011
I have had the same problem with sorbets sometimes if I have one of those I-know-what-I'm-doing moments and am not careful to balance the acid and sugar with a saccharometer. They're not expensive, and available here: Well worth the money because it will reduce your frustration level.

It measures the specific gravity of your solution, which is totally unimportant. What is important is that for non-dairy concoctions, you need a reading of 12-15. If your mixture is too "dense", in other words, has too much sugar and therefore won't freeze well, add a few drops of lemon juice. If it is too "light", add some simple syrup. In either case, you're looking for a balance of 12-15.

I'm guessing that your mixture is too light, meaning that you have excess water floating around unbound, and that is what is causing the icy buildup in your bowl.
shaska May 5, 2011
the problem looks to be the result of your scraper blader not lying flush with the side of the bowl. you should contact the manufacturer for a replacement blade.
sdebrango May 5, 2011
I have the same ice cream maker and have found that with soy based or non dairy ice cream this exact thing happens. My grand daughter is allergic to dairy so I have experimented using soy, almond and coconut milk, I take it out shortly before its done and let it firm in my freezer. Its difficult to scrape the leftover ice cream out of that really cold container. The ice cream is slightly loose when I stop it and transfer to my container, Hope this helps.I have added crushed oreo cookies and it still stuck.
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