Summer is Coming, and You Need This Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker STAT

We scream for no-hassle homemade ice cream!

Last June, after one too many trips to McDonald's for a McFlurry only to learn that the ice cream machine was broken, I drove myself home and ordered a Cuisinart Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt Maker. It was an impulse buy in the most literal sense, and just after ordering, I wondered if perhaps I'd been too rash. Surely the McDonald's ice cream machine would be fixed the next week? Surely, then, I'd be able to satisfy my cravings for a soft serve treat studded with Oreo cookie pieces. But before I could hit the drive-thru to prove myself wrong once more (because when is the McDonald's ice cream machine ever working?), a little pink Cuisinart landed on my doorstep and cured me of my drive-thru ice cream cravings forever.

Birthday Cake Ice Cream
Greg DuPree; Prop Stylist: Mary Clayton Carl; Food Stylist: Margaret Dickey

The Cuisinart Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt Maker comes in four pieces: the 1.5-quart freezer bowl, a mixing paddle, a clear plastic shell for peeping in on your in-progress dairy confection, and the electric maker itself. (Mine is pink, but it also comes in white, red, mint green, and aqua.) There's no real assembly required, and it's incredibly user-friendly—just don't throw out the direction booklet; the recipes are in there.

Buy it here.

As with all good things, homemade ice cream takes a little time. Before you can set your maker to spinning, leave the double-insulated bowl in the freezer overnight. Then, an hour or two before you're ready to whip up a batch, stir together your ingredients in a mixing bowl (3/4 cup sugar, 1 cup whole milk, 2 cups heavy cream, a tablespoon of vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt make a classic vanilla base), cover it, and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. You can also refrigerate it overnight to allow other added flavors or mix-ins to more richly infuse the creamy base (I like adding fresh strawberries, cookie dough bits, or Funfetti cake mix). I don't have the patience of Job, though, and an hour has always suited my concoctions just fine. Pour your chilled mixture into the freezer bowl, drop in the paddle, lock on the lid, and flip the switch. Within minutes, you'll start to see the liquid thicken up, and after about 20 minutes of electric churning, your ice cream is ready to go.

At this point, you have two options: You can spoon it into a container, freeze it until it reaches the firmer consistency you'd expect from a grocery store pint, and pat yourself on the back for being better than everyone else. I bet you also take your tea unsweet and think Dolly Parton is overrated.

Or! You can hop off the high horse, crank up Two Doors Down, and eat it immediately with the rest of us. Your ice cream will be soft serve at this point, and is best served, in my professional opinion, in a cake cone, dripping with waxy rainbow sprinkles. Honorable mention to the Styrofoam cup + wooden spoon. Either way, rainbow sprinkles are a non-negotiable. Mmm. That's fresh.

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