It’s getting warmer and that means it is time for all of us to begin looking for refreshment after a bit of sweating in the yard. There are plenty of ways to enjoy iced treats this summer at home without resorting to expensive and inconvenient trips to the supermarket freezer aisle.
The classic solution is with a dedicated ice cream maker. The most common type includes a pre-frozen bowl that is inserted in a small appliance. Once filled with the cream, a motor turns either the bowl or a paddle to keep the mix continually stirred as it cools down. This is what actually separates ice cream and sorbet from simple flavored ice. This stirring motion encourages only tiny crystals to form as the temperature drops resulting in smooth, soft ice cream. If you prefer a harder ice cream, the result usually needs to spend a few hours in the freezer afterwards.
In many areas of the country, it is sadly getting hard to find a simple snow cone of shaved ice outside of a zoo or county fair. A simple ice shaver is an inexpensive way to provide relatively low calorie treats to the kids (or adults) in your house. It’s really just a set of blades attached to a crank that reduces ice cubes and a little flavor syrup to a wonderful, flaky consistency in minutes. If you can get the little ones to turn the crank, even better!
If you are a bit more serious about producing frozen treats, consider an attachment for your stand mixer. Just as you can get attachments to make pasta and grind meat, KitchenAid makes a nice setup for using the motor you already own to produce the rotary motion. In practice it operates like a dedicated ice cream machine with a pre-chilled bowl and a paddle to stir.
The most recent introduction to this crowd is the Zoku Quick Pop Maker.
Once you have the core frozen solid, it only takes as little as seven minutes to make delicious fruit juice popsicles. Simply pour the juice into the popsicle shaped cavities, insert the provided sticks and watch the deliciousness happen! Each batch produces three lovely pops and the core can normally be used three times in a row before it has to go back in the freezer.
There are many things to look forward to as we move into the hottest part of the year, but frozen and tasty fun has got to be one of the best.