Make ice cream with a food processor

CorrespondentAugust 14, 2012 

  • Mixed Berry Semifreddo This purple ice cream contains plenty of antioxidants, which some researchers believe may reduce the risk of heart disease as well as certain types of cancer. How long it takes to churn ice cream depends on the sharpness of your processor blade. Watch closely and stop churning as soon as your ice cream is smooth. 1 16-ounce package solidly frozen unsweetened mixed berries (rap package several times on counter to separate berries) 3 tablespoons orange marmalade or solidly frozen orange juice concentrate 1/4 cup sugar (preferably superfine) or 4 (0.035-ounce) packets sugar substitute 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or 2 teaspoons pure orange extract Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon 1 5-ounce can refrigerator-cold fat-free evaporated milk PLACE all but last ingredient (milk) in food processor fitted with chopping blade and churn 10 to 15 seconds, pulsing occasionally to shatter lumps; scrape work bowl at half-time. POUR milk slowly down feed tube, with motor running, and continue churning 10 to 15 seconds or until creamy, pulsing now and then and scraping work bowl at half-time. PULSE out remaining lumps quickly, scoop into stemmed goblets, and serve. BLUEBERRY SEMIFREDDO: Prepare as directed using 1 (16-ounce) package solidly frozen unsweetened blueberries. Makes 4 servings. Calorie counts about the same. Yield: 4 servings PER SERVING: About 240 calories if made with sugar, 195 if made with sugar substitute.
  • Soft Raspberry Ice Cream This raspberry ice cream and the strawberry variation that follows are good sources of vitamin C. 1 16-ounce package solidly frozen unsweetened raspberries (rap package several times on counter to separate berries) 1/4 cup sugar (preferably superfine) or 4 (0.035-ounce) packets sugar substitute 1 heaping tablespoon solidly frozen orange juice concentrate 1 heaping tablespoon solidly frozen lemonade or limeade concentrate 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or Curacão or 1 1/2 teaspoons pure orange extract 1 5-ounce can refrigerator-cold fat-free evaporated milk PLACE berries, sugar, orange juice concentrate, frozen lemonade and Grand Marnier in food processor fitted with chopping blade and churn 10 to 15 seconds, pulsing occasionally to break up clumps. Scrape work bowl well. With motor running, slowly pour milk down feed tube, then alternately churn and pulse 10 to 15 seconds more or until soft and fluffy, scraping work bowl at half-time. PULSE out any remaining lumps quickly, spoon into dessert goblets, and serve. STRAWBERRY-ORANGE ICE CREAM: Prepare as directed, substituting 1 (16-ounce) package solidly frozen unsweetened strawberries for raspberries and increase frozen orange juice concentrate to 2 tablespoons. Taste before serving, and if ice cream seems tart, buzz in a little additional sugar. Yield: 4 servings PER SERVING: About 140 calories if made with sugar, 95 if made with sugar substitute. Strawberry-Orange calorie counts slightly higher.
  • Ginger-Peachy Ice Cream The easiest way to grate lime zest is to lay a fine-toothed Microplane across the open processor work bowl and grate away, letting the shreds fall into the mixture below. I grate nutmeg the same way, eyeballing the amount needed. A tad more or less won’t matter. Note: How long it takes to churn ice cream depends on the sharpness of your processor blade. Watch closely and stop churning as soon as the ice cream turns silky-smooth 1 16-ounce package solidly frozen unsweetened sliced peaches (rap package several times on counter to break up clumps) 1/4 cup ginger marmalade or preserves 1/4 cup sugar (preferably superfine) or 4 (0.035-ounce) packets sugar substitute 1 heaping tablespoon solidly frozen orange juice concentrate 1 1/2 teaspoons pure orange or rum extract Finely grated zest of 1/2 lime 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1 5-ounce can refrigerator-cold fat-free evaporated milk EMPTY about half the frozen peaches into food processor fitted with chopping blade, separating slices and distributing evenly in work bowl. Add marmalade, sugar, orange juice concentrate and extract, lime zest, and nutmeg and churn about 10 seconds until peaches are coarsely chopped; scrape work bowl at half-time. ADD remaining frozen peaches, again distributing evenly, and churn 10 to 12 seconds, pulsing now and then to break up clumps. Scrape work bowl. With motor running, pour milk slowly down feed tube and continue churning 10 to 15 seconds or until creamy, scraping work bowl at half-time. Quickly pulse out any remaining lumps, dish up and serve. Yield: 4 servings PER SERVING: About 225 calories if made with sugar, 180 if made with sugar substitute

Want to take the sizzle out of summer? It’s as easy as turning your food processor into an ice cream machine.

This speed demon can buzz up a refreshing soft fruit ice cream in less than five minutes. And all you need are a few supermarket staples plus a food processor with an 11- to 14-cup work bowl, a powerful model that won’t wobble.

I’ve been experimenting with processor ice creams this whole hot summer and have discovered that fresh-frozen fruits – either your own or commercial – can be churned into nutritious ice creams as smooth as those fat-and-calorie-laden “premiums.”

Lacking butter fat, these processor “buzz-ups” are not ice creams, technically speaking. And yet they’re blessed with similar rich mouth-feel. And here’s more good news: If you use a sugar substitute instead of sugar, they’re downright diet fare.

The impossible dream? Not at all. To keep cool with a clear conscience, you’ve only to give these instant ice creams a whirl. And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try a riff or two of your own? As long as you stick to the processor technique and keep the recipe proportions the same – solidly frozen fruit to sugar to refrigerator-cold fat-free evaporated milk – you’re home free.

Note: These processor ice creams are best eaten as soon as they’re made. If they spend time in the freezer, soften 15 to 20 minutes before serving, and if necessary, beat briefly with a hand electric mixer. The recipes that follow are new spins on recipes I developed for “Process This!,” a recent James Beard Best Cookbook.

Jean Anderson, the author of more than 20 cookbooks and the winner of six best cookbook awards, is a member of The James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame. She lives in Chapel Hill.

For a printable version of the recipes, click the links:

Ginger-Peachy Ice Cream

Soft Raspberry Ice Cream

Mixed Berry Semifreddo

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