Ice cream – it’s like an entirely separate branch of cooking. Think of a favorite food and there’s probably an ice cream recipe out there that tries to replicate it in frozen form. Deciding what combination to make next is always a difficult decision!
Now I have a huge assist in the world of exploratory ice cream – I picked up a Simac Il Gelataio 800 secondhand. It’s also known as ‘The Ice Cream Boy’. Love that.
Ice Cream Boy is a self-contained ice cream maker. No rock salt, no frozen canisters lingering in the freezer, this unit doesn’t need any of that. It’s a freezer/churner all in one box. A rather hefty box, the thing weighs about forty pounds and is the size of an average office printer. But boy does it make great ice cream.
I mean, like ready to eat straight out of the machine ice cream. That’s a roasted strawberry balsamic ice cream in the photo. Yum.
The cost for this wonderful tool? In the mid-seventies and early eighties when it was on the market it would have set you back around five hundred dollars. That’s an awful lot of money today, but a truly incredible amount back then. If you google the machine you’ll find very few mentions of it. Apparently they were manufactured in Italy and imported to the US. They’re supposed to be built like tanks, and indeed this one is no flimsy 21st century construct. Nope, it’s a big, bad machine from way back.
I found it second hand. At a flea market. Which isn’t where I’d typically pick up my kitchen gadgets. But…this was only fifteen dollars. And in terrific condition, only some very minor scratches here and there. I brought it home, disassembled it, and Lysol’d and disinfected everything. I mean everything, there’s no way I want virulent, second-hand ice cream. Everything was pulled apart, the casing, the switches, the…well, there really isn’t that much to the machine, it’s kind of held together with just four screws. But it was all given an excellent scrubbing (the screws too). It sparkles now and looks brand new.
And the ice cream? Delicious! I’ve made the aforementioned Strawberry Balsamic as well as a Mango-Coconut ice cream. There’s a David Lebovitz Banana-Brown Sugar recipe in the machine at the moment, almost done and ready for some toasted pecans to be mixed in. But this machine not only makes ice cream, it also does frozen drinks. Woohoo! Just what we need for around the pool this Summer. As a matter of fact I gave it a test by simply pouring a can of Lemon San Pelligrino into the machine and letting it churn away on that. Twenty minutes later I had a lemon shaved ice/slurpee. This thing rocks.
Ok Summer, we’re ready!