I'd wanted to make ice cream for many years, but had never gotten around to it. Then, in the fall of 2012, my dad gave me a Cuisinart Ice-40. This is a double-barreled ice cream maker, of the sort where you have to freeze the buckets in advance.
You can make either one or two buckets at a time. You put a bucket on the gear, put in the paddle, and then place the cover on. Then you start the motor, which spins the bucket while the paddle is held in place by the cover. Then you pour in the mix.
The recipes that came with the maker were too sweet and too high volume. The first ten tries I did on just one barrel, and then, having gotten a good feel for the basic recipe, I went to using both barrels every time.
I started with a raw base, and managed to get that working okay. The ice cream was tasty, but not the texture I wanted. I moved on to a cooked base with egg yolks, and that worked much, much better.
A side effect of starting to use yolks was that I was left with the whites, so I made meringue cookies for the first time. They worked really well, so I've started making them each time I make ice cream.
The booklet said to agitate for 20 to 25 minutes. I started with that, and ended up going to 30 trying to get the raw base working. I initially stayed at 30 for the cooked base, but ended up going back down to 25.
The basic process is to simmer the milk and cream along with anything you want to extract flavor from (such as a vanilla bean or strips of ginger). Then blend the yolks and sugar (and cocoa powder, if using) into a paste. Slowly pour some of the warm milk into the paste, while blending. If using chocolate, melt into the remaining milk. Return the milk to the heat and stir in the yolk mix. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for a few minutes.
After the mix has cooled down, I split it into two containers and put it in the fridge. Then I let it sit in the fridge, after fully cooling down, for between 6 and 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the barrels should be left in the freezer for at least 24 hours. After I start the ice cream maker and add the base, I put a small plate, a small spoon, a wooden spoon, and the ice cream containers in the freezer. For containers, I use either one quart or two pint containers, plus an extra container for the tailing.
After the ice cream has finished in the maker, I fill the quart or two pint containers with the easy to dispense part. Then I put them in the freezer and put the remainder of the ice cream into the extra container, and put that in the freezer.
After the ice cream goes into the freezer, I leave it for at least 4 hours to harden.