5 Modern Home Ice Cream Makers

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By Sarah Rich
For homemade ice cream! Whether you favor Kumquat-Poppy Seed or plain Vanilla, a home ice-cream maker lets you effortlessly craft a scoop that's made to order.

There’s an expression of sheer glee that flashes across a person’s face, regardless of age, when handed a scoop of ice cream. While growing older may swirl a ribbon of guilt into that experience, there’s no denying that a good cone can still make our day.

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It’s rare to find a friction-free workplace, but Jake Godby can proudly claim he has one. "The thing about an ice-cream shop," he says, "is that nobody comes inwith a bad attitude." A former pastry chef, Godby owns Humphry Slocombe, a new dessert stop in San Francisco. Already a cult favorite for its signature flavor, Secret Breakfast (bourbon ice cream with cornflakes), the shop is likely to become a niche legend much like the 1970s British farce Are You Being Served?, from which it takes its name.

It’s rare to find a friction-free workplace, but Jake Godby can proudly claim he has one. "The thing about an ice-cream shop," he says, "is that nobody comes inwith a bad attitude." A former pastry chef, Godby owns Humphry Slocombe, a new dessert stop in San Francisco. Already a cult favorite for its signature flavor, Secret Breakfast (bourbon ice cream with cornflakes), the shop is likely to become a niche legend much like the 1970s British farce Are You Being Served?, from which it takes its name.

Enjoying ice cream at home has only been possible since the mid-20th century, when household freezers became common. Before that, the treat had to be purchased from a confectioner and eaten at once or churned laboriously with a hand-crank. Today, grabbing a pint at the market and saving it for weeks is routine (if you have that sort of self-restraint), but it’s almost as easy to make your own batch in a kitchen-ready electric machine.

This month we review a collection of home ice-cream makers, from the low-cost starter model to a high-end Italian gelato machine. To help us judge, we asked ice-cream-shop proprietor and flavor inventor Jake Godby to give the machines a whirl.