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.
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.