If you plan to serve your ice cream immediately after churning, freeze it hard. This may not be possible with electric freezers that shut off automatically when the mixture becomes thick. In that case, ripening will firm the ice cream and develop the desired smooth texture. To ripen, pour off the salt water from the freezer bucket, wipe the container and remove the lid and dasher. Scrape the cream from the dasher and down from the sides of the container. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ice cream to help prevent ice crystal formation. Plug the hole in the lid and cover the container. Repack the bucket with ice and salt. Cover the bucket with wet newspapers, heavy towels or other insulating material. Let it stand from 2 to 4 hours. To save the ice cream for future use, pack it into containers and store at 0° for up to 1 month.
Sherbets, ices and frozen yogurts (see chapter 2) can also be churned in an ice cream freezer. Follow the manufacturer's directions and ripen if desired.
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