A good ice-cream freezer should be in evey kitchen; for with it a great variety of wholesome and attractive dishes may be prepared with very little expenditure of time and strength. Fruit, cream, and eggs, when frozen, are more palatable in hot weather than when served in other ways. A deep can, four inches in diameter, with a tight cover fitting outside the can, and packed in a firkin with ice and salt, makes a good substitute for a freezer. By scraping the cream from the sides and beating occasionally with a large bread-knife as the cream freezes, one may have a very smooth quality of cream with very little effort.
But whether with a patent or home-made freezer, the essential points are to have the ice finely crushed, to use the right proportion of coarse rock salt, and to beat the mixture thoroughly during the freezing. Salt has a great affinity for water, and when mixed with broken ice it unites with the water; the ice, in changing from its solid form to a liquid, parts with its heat, and the mixture of melted ice and salt is many degrees colder than the ice alone. This is sufficient to reduce to the freezing-point the temperature of any liquid placed in the ice and salt. The finer the ice is crushed, the quicker it melts; and the more the mixture is stirred, the sooner all parts become chilled. The melted ice and salt should surround the can, and not be drawn off as fast as melted. For this reason it is a mistake to have the outlet for the water in the bot tom of the firkin. It should be just below the top of the can, and then the water will run out before it can get inside the can. Draw it off only when it floats the ice. The ■ ice should be nearly as fine as the salt. Use one part salt to three or four parts ice. An easy way is to measure each with a saucer or small shallow pan. Put in a layer of ice three inches deep (pack it in solidly), then a measure of salt (sprinkle it evenly on the ice), then three measures of ice and one of salt, etc., till the freezer is full. Pack each layer in closely with a wooden paddle, and turn the freezer handle occasionally while packing. Be sure that the freezer works perfectly before adding the cream. The bearings and gears, and the socket in the tub should be kept well oiled. When the cream is thoroughly cold, pour it into the can. Turn slowly at first, and after ten minutes more rapidly, till you can turn no longer. Remove the beater, scrape off the cream, and beat and pack the cream closely in the can. Put a cork into the opening in the cover, and lay the cross-piece over to keep the can down in the ice. Cover with a piece of old carpeting wet in the salt and water. If the ice and salt have been well packed, and the cream is to be served within an hour and not moulded, no more ice will be needed; but if to be kept longer, draw off the water and pack again. If to be moulded, beat the cream well, and pack into the mould; bind the top with a buttered paper or cloth, cover closely, and bury in ice and salt.
After using the freezer, clean and scald the can; dry thoroughly, and keep it uncovered while not in use. Drain the salt left in the freezer, and use again. Use Turk's Island or coarse rock salt, and not what is called coarse fine salt.