Freezers that speedily congeal the contents of their grinding depths may be bought so cheaply, our housekeeper will find that in the long run it is economy to buy a patent freezer and make her ices at home.
In freezing creams of all sorts, and water, or fruit ices, the process is greatly simplified by having the ice crushed fine. Many cooks who are new to the business, do not recognize this fact. In consequence, they learn that to freeze cream takes very much longer than they were led to imagine from the circular advertising "the most rapid freezer ever put upon the market." While this circular may to a certain extent exaggerate the facts, do not condemn the new machine until you have pounded or shaved your ice very fine. A machine for shaving ice facilitates this process. Lacking this, put the ice into a strong bag and pound it fine with a wooden mallet.
I wish it were in my power to name and recommend "a perfect freezer" of any kind. Grinding is slow work; it is hard work; it is hot work at a season when action begets discomfort. My heart leaped high within me when a correspondent wrote gushingly of a freezer that "did the business of, and in itself without calling upon housewife or cook for so much as a turn or touch." Upon trial of the "perfect" machine, I found the product - after I had faithfully obeyed instructions - coarse-grained, and shot with icy needles. I can, however, refer to a self-freezing process practised in my household for twenty odd years, and with never a failure.
Pour your cream, of whatever kind, into the freezer, surround with alternate layers of ice, shaved or cracked almost as fine as snow, and rock salt. Fill to the top and pour over all two quarts of the strongest brine. Bury the freezer out of sight in cracked ice and throw a piece of carpet, or a doubled sack over all, and don't touch it again for an hour. Open then and beat and churn, when you have scraped the frozen cream from the sides down into the middle. Have a stout "dasher" in miniature made, and work diligently for at least five or six minutes. The granulation and ice-needles of the "perfect machine" were the consequence of neglect of this beating and churning. Now close the freezer, pack down again in rock salt and finely pounded ice, burying it out of sight as before, put a weight on the top, unless the freezer be fast to the bottom of the outer vessel, and let all alone for two hours more - longer if you like.
You will have then a pillar of lusciousness, smooth as cream can be and should be. Dip the freezer in hot water and turn out, or wrap a towel wet in hot water about it to loosen the cream.
All ices are the better for being packed down in ice for some time after they are frozen. It is a ripening and mellowing pro-cess. If you wish to add fruit or nuts to the plain custard or cream beat them in when you open the freezer to "churn" the contents.
Make a custard of a quart of milk, seven eggs and four cup-fuls of granulated sugar. Remove from the fire and flavor with vanilla extract. When cold beat into the custard a quart of rich cream, and freeze.