Image: True Scoops

If you live in a New York City apartment, one thing you probably don’t have is a ton of space. For food lovers that creates a real problem with countertop appliances. You probably have a food processor or blender, and maybe a stand mixer. But when it comes to such luxuries as a rice cooker or crockpot, it’s probably no go.

As the weather warms up, one item I wish I had space for is an ice cream maker. Sadly, I’m simply “applianced out.” Which is why I became excited when I learned about True Scoops. It’s a homemade ice cream solution that requires at minimum a blender and ice cube trays. It also provides the foundation for a great, fun activity to do with the kids or grandkids.

The ice cream arrives as a packet of powder that you whisk with 2-1/4 cups of chilled half and half. (I found that one packet makes about a quart of ice cream.) You then pour the mixture into ice cream trays and freeze until firm. Next, you add the cubes to your blender, along with another 1/2 cup of half and half, and blend at high speed until creamy. Finally, you transfer the mixture to an airtight container and freeze for at least three hours.

This past weekend I put the product to the test. One minor obstacle I encountered came when it was time to unmold the frozen mixture from the ice cream trays. Namely, they were resistant to efforts to extract them. The solution I devised — holding the trays in a shallow pan filled with hot water — was sufficient to loosen the cubes.

The next roadblock came when it was time to serve the ice cream, which was frozen solid. I don’t know that this is necessarily a limitation of the product since home freezers vary dramatically in temperature. You can test your freezer’s relative coldness by seeing how long it takes to make ice cubes. If it’s takes under three hours, your freezer is too cold. Use the control mounted on the back of your freezer to raise the temperature.

Once the product was soft enough to scoop, it ranked high among our peewee panel of testers. To my tastes, the ice cream was a little grainy, though the chocolate variant had a good, cocoa-ey flavor. You’d never mistake True Scoops for the most premium products on the market, and the price per packet of mix is pretty steep at $12.95. Then again, considering the limitless possibilities for flavoring your homemade ice cream with your own adds-ins, concocting a batch of True Scoops might be just the project you and the little ones are looking for on a hot summer afternoon.