I have a question. The instructions for the ice cream maker says to make sure the yield is 2 quarts or less and not to fill more than to within an inch of the top.
What is the minimum reasonable amount to put in the ice cream maker? Is there a way to judge by how much of the mixing arm is immersed? What percentage/proportion of the arm should be in the mix or how many inches/centimetres should be in?
Ice cream makers work by freezing the water in the ice cream base. The arms that either move inside, or sit stationary while the bow turns serve to continuously agitate the base as it's freezing. This keeps the ice crystals small, making the end result smooth and creamy, and whips air into the ice cream, making it light. Teh added air, and growth of ice crystals increases the volume of volume of the ice cream. If too much base is added to the ice cream maker, as it becomes ice cream, it will overflow the machine.
As a rule, your base should contain about 3 cups of ice cream base. This will turn into a quart of finished ice cream.
Oh, one more thing, if your ice cream maker has multiple speeds, the slower speed will make a more dense ice cream, almost like a gelato, while the higher speed will incorporate more air into the ice cream, making it softer, and lighter.
Take a look at the recipe I posted in the corn ice cream thread. The correct amounts of liquid are there for the base. Simply change the flavoring to what you want, i.e. use maple syrup instead of corn syrup, or make a strawberry syrup from fresh berries and sugar, and add it to the base. Use the parts of the recipe that are common, the milk, cream, and add sugar or syrup, and flavorings for the rest.
Hope that helps.
Chief Longwind of the North