Tips on How to Make Ice Cream: Questions & Answers

Gelato Spoons

For a number of years, this forum has been a place to ask questions about ice cream making. However after hundreds of questions, everything that could be asked and answered about ice cream making has been said. So comments have been closed and if you have a question, you can use the search feature on your browser to scan the comments.

I’ve learned a lot listening to you about ice cream making and am thrilled that so many of you have taken up the task of churning up ice cream and sorbets at home. Thanks for participating in this forum!

-david


Here’s a list of links to various places on the site where you can find more information and tips about how to make ice cream.

However because to the number of inquiries, please keep in mind…

-If you have questions regarding a specific machine, I suggest contacting the manufacturer as they’re best equipped to give advice on your particular model.

-If you have questions about other people’s recipes, it’s advisable to contact the chef or author of that recipe.

-If you wish to try to recreate a favorite flavor you’ve had in a restaurant or ice cream shop, I suggest contacting the source of the inspiration, such as the company or chef, for guidance.

-While I appreciate those who are on special or restricted diets, there are a number of books out there which address ice cream recipes that are specifically tailored for those seeking recipes on that nature and it’s best to check those sources for recipes and for making modifications.

-Due to the number of comments and questions, yours might have already been answered. You can do a search using your browser for keywords in your question, to find is there is already a response.

-For questions about ingredient substitutions, check out my post on Baking Ingredients and Substitutions.

  • Recipes to use up leftover egg whites

  • How long does ice cream last?

  • Tips for making homemade ice cream softer

  • Recommended equipment to make ice cream

  • Vegan Ice Cream Books

  • Recipes to use up leftover egg whites

  • Making ice cream without a machine

  • The ice cream shops of Paris

  • Meet your maker: buying an ice cream machine

  • Compendium of recipes for ice creams & sorbets

  • What is gelato?

  • How to make the perfect caramel

  • Let’s Make Ice Cream!

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    382 comments

    • I am cracking up! In my home those would be baby spoons. :-) My last 2 children used “Baskin Robbins” spoons exclusively for their baby spoons. Bright pink and small and very safe for their teeth if they bite them by mistake. We always had a drawer full and if I ran out I was happy to go get more, along with the ice cream of course!

    • We just got a gelato shop in our city and we love it. Those little spoons are the perfect size. Anyway, I have a question that I haven’t been able to find the answer to: How do you know when ice cream is done? I seem to overchurn every batch I make. It’s still delicious of course, but it coats your mouth and spoon… What do you watch for? Thanks!

    • Thank you for your tips! Could you please address how to keep fruit chunks in fruited ice creams soft and delicious? Mine attempts are always great on Day 1, but after a night in the freezer the fruit turns into icy chunks and the texture is never the same.
      Thanks!

    • Becca: The two kinds of machines I use, one is an inexpensive model with a canister you pre-freeze and the other has a built-in compressor, both stop automatically when the ice cream is done. If yours doesn’t do that, the ice cream should have the consistency of thick mashed potatoes and will hold a shape if you poke your finger it it. (Turn the machine off before you try that, though!)

      Trish: Since fruit is mostly water, and water freezes pretty hard, chunks of fresh fruit & berries added to ice cream will freeze into solid chunks, which some folks don’t mind.

      Either plan to eat your ice cream soon after freezing, or macerate the fruit pieces or berries in sugar and/or alcohol (such as kirsch, rum, or vodka) for around 30 minutes before adding it to the mix. Both will imbibe the fruit and help keep it softer. (You should drain any excess liquid away, saving it for something else, before adding the fruit.)

    • David – the pic of the salted butter caramel ice cream in your “tips” post is so great. And it reminded me of a question I had about that particular ice cream. When I make it, after it has been in the freezer for two or three days, there seems to be a layer of caramel that collects on the bottom of the container. Ever heard of that? Any ideas as to why that’s happening? Regardless, that’s such a great ice cream – thanks for the recipe.

    • Erik: Sound like another reason to race to the bottom!

      In that ice cream, sometimes the little pieces of caramel melt into gooey nuggets, which I love. But if they’re pooling at the bottom it sounds like they’re all sinking down.

      I would make sure the ice cream is churned enough, so it’s firm and can support the caramel bits (although that ice cream is softer than others due to the caramel), and you might want to freeze it in a shallow container so that it chills as quickly as possible.

    • I was one of the lucky few who snapped up the $20 cuisinart ice cream makers on amazon a few months ago. I’ve been very busy trying out lots of different flavors with my children and husband as willing and discerning taste testers! I think I’m going to try your roquefort and honey recipe this weekend (and it’s all for me, the rest won’t eat it) can you recommend a wine pairing? Thanks

    • How funny. I just posted my recipe for green tea ice cream yesterday. My sister in law asked what machine I had and I sent her your page on “buying an ice cream machine”. I also have the big Cuisinart (the self freezing one) that I got on sale a few years ago at Williams-Sonoma for $200. It currently is listed at $299. The only drawback to me is that it is so noisy. I keep it in the bedroom so I can close the door when it’s running!

    • Okay, I know I’m supposed to make my own, but I’ve discovered a new favorite that you can buy, oh so easily! Next time you go to BioCoop look to see if they have Gildo Rachelli ice cream (green container with a silly cupid on it). It’s Demeter certified vanilla ice cream that I think is delish! I’m sitting here eating it out of the container and looking at the ad on the sidebar “How to Lose Belly Fat.” Hmm sure isn’t by eating ice cream!!!

    • Shira: I recommend port or a sweet white wine, like sauternes, gerwurtraminer , Muscat, or Barzac. But if you ask at your local liquor store, there might be something equally-delicious that’s more local.

      Tina: That machine is noisy (I have the same one) and keep mine in the bedroom, too! It does do a really good job, though, and for the price, it’s a great deal. Last year Amazon had reconditioned ones for only $119, but they got snapped up pretty quickly.

      btw: I do recommend buying a back up dasher. They’re only $7 and good to have on hand in case they accidentially break, which can sometimes happen. And having an extra on hand is good insurance!

    • I’ve been tempted to make chocolate macarons with the leftover egg whites (as you suggest). Can I chop or crumble them into a batch of ice cream or would that just be too convenient?

    • I have been making multiple flavors again from your wonderful Perfect Scoop for the last few months. And my reputation for providing great ice cream is spreading, although I give you all the credit. Friends mention the fruit flavors in particular. Always tough deciding to go with one of the 20 or so absolute favorites, or try a new one. New this year for me are the Plum & Apricot i.c. (made sorbet in 2007) and the Creme Fraiche—all winners. But friends expect me to have at least 5-6 flavors available at all times; wonder how that happened. Off to have some now. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • the blue one seems to poke out from the picture :D

    • Hello David- I have been making ice cream – machine and not for a while now. I have a nice bourbon ice cream recipe and recently tried to make “ice cream” for some vegan friends of mine using coconut milk instead of dairy products. It came out pretty great and I wanted to know if you have vegan substitutes for creamy variety ice cream instead of sorbet, etc. Or if you had any ideas, thanks-Julie Barrett

    • Hi David, thanks for all your tips. Do you have any ideas for a vegan ice cream or gelato? Have you ever tried soy milk?

    • Thanks for the tips, David. Do you have any tips for avoiding ice crystals in ice cream?

    • Ana: I haven’t much experience with soy milk but from what I’m told, it best to eat ice creams made with soy and rice milk shortly after they’re made, since they can get icy due to the lower fat. I’ve heard there are soy-based cream substitutes, but I haven’t seen them here in France so I can’t advise.

      One tip I would say would be to make Philadelphia-style (no custard) ice creams, and use a soy-based cream cheese (Tofutti makes one) in place of some of the milk called for in the recipe, (using soy or rice milk for the rest) which have natural gums in them, which will improve the texture of the ice cream.

      Dragon: Ice crystals can be caused by a couple of things. One is if you’ve reduced the fat of a recipe; like if you use milk, which has more water, in place of cream. Another is if the scoop you’re using has water on it, and when you re-dip, those crystals freeze. Be sure to lay a piece of plastic directly on top of the ice cream when it’s in the freezer, to prevent icy crystals from collecting on the top.

      Also, be certain to let the mixture chill thoroughly before churning. The longer the churning time, the more likely there will be a build-up of ice crystals in your ice cream. So you want to shortest churning time possible and making sure the custard or base is super-cold will really help.

    • Do you have an excellent basic blueberry ice cream recipe? All the blueberry ice cream recipes in The Perfect Scoop contain other flavors such as banana or cheesecake. (btw, I owed the library $11 in fines for that book so I broke down and bought a copy.)

      Thanks
      Robin

    • Hi Robin: Because cooked domestic blueberries often don’t have a lot of flavor, once cooked, I prefer them in Blueberry Frozen Yogurt (page 88), so the tang of the yogurt accents the sweet blueberries. You could try that recipe substituting a mix of cream and sour cream for the yogurt: I like to use sour cream since it gives fruit ice creams, that aren’t custard-based, a creamier texture.

      Glad to hear you’re a good citizen and supporting your local library!
      ; )

    • David – I love your ice cream book and fear that your recipe for the fresh mint ice cream with stracciatella has forever ruined mint chocolate chip from anywhere else!

      I do have a question about how to improve the texture of the ice cream. I follow your recipes with no substitutions for the whole milk or cream, chill the mixture overnight and, when the long wait to churn is finally over, the texture fresh out of the ice cream maker is great. However, the next evening any leftovers that I managed to save have an icy, grainy texture. Is this a result of over churning?

      Also, I have a friend who is often in Paris on extended trips for work. One one trip, he and his partner discovered a wonderful dessert of lemon sorbet topped with vodka. Upon returning to the states they haven’t been able to find lemon sorbet in order to make this at home. When they saw your book on my counter they immediately requested a batch of lemon sorbet. We had a wonderful time taste testing which vodka worked best and we were wondering if there are any tricks to getting a creamier, smoother sorbet more similar to sherbet without having to add milk? Is my slower churning home ice cream maker going to be the limitation?

      Thanks so much for your wonderful books and blog!
      Amanda

    • wow, I’m so grateful for that list of egg white recipes!
      I’ve been feeling guilty about all those egg whites that sit in my fridge for a week before I dump them in the trash. I think it’s a little too humid right now for any sort of meringue, but angel food cake would do the trick–especially since we’re in the middle of berry season!

    • I made the Blueberry Frozen Yogurt recipe using 1 cup of Greek yogurt (I love that stuff) and 1/2 cup of half and half (anymore half and half and it would have had an adverse effect on tomorrow’s coffee). I pint I left plain (for my heathen children) and the other one I stirred some grape nuts cereal in. YUM!! We all loved it. My 3 year old was twice as happy because we used the immersion blender to make it.

      Next time I will try it with heavy cream, or rather when I plan ahead I will. Could be months!!

      Thanks
      Robin

    • David – As a newbie to the ice cream making game I have to say how much I love your site! The information is so helpful and easy to understand. After three days pouring over your recipes and blog, I am off to buy your book this weekend. However, I do have a question for you – I tried making my first (ever) batch of pomegranate gelato last night. My recipe (from the Epicurious website) included heavy cream, whole milk, cornstarch, sugar (which I substituted agave nectar), POM, and PAMA (a liquor). I fear that after heating the mixture I didn’t let it chill long enough (a measly 1.5 hours in an ice bath) because it was still in pure liquid form after 35 minutes in the ice cream machine. Or maybe the sugar substitute or alcohol (about 1/3 cup) played a part. My question is – I poured the mixture into a bowl and put in the refrigerator, can I try to put this back in the ice cream maker for a second go? I have also fully re-froze the canister for tonight as well. Any tips would be appreciated! Thanks!

    • Hi Kristin: I can’t really answer questions about recipes from other sources, although I know people in Bon Appétit’s test kitchen and their recipes are pretty thoroughly tested.

      But I can offer a few tips:
      -Agave is somewhat sweeter than white sugar, so I would reduce the amount by 25-30%.
      -Letting the mixture chill really, really well cuts the freezing time considerably. And some machines take longer to churn than others.
      -1/3 cup of alcohol is quite a bit, but it depends on the rest of the recipe and strength of the liqueur.

      You might want to add a bit of whole milk, say 1/4-1/3 cup to the mixture, and try refreezing it. Good luck!

      Amanda: You should check the post linked above about keeping ice cream soft. And most machines nowadays turn off when the ice cream is done to prevent over-churning. Check your owner’s manual to see if that’s true for your model.

    • I have some amazing nectarines and I want to try out your recipe. You swap sour cream for eggs and I wonder what effect that has? I love the effect that the eggs have on the texture and flavor,why not use eggs in the fruit based iced creams?
      Thanks!
      Jonathan

    • Hi Jonathan: I use sour cream in my fruit-based ice creams for a couple of reasons:

      1. It’s easier!

      People who haven’t made a custard can be hesitant to give it a try. So in instances where I don’t think it makes a huge amount of difference (like in recipes where the flavor is fruit), I prefer to offer a recipe that’s more accessible to the widest number of people.

      2. Flavor.

      I like the taste of sour cream with fruit. It’s tangy flavor offsets the sweetness of perfect fruits beautifully.

      3. Texture.

      Sour cream has some natural gums in it which give the finished ice cream a nice texture. You can substitute heavy cream for sour cream in any of those recipes, if you wish.

      Happy churning!

    • David, My husband and I are starting to sell homemade ice cream at our local Farmers Market. My questions has to do with blending the melted chocolate with the creams. Once I have the chocolate nelted and start to mix into the cream I get little specks of chocolat instead of a true blend. What can I do differently to avoid this?

      Thanks

    • David, it seems that gourmet soft serve ice cream is everywhere these days – everywhere in NYC and on the west coast, that is. I live in Philadelphia and want to make my own. Any recommendations or recipes? I suspect there is more to it than simply serving the ice cream straight from the machine without ripening it in the freezer; the article I read in the NYTimes mentioned natural stabilizers like carageenan, guar gum, lecithin, agar agar or invert sugar. Any help you could give me would be MOST appreciated!

      Here’s a link to the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/23/dining/23soft.html?8dpc

      P.S. I doubt I could qualify as your biggest fan because you have so many ardent admirers, but I have been besotted with you and your blog and your recipes since I first stumbled across your recipe for kouign amman. You make such a contribution in this world – thank you and please keep it up!

    • hi Laura: I’ve never made ice cream that was specifically intended as ‘soft serve’, but I know that Cuisinart sells a machine specifically for that purpose and perhaps their website offers some recipes. I would imagine any ice cream base would work, though.

      I did read that article, and although they didn’t mention it, a lot of places make soft-serve style ice cream so they can get around certain regulations which requires places that make and store ice cream to have a dairy license.

      Glad you’re enjoying the blog & thanks for your kind words, too!

    • hi Laura: I’ve never made ice cream that was specifically intended as ‘soft serve’, but I know that Cuisinart sells a machine specifically for that purpose and perhaps their website offers some recipes. I would imagine any ice cream base would work, though.

      I did read that article, and although they didn’t mention it, a lot of places make soft-serve style ice cream so they can get around certain regulations which requires places that make and store ice cream to have a dairy license.

      Glad you’re enjoying the blog & thanks for your kind words, too!

    • Gostaria de receber a receita da pasta de pistache

    • Just want to say that I really enjoy reading your blog – esp everything you have to say about making ice cream. Thank you.

    • Dear David,
      I am enjoying the cookbook, The Perfect Scoop. However, I have tried two times to make the Leche Merengada without success. The only pasturized egg whites that I could find were in a quart egg carton containing only pasturized egg whites. Each time I waited until they were room temperature and then tried to whip them. In both cases, they stayed liquid and refused to whip up. I know how to whip egg whites and have never had this problem with normal egg whites. What do you think might have been the problem, and what would you propose as a solution? I love meringue, so I’m eager to make this recipe work.
      thanks.

    • Hi Lucy: Certain brands of egg whites aren’t suitable for whipping, and generally say that on the packaging. It’s something I learned the hard way, when doing a demonstration in front of a lot of people, as I watched the whites slosh around in the mixing bowl for an eternity… So search out a brand that is suitable for whipping in your area.

      (Deb-El are powdered egg whites which the company says works for meringues, although I personally haven’t used them.)

      Interesting, according to the American Egg Board Website, only one in 20,000 eggs may have salmonella and they say that the average person “…might encounter a contaminated egg once every 84 years.” And if using raw eggs in a recipe, it’s best to buy them from a trusted source, using the freshest you can find.

      Still, for those who, for health reason, wish to avoid eating raw eggs, the pasteurized ones offer a good alternative to fresh. But read the label first.

    • Hi David,

      on another forum (cuisinartstandmixer dawt com) some believe that you are using the kitchenaid icecream accessory. but since you live in 220V/50Hz world, I have some doubt because kitchenaid website says that this accesory does fit 220V/50Hz mixers. Can you confirm?

      Thx

      I don’t quite understand the question, but the European ice cream attachment for the KitchenAid is different than the one of the US market, due to EU regulations on small appliances and safety features. My Cuisinart ICE 50 is indeed 220V, which I had sent over from the UK. -DL

    • My question was for Kitchenaid mixers, not cuisinart. On the Kitchenaid website, they say the icecream maker accessory only fits US mixers, not Europeans.

      on another forum, some people said you were using a kitchenaid mixer and a kitchenaid icecream maker accessory. Since you live in Paris, I was wondering how you manage to get the kitchenaid icecream maker accessory work in France.

      But you answer seems to imply that there is also an European version of the Ice Cream maker. My local Dealer in the Netherlands told me the icecream maker does not exist for europeans mixers.

      M

    • David:
      I just returned from my honeymoon in Bali where I bought the most delicious vanilla beans EVER. My soul intention is to make vanilla ice cream with my brand new Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. However, I have NEVER done this before… Do you have a fool-proof recipe so that I don’t waste my precious beans in my novice effort?

    • Hi David – I’ve been loving trying out all of the recipes in your book, and this week it’s rice gelato. The mixture is cooling now in the fridge, and I must say it took some willpower not to just eat it straight out of the oven since it smelled so amazing! I want to make the sour cheries in grand marnier that you recommend as a pairing – do you use unsweetened or sweetened dried cherries? I realized that I already have a bag of dried tart cherries that have added sugar, and was wondering if I needed to tweak the recipe to use these?
      Thanks!
      S

    • Denise: Yes, all the ice cream recipes in my book, The Perfect Scoop, work very well. There’s two different vanilla ice cream recipes, one is custard-based and the other isn’t. Happy churning!

      Sarah: That’s a great gelato, although depending on how cold your freezer is, it may be more or less time to come to just the right temperature for scooping. So plan to take it out prior to serving, giving it sufficient time. Either sour cherries are fine to use. If unsweetened are used, you can always add a bit of sugar or honey if they’re not sweet enough, although there’s already some sugar and Grand Marnier in the recipe. (But I do like mine on the tart side, personally.)

      Matthieu: There is indeed a KitchenAid ice cream attachment which fits the French models, but I don’t know anything about other countries. Visit their Website to get in touch with the company headquarters in the Netherlands.

    • David – thanks for the quick reply. The dried cherries taste sweet enough to me (I like tart also!) so is it ok to omit the sugar altogether?

    • I’m new to making ice cream as an adult, although years ago I would faithfully take my turn at crushing ice and mixing it with rock salt when my mother’s inspiration for ice cream took hold.

      My first attempt recently involved liquid nitrogen and my KitchenAid mixer, a combo that I can recommend wholeheartedly if one has the time and money to ferret out the gas (try a welding supply shop). The liquid nitrogen freezes stuff fast — it takes about five minutes — and the ice cream itself is amazingly creamy. In my three tries at it I never had a problem, even when I used a custard straight from the stove. Too, making ice cream in front of your guests makes for a fun event — as the nitrogen boils off, great clouds of smoky, cold steam waft away, like so much “witch’s brew.” It’s so much more fun than my slow, boring KitchenAid ice cream canister attachment…

      Keep in mind to read up on liquid nitrogen safety, as it’s really, really cold, colder than anything occurring naturally on Earth. Misuse can cause injury, just as misuse of boiling water can.

    • Hi David. If anyone can answer my question, it must be you. I think that lemon-mascarpone ice cream sounds divine, but can’t find a recipe online or in any of my books. You have a lemon-buttermilk in Perfect Scoop; I’m tempted to remove the buttermilk, add mascarpone and give that a whirl, so to speak. But, have you come across any recipes for my search?

      Thanks!
      Julie

      Hi Julie: I’m almost certain you could adapt that recipe, using mascarpone, although I haven’t tried it…because I love buttermilk so much. But there’s no reason not to give it a spin! -dl

    • Hi David. My question is actually about ice cream containers. I would love to give the unique ice cream flavors to some of my friends, but I don’t necessarily want to worry about getting the containers back. Do you know where I can find just plain pint or quart sized empty ice cream containers that I don’t have to order in quantities of 500? I’ve been looking on the internet for a while and haven’t been able to find much of anything.

      Thanks for your help.
      Shannon

    • hi Shannon: I go to restaurant supply stores and buy sturdy plastic containers, which aren’t super-cheap, but they’re not expensive. And I know they’ll get re-used. I buy them in packs of 50 and just about every city has a restaurant supply shop. (And there’s plenty online.)

      I know that companies are selling sturdy plastic containers, like these Glad-ware ones, which are inexpensive and reusable.

      Also those paper Chinese food pails with metal handles work well, too!

    • David:

      Just bought an ice cream machine. Frustration kicked in. I bought the wooden old fashion bucket with the motor and also manual. I just did my first attempt, and it was a disaster i think. After 40-50 rotating with the motor the mix came out almost exactly the same consistency it went in.

      The machine didn’t came with instructions so i filled it around with ice, salt and water (i think my mistake).

      I placed the watery mix now on the freezer to see if at least it gets hard a bit.

      David, i think i’ve never been so frustrated with something. I make French Bread, Roast Coffee, and this is by far my hardest one…… Ice Cream…..

      Well i guess ill give it one more try later then…. no sure…. I don’t know what i did wrong…

    • Francis: I haven’t used rock salt machine for many decades (reallly!) but agree that you shouldn’t add water; it should just be rock salt and ice. The bag of rock salt, or the instructions with the machine, should say exactly what proportions work best.

      Also make sure your mixture doesn’t have too much sugar or alcohol in it, two things that can inhibit freezing as well.

    • David – Always a big fan of your recipes. I’m trying to come up with a more appealing version of “cookies’n'cream” ice cream for a baby shower I am hosting and wanted to get your advice on which ice cream and/or mix-ins you would recommend? I didn’t quite realize that cookies’n'cream is based on the Oreo concept….

      Thanks in advance,

      Mariangela

    • Hi David,

      I own a small homemade ice cream shop in Chelsea, Quebec, Canada. We make all our own ice cream that we only sell at our shop. I found your book last winter, while we were closed for the winter, and have been pouring over it ever since. -Lots of inspirational recipes.

      I am always looking for ways to improve our ice cream, and so I am considerting turning to pasturizing my own ice cream mix. At the moment I buy my mix from a small local dairy which makes life much easier for me; but I’m convinced that if I pasturize my own mix I’ll have more control over the finished product and therefore a better finished product. Do you know anything about pasturizer machines?

      Chris

    • Hi Chris: Since Italians usually pasteurize their ice cream (by law) you might want to check a source that sells gelato-making equipment. I don’t have any specific ones in mind, but a Google search will likely yield results. Glad you’re enjoying the book!

      Mariangela: I don’t have any recommendations for baby showers, but I like one can’t go wrong with chocolate truffles folded into ice cream : )

    • Hello David!
      How are you? Did you spend a good time here in Italy. I hope so. :)
      I write you because I have the idea to prepare a dessert with these ingredients: white chocolate, white yogurt and mascarpone (typical Italian cheese ideal for making desserts). Can you give me some idea/advice?
      Thanks a lot
      ilaria :)

    • in my past attempts at making vanilla ice cream, it often comes out with a subtle metallic taste to it…i sometimes find this with store bought ice creams as well….is it just me, or is this a result of the preparation method?

    • Ilaria: When creating an ice cream recipe, I try to keep the sugar at around 25% of the volume, so you can use those proportions when figuring out what balance of those other ingredients works best for you.

      kim: Don’t know why you’d get a metallic taste from all (store-bought and homemade) vanilla ice cream. You may be a supertaster, and there’s something in vanilla that you’re especially sensitive to.

    • David, I’m wondering if you have a recipe for pumpkin ice cream? This time of year, I love all things pumpkin, and came up short flipping through my well-worn copy of The Perfect Scoop. I could experiment with the spices, but am at a loss for where to start on proportions for the actual pumpkin puree. Any thoughts, or could you point me in a direction?

    • katy: Try the Sweet Potato Ice Cream (page 67) replacing pumpkins for the potatoes (although if you don’t tell anyone, they probably won’t know.) And maple-glazed pecans are the icing on the cake!

    • Hi David, thank you so much for your amazing Perfect Scoop book! I cannot suffer most store bought versions of ice-cream now!

      I hope you can help me with the following…I wish to make the green tea ice-cream, but have had trouble getting a hold of green tea powder where I live. If I take green tea leaves from tea bags and grind them with my mortar and pestle, will that give me the same results?

      Thank you for your time and the sharing of your knowledge!

    • Hi Aaron: Thanks and glad you’re enjoying the book!

      The green tea in bags (or loose) isn’t the same as green tea powder. It has a different flavor, texture, and color.

      Many Asian markets do carry it, or you can order matcha green tea online.

    • Hi David, I’ve made a few of the recipes in “The Perfect Scoop”, and they’ve been wonderful! I have a question about the Roasted Banana Ice Cream recipe on page 72; I wonder if it is missing heavy cream as an ingredient. I followed the recipe as written, and it was exceptionally sweet and intense. I noticed many of the other recipes have around 3 cups total of milk and cream, and this one only has 1 1/2 cups whole milk.

      Thanks for a great book!

    • Jeff: The recipe is correct as written. Since the caramelized bananas provide richness, I use milk instead of cream. You can use cream in lieu of some or all of the milk if you prefer.

    • Hi David; I just did a little riff on your Guinness Milk Chocolate ice cream… I used a double chocolate stout instead of the Guinness (chocolate beer…. thought you might be into that), and 4oz of 64% bittersweet chocolate instead of the 7oz of milk chocolate. It turned out great (not as good as the original… you are the master, obviously), I think the dark caramely beer/chocolate combo is so interesting.

      Question though – the bittersweet chocolate didn’t seem to melt quite “right” or something, I don’t know. There are little teeny tiny “granules” of chocolate in the ice cream, something I don’t recall happening in your recipe. Is there something about the milk chocolate that lends itself better to this application? Did you experiment at all with other chocolates when developing that recipe?

      Thanks for any feedback, and for your always entertaining and informative blog!

    • Hi Erik: If you’re using unsweetened (aka: bitter chocolate) you’ll get those little granules and I always have to blend mixtures made with them, once cool, in a blender to smooth them out. Since milk chocolate has less cocoa solids, it’ll melt smoother.

    • David–help! Why is my custard curdling despite a very SLOW tempering? (Was doing the choc ice cream and had to do twice). Is it bc I’m tempering w/ a milk based since the cream was w/ the choc?

      Also, despite the whisking to loosen the chill custard to help poor it, it still was very thick almost like when I make ganache. This caused my machine to struggle to churn and stopped after only 5 min since it became too thick. Needless, it didn’t get much volume. Any advice with both problems? (Had similar problem w/ thickness w/ the roasted banana as well. Maybe it’s meant that way?)

      Thanks

    • Hi dpn: Custards usually break if they’re either overheated, or if there’s an acidic ingredient. You say it’s happening during a SLOW tempering, so I am presuming that means it’s happening when you are, indeed, tempering (pouring the warm milk into the egg yolks.) You should be stirring constantly while adding the warm milk to the yolks. I use a whisk. You can also check the temperature of the milk before adding it to the yolks.

      According to Harold McGee in his excellent reference, On Food and Cooking, egg yolks begin to thicken at 150F, and set at 158F (70C). So if the milk is below that temperature, you shouldn’t have any problems.

      Am not sure what is happening to your custards (although the Roasted Banana Ice Cream isn’t custard based). I’m not sure where you live, but if you’re using extra-rich, high-fat cream (like they have in France and Australia) that could be the problem. Try whizzing it in the blender before churning.

    • I love all your books and after getting The Perfect Scoop for my birthday I begged and what do you know I got my Lello gelato machine (I pray it’s as good as recommended) for Christmas and last eve I made my first batch BUT why when you taste it what comes to mind is ice crystals in my mouth. So of course all day I’ve been trying to figure this out so I can learn but now I have to bother you. I used 6 eggs, 3 cups half & half & 2/3c sugar. Now for years I have made Lindsey Shere’s vanilla ice cream from Chez Panisse Desserts and it has turned out really good. Any suggestions which recipe from The Perfect Scoop you’d suggest I start with? But what is the ice crystals?

      Thanks!!!

    • Hi trish: I’ve not used the Lello machine, but in general, if your ice cream is icy, the causes are 1) Too low fat or sugar content, or 2) The mixture not being chilled thoroughly (preferably overnight) before churning.

      My bases are similar in proportion to that which you wrote about, so you shouldn’t have any problems.

      For tips on which ice cream you might want to try, check out The Perfect Scoop Flickr group, which has pictures and notes from various users of the book.

    • I used the custard based vanilla ice cream on your web site and made a batch in my new kitchen aid ice cream maker. Parts of my ice cream turned out with an odd texture (almost like fruit leather). I thought that it might be just a bad job tempering my egg yolks, but when I strained the custard after chilling, there were no bits of egg and it was completely smooth. Clearly the solution is to eat the first batch (damn it tasted good) and try again, but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something obvious.

    • I really enjoy your book The Perfect Scoop! My son and I make a new ice cream or granita every week.
      Question: I have the Cuisinart ICE-50BC compressor ice cream maker. I think you use the same model. Your granita recipes are all based on the traditional put-it-in-the-freezer-and-stir method. Is there a reason you do not use your ice cream maker? I have had just great results and I am wondering if I am missing something?

    • Hi Andrew: I don’t use my machine to make granita since I like the texture of finely-chopped crystals and don’t know if the machine makes the same style of granita.

      The recipes in the book were intended for folks who don’t have a machine (or are avoiding dairy, or on low-sugar diets) so I left them as is. I know in Sicily, where granita is an art, they do use a machine to mix the crystals, but I think they store it in special containers or keep it churning all day in special machines made exclusively for that purpose, from what I’ve seen.

      I’m wondering how yours holds up after a while, post-churning. Does it remain scoopable and in crystals after a day or so in the freezer?

    • Try it! Try a granita in an appropriate machine like the Cuisinart. I think a prefreeze type would work well. Ice and rock salt is probably not saving you any time…

      Right after I posted the question, and having way too many Comice pears, I decided to try your pear granita both ways.

      The traditional method made great flakey snowy heaps and the machine made something equally wonderful but somewhat denser. It was easy to fluff up the machine made to be lighter and ‘snowyer’ using a few strokes with a fork.

      Don’t just make it in the machine and store in the machine container. You will have a pear ice cube. If you fluff it after making, the machine version stores well too.

      Overall, if you have a good machine, it is a lot less work and a very satisfying result.

    • Dear David
      After reading Heidi Swaonson’s wonderful review of your The Perfect Scoop I decided to give my new Cuisinart Ice Cream Machine a workout. I used the low-fat plain (tart) recipe that appears in 101Cookbooks.com I’m a huge fan of tangy frozen yogurt and was delighted to find your recipe on-line. It sparked me to order The Perfect Scoop for my own cooking library.

      To make the recipe I used 3 cups of yogurt (a 50-50 combination of plain yogurt and greek-style yogurts), along with 2/3 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of cream, and I omitted the vanilla because I like the brighter, less-ice cream taste. I actually LOVED the flavor of the end result, but there was a sort of chalky taste (for lack of a better description), and I was wondering if you could make a suggestion about how to make a more creamy variety. I’m just a novice and have absolutely no clue which way to go. I don’t even like yogurt when it’s not in a frozen state – so being unfamiliar with the products doesn’t give me much of an edge. . . Was it the greek-style yogurt that gave it that chalkiness perhaps, or was it something else?

      Please also let me qualify that I really did LOVE the recipe and the taste was really delicious, and if it couldn’t change at all I would still make it just as it is. I didn’t want to shed any negativity to the recipe itself; rather, I was just looking to make it a little more creamy (similar to the one I used to purchase in Louisiana). I am not opposed to adding milk, cream, or something else to give a more creamy taste, but I simply don’t know where to start. Where better to go than the expert himself!.

      Can’t wait to peruse the new book when it arrives! Thanks in advance for any light you can shed on the afore.

    • Hi Roxanne: I don’t recommend using low-fat yogurt for frozen yogurt, as the results will be icy and grainy. Whole milk, especially Greek-style, works best. (I haven’t tried the lower-fat Greek-style yogurts, since they’re not available in France.)

      You can drain whole milk yogurt, for a richer, tangy-er frozen yogurt following the instructions in the book. If you really like tangy frozen yogurt, you can add a pinch of citric acid, available at most pharmacies.

      If corn syrup keeps from hardening like sugar, can it be used in yogurt making as well as ice cream making? And if so, do you use equal increments (i.e., 1 cup sugar = 1 cup corn syrup)?

      Your second query about using corn syrup: You can use a liquid sweetener, like corn syrup or honey, replacing it 3/4s for each part of sugar (ie: if the recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, use 3/4 cup liquid sweetener.)

      I don’t recommend using that much corn syrup and you might want to experiment with alternative sweeteners, such as agave or mild honey. Of course, both of those have flavor, which corn syrup doesn’t, but I don’t mind them.

    • Dear David,
      You are the BEST! After going to the market to get the whole milk yogurt you suggested in the post above, I went straight to work on the new yogurt. Your suggestion not only “creamed” up the end result, it also made me aware of how icy (kind of like ice milk) and chalky the previous batches actually were. I’m amazed at how easy it was to totally alter the frozen yoguft recipe.

      I also upped the sugar based on a previous post on your blog a bit and it was divine! It is easy to see why you do what you do . . . as you do it so well!

      Thanks so much for your kindness in sharing. Can’t wait to read more!

    • Hi David,

      I’m a huge fan of The Perfect Scoop. Everything I made so far has been delicious.

      I am interested in making an ice cream cake utilizing one of your ice creams. What kind of cake would you recommend? Would a pound cake be best in this application?

      Any funky flavor combinations of cake/ice cream that sound crazy good to you?

      Thanks!
      Sara

    • sara: If you’re interesting in making an ice cream cake, which I’m presuming means layers of ice cream (or sorbet), you can line a bowl or pan with plastic film and spread layers of slightly-softened ice cream in there.

      Then for the final layer, I’d use either spongecake or poundcake for the final layer. You could also layer cake between them, too. One thing you might want to do is to brush (or saturate) the cake with a sugar syrup, preferably spiked with a favorite liqueur. (Make a sugar syrup by boiling up 1 part sugar to 3 parts water, add liqueur to taste.)

      This will help keep the cake from freezing to hard.

      Afterwards, you can top the whole thing with meringue, broil it off…and make yourself a baked Alaska!

      There’s detailed instructions in my book Ripe for Dessert, or you can perhaps find some elsewhere.

    • David,
      It seems every batch of Ice cream I make there is always a rock solid build up of ice cream on the edges of the cannister. Any tips on preventing the quick freeze build up on the edge of the cannister? Would using pam or any other non stick product help or am I doing something consistently wrong?

      Cuisinart ICE 20
      Cannister is always in freezer 24 hours prior to use

      Thanks

    • Hi Andrew: I wouldn’t put anything like Pam in your machine and it’s likely butterfat that’s sticking to the side. Make sure your mixture is unformily cold when you pour it in, so it freezes uniformingly. Some manufacturer’s say to pour the mixture in the machine, then turn it on. In my experience, with the machines like you have, it’s best to turn the machine on and pour the mixture in while the dasher is turning. When I used a similar Krups machine, that was how I had to proceed to prevent ice cream from freezing to the sides, which’d prevent the dasher from turning.

    • Hi David,

      I’m trying to make a sauternes + creme fraiche ice cream. I plan on using your creme fraiche ice cream recipe and then adding 1/2 cup sauternes after the custard is cooled in a water bath before it goes into the machine. My worry is that the 1/2 cup of liquid is going to mess up the consistency of the ice cream. Do you agree? Any suggestions?

    • hi dtsavvy: Yes, that’s too much Sauternes. There’s guidelines for how much alcohol to use in the book (page 5), but you can reduce the sauternes down in a skillet, which I do when making ice cream. I can’t tell you exactly how much (unless you want to send me a bottle of Yquem!) but you can do it to taste. You can use an inexpensive sauternes, or a muscat, or a similar wine.

    • In the custard recipes, you frequently call for warming the milk first, then adding it to the egg yolks as a means of tempering them. I’ve done recipes this way many times, and they always turn out well. But the method always means an extra pan, and a bit more effort. So, I thought to experiment. This last time, I just dumped everything into a pan, stuck a thermometer in the liquid, heated pan slowly (but while whisking) until the thermometer read 170º F, removed from heat, and then proceeded as normal. I’m no refined taster, but the ice cream didn’t seem to suffer from skipping the tempering.

      What am I missing here?

      Thanks for any tips you might have.

      –Brent

    • Hi Brent: You can certainly make custards that way, by adding everything to the saucepan at once, cold, then cooking while stirring constantly. However you need to stand over it the entire time, stirring, to make sure the egg yolks don’t cook.

      In the old days, it’s was recommended that people ‘scald’ milk, to remove any microbes. But that doesn’t seem to be a problem any more. Other ice cream recipes sometimes call for one to whip the egg yolks with the sugar, but if people don’t act fast, the sugar can ‘burn’ and cause tough little granules to form, so I don’t do it.

      If you’re infusing ingredients, though, you do need to let the warm mixture rest for an hour or so, and I don’t recommend letting warm egg yolks sit for a few hours without refrigeration.

      I’m not into washing dishes either, but the method I use only uses one extra bowl so it’s not a lot more clean up. But feel free to do it either way.

    • Candy in ice cream? How to grind – what about the texture?

    • The best way to grind candy up for inclusion in ice cream would either be in a food processor or mortar and pestle. You can grind them as fine, or as coarse, as you want in either. Stir them in just after churning; if you add them first, they can prevent the dasher in the machine from turning properly.

    • David, How do you scoop that perfect scoop of ice cream? All the pictures in your “Perfect Scoop” feature a perfectly rounded, beautiful scoop of ice cream. Can you share any tips on how to scoop the ice cream into that beautiful ball? I’m trying to make a pretty scoop for a picture of my pear caramel ice cream, but after eating all the imperfect scoops (not complaining about that), I’ve almost finished all my ice cream! Any tips will be greatly appreciated!

    • Hi Ann: I’m glad you like the photos in my book. This was the first book I did that I didn’t style the food for the photos, since I live too far away now. George Dolese, who is a professional food stylists, did the scooping. And as you can see, he’s one of the best.

      For great-looking scoops:

      1. Use a professional-quality scooper, one that’s springloaded. (One like this.)

      2. Make sure the ice cream isn’t rock hard. If so, take it out of the freezer prior to scooping to give it time to soften a bit.

      3. Immerse the scoop in very warm water before you scoop.

      Stylists use lots of tricks but he didn’t for my book since we wanted things to look natural and not too “styled.” I think he did a great job~

    • David,

      I’d like to try low calorie sorbets made with Stevia instead of sugar. Stevia is around 100x stronger than sugar, so cups of sugar will be replaced by teaspoons. I’m worried that the final product will be different because the sugar affects the density and other properties of the sorbet. What do you think?

      Thanks,

      Graham

    • Hi David,
      Just bought your book and my first ice-cream machine. Before I begin making ice creams, I was wondering if you had any recommendations for storage containers to keep the finished products in. Tupperware? Old plastic yogurt containers? What’s best?

    • Hi Julie: On page #15 of my book, I discuss what kind of containers I prefer to use and where you can find them, too.

      Graham: I have no experience with Stevia but sugar prevents things from freezing too hard, so if you don’t use it, your results will be different and your sorbets will be pretty hard-to-scoop. You could follow some of my Tips for Making Homemade Ice Cream Softer or make granitas, where the amount of sugar isn’t important since they’re meant to be icy crystals.

    • Hello. Is there a general rule that I could use to convert ice-cream recipes to Philadelphia style ice-cream? I grew up eating “ice milk” and now I prefer the taste of ice-cream without the eggs. Thank you.

    • David,
      I want to try the salted butter caramel ice cream recipe I found here, but always have difficulty with “dry” caramels. (Yes, I have read your excellent tutorial, but still have no success… ) So I want to try it with a “wet” caramel, but wondered if the added water would change the texture of the finished ice cream. Thanks for the help!

    • Diana: There is no rule that I know of, but I do present both style in my ice cream book as well as here on the site.

      Annalisa: I don’t know but it should work fine, although I can’t say for sure as I haven’t tried it. If you do, let me know!

    • Hi David, I wish i could buy a dummy’s guide to making homemade ice cream.

      Please enlighten me, why my vanilla ice cream is so yellowish in colour compared to store bought ones? The texture came out great though, but it didn’t taste that vanilla either. What went wrong? could it be my choice of vanilla pod or? i made it according to ur custard vanilla recipe .Thanks and appreciate ur help! Ur blog is awesome!

    • Dear David

      Yes a big fan of yours- question 1) did you study food science, that you know so much?

      2) I am trying to understand crystal size and if it will effect taste -as if you add some ingredents that keep the icecream stable longer, it effect the crystal size and then my concern will it effect taste.

      Please help.

    • Hello David!

      I just purchased your book Perfect Scoop because I got the Cuisinart Ice-50BC as a gift. I have made ice cream before so I have the basic flavors under control but now I’m trying to imitate one of my favorite flavors. Here in Miami, there is a gelato place that serves Banana Split gelato. It is banana gelato with stracciatella and caramel swirled into it. Today, I made the gelato with only the chocolate swirl.

      I’m really enticed to use your Salted Butter Caramel recipe and swirl that in, as well as the chocolate to mimic my favorite gelato but I am afraid the caramel will just seize when it hits the cold ice cream surface and won’t swirl in, leaving me with a lumpy, gooey… mess.

      What do you suggest? I love caramel swirled into my ice cream and I need to know how to do it. Thanks for your help!

      -Bianca

    • E: Depending on where you live, most egg yolks can be light in color, or darker, as they are where I live, in France. If you shop at a farmer’s market, you’ll often find eggs with brighter yolks. Vanilla can vary depending on age and variety, so you can certainly add more extract to taste in your ice cream mixture before churning.

      Gary: Yes, I took some food science classes in college and took professional chocolate classes in Belgium and in France, where we learned food science as well.

      Crystal size in ice cream mostly relates to mouth feel. The easiest way to keep the crystals small is to chill the mixture very well before freezing; the less amount of time it spends churning, the smaller the crystals.

      Other options include adding things like corn syrup, glucose, and/or ice cream stabilizers, which I generally avoid in ice cream as they do affect the taste.

      Bianca: Because that ice cream is rather soft, I don’t recommend swirling caramel into it. The recipe on the site does have small bits of crushed caramel, which melt nicely as they sit, and become deliciously gooey!

    • dear david,
      I was reading the LA times article and was fascinated by buckwheat ice cream. I wanted to take it a step further and make it with buckwheat honey swirl, but the honey turned into a chewy mess. do you have any tips for honey to stay runny, creamy and smooth in the ice cream, like commercial honey swirls do.

    • iztok: I’ve not seen a commercial honey swirl, but I’d imagine it’s some sort of creamy caramel ripple with a honey base. Perhaps try a very thick unfiltered honey maybe mixed with some cream, just enough to make it less-gunky when frozen.

    • hi david,

      i’ve been putting my philips pre-freeze ice cream maker and your perfect scoop book to good use! i have two quick questions for you..

      1. how hard does ice cream from a pre-freeze machine usually get? I churned the chocolate sorbet for almost an hour and it was less firm than a 7-11 slurpee. I had refrigerated the sorbet liquid for 24 hours before. I must add, however, that I stay in tropical Singapore, but I did try to help the sorbet along by churning in an air-conditioned room.

      2. does the chocolate sorbet melt relatively quickly? (again, this may be due to the weather here, but just wondering)

      thanks!

    • hi alexandra: There may be a problem with your machine and you might wish to contact the manufacturer. Most of my sorbets are fruit-juice based, so they should freeze pretty firm if you’re following the recipe. You might want to try freezing a batch of straight water and see what happens.

      As for the chocolate sorbet, Deb made it and you can see the right consistency here. Of course if it sits in the freezer, it’ll likely be much firmer, depending on the temperature of your freezer. You may want to dial up the temperature of it.

    • Hi David,
      I have The Perfect Scoop, and read it cover to cover before finally getting my own ice cream machine last week. I got the Cuisinart ICE50, which I understand you have experience with. My question is, does the paddle on yours move as slowly as mine does? It moves as slow as a paddle on a mixer set at LOW speed. I am not sure if this is how this machine is supposed to work, or if something is wrong with mine. If it is working properly that way, then how is it getting any air into the mixture? I thought air was needed to produce a nice consistency.
      Also, how long did you let the machine run for ice creams (or what consistency did you stop it at)? I am afraid to let it run too long because I have been told that the longer it takes to freeze, the more ice crystals form. I am asking these questions because the two batches I have made so far have come out very hard, dense, chewy, and with ice crystals:( Please help!
      Thank you:)
      Shannon

    • Shannon: The dasher does not move very fast, which is normal on home machines, but I’ve not had problems with ice cream that’s too hard or icy. You can see a just-frozen batch of ice cream as it came out of my machine.

      For specific questions about the machine, though, it’s best to contact the manufacturer.

      You’re right about not wanting to churn too long, although my ICE 50 has an automatic shut-off, that seems to occur about 40 mins or so after I start churning. Make sure your mixture is very cold before churning: I always chill mine in the refrigerator overnight for best results.

    • Can I use the marshmallow sauce (from A Perfect Scoop) as a mix-in? I want to ribbon it through the chocolate ice cream (basically, I want to make a homemade version of Ben & Jerry’s phish food).

      I love the book, and I’m (slowly) working my way through it.