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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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    Tips For Making Homemade Ice Cream Softer

    Now that everyone out there’s been churning up ice cream, I’ve been getting a certain amount of questions about homemade ice cream, which I’m going to answer here over the next several weeks.

    I’m going to start with the number one question folks have been asking: Why does homemade ice cream gets harder than commercial ice cream in their freezer? And what can be done to prevent it?

    Salted Butter-Caramel Ice Cream

    While I do address this in The Perfect Scoop (pages 5 and 16), I thought I’d list some strategies here as well. I don’t necessarily follow these all the time, but thought I’d put them out for readers to ponder and use as they see fit.

    Alcohol

    Alcohol doesn’t freeze, which you know if you’re anything like me and keep a bottle of Zubróvka vodka chilled and ready in your freezer. You can add up to 3 tablespoons of 40 proof liquor to 1 quart (1 liter) of your frozen dessert mixture prior to churning. I use vodka if I don’t want the taste of the liquor to intrude on the flavor, but will switch to another liquor such as Grand Marnier or Armagnac to enhance the original flavor if it’s compatible.

    If my mixture is fruit-based, I prefer to add kirsch, a liquor which enhances the taste of stone fruits, like peaches, plums, nectarines, as well as berries. Generally-speaking, I’ll add enough so the taste isn’t very present, often less than a tablespoon.

    For sorbets and sherbets, a glug of Champagne, white wine or rosé is nice with fruit flavors. 1/2 cup (125 ml) can be added per quart (liter) of mixture prior to churning. Or if the recipe calls for cooking the fruit with water, substitute some dry or sweet white wine for a portion of the water; the amount will depend on how much of the wine you want to taste. (Most of the alcohol will cook out but enough will remain to keep your sorbet softer.)

    Sugar

    Like alcohol, sugar doesn’t freeze which is why you shouldn’t futz around with recipes and just reduce the sugar willy-nilly. Almost all frozen dessert recipes use white granulated sugar, however you can replace some or all of the sugar with another liquid sweetener, namely honey or light corn syrup.

    Continue Reading Tips For Making Homemade Ice Cream Softer…

    Ice Cream Makers: Buying an Ice Cream Machine

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    There are a few options to consider when buying an ice cream maker, but rest assured that there’s certainly one that’ll fit within any budget. I’ve had several readers inquiring about ice cream makers and although there’s extensive information in my book, The Perfect Scoop, here’s additional information about the various kinds that are available, to help you make your decision.


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    Cuisinart ICE-50BC

    I’ve been using the Cuisinart ICE-50BC with excellent results for the past few years and could not live without it. Not only is the machine very efficient, the price is extraordinary for a self-refrigerating machine. Although if you are a novice, and only make ice cream on rare occasions, it does fall into the “investment” category.

    My ice cream maker has been a real powerhouse and I consider it an indispensable part of my batterie de cuisine nowadays. Some people find the noise bothersome, but frankly—it is a machine and machines make noise. I keep mine in another room when in use.

    I do recommend if you buy this machine to purchase a separate plastic churning arm. Mine lasted several years but eventually snapped and it’s nice to have a spare on hand.


    UPDATE: Cuisinart has released a newer model of this machine, the ICE-100, which boasts a sleeker design and gets good reviews, too.

    Cuisinart ICE-21

    A lower-priced option is a machine such as the Cuisinart ICE-21. This machine is a excellent value. The only drawback is that you’ll need to pre-freeze the canister for 24 hours—no cheating!, before you plan to freeze your ice cream or sorbet. These machines make great ice cream and are extremely affordable.

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    KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment

    If you have a KitchenAid mixer, their wildly-popular KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment works very well. I had the opportunity to use one during my visit to the KitchenAid factory, and was really impressed with the care and precision of this attachment.

    Like everything they make, the ice cream attachment did a great job of churning up the various ice creams that I ran through it.

    Note: If you live outside the United States, European KitchenAid mixers are different and the ice cream attachment made for US-models will not work with them.



    You can also find more of my recommendations for machines and ice cream making equipment at Let’s Make Ice Cream!

    Happy Churning!



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