For expert ice cream making advice, I asked fellow blogger Marillyn Beard who writes over at Just Making Noise. She allowed me to share her top 10 tips for making ice cream from her e-book Just Making Ice Cream.
1) Use More Cream.You are gauranteed to get the creamiest results if you use 100% cream. This is ideal if you are using the fast technique when making your ice cream base, but I often find using 100% cream is too thick for my taste… I prefer 20% milk and 80% cream (ex: 1 cup milk & 2 cups cream) or pure goat milk. You can adjust the recipes to your preference!
2) Use Dry Sweeteners. As I mentioned before, using liquid sweeteners will make your ice cream “icy” instead of smooth. Dry sweeteners such as Rapadura, Sucanat, evaporated cane juice, coconut palm or even maple sugar gives the best results.
3) Lots of Egg Yolks. Will increase creaminess, especially if you are using less cream to start with. When making a custard base, be careful not to “drown” your yolks when beating in the hot cream. Experts say to start by whipping your yolks with a few tablespoons of cream (or milk) before slowly adding back into the cream. Careful not to overcook the eggs through the whole process!
4) Never Boil the Cream/Milk. Some ice cream recipes say to bring the cream/milk to a low boil to create a thick custard, but I found that to be totally unnecessary. Heating the milk to a boiling point ruins the fresh flavor (in my opinion), can cause the milk to curdle and lowers its nutritional value. I simply simmer on low till the milk thickens, which can take about 8 – 10 minutes. So worth it!
5) Use Alcohol. If you are not going to eat the ice cream right away, add alcohol to preserve the creaminess of your ice cream. Who likes icy, rock hard ice cream? Remember, you don’t need to use a lot. Anywhere from 1 Tbsp to ½ cup is sufficient to keep the smooth texture and for taste. Otherwise, just simply set your ice cream out for at least 15 minutes for it to relax.
6) Add Extracts Later. Mix your flavorings (vanilla, almond, peppermint,etc) after you’ve made the custard often ensures a very tasty result. Experts say to put it in after the mixture has cooled down completely or after it has been chilled in the fridge, I often put it in just before I put it in the fridge and have been happy with the results!
7) Chill Your Base. Before you pour the base into the machine, it is a really good idea to chill it. Let it chill in the fridge overnight (the back of the fridge is the best place) before pouring it into the maker or placing in the freezer to mix every hour (see methods below). You will not have to worry about having ice cream soup!
8) 24-Hour Freeze. After you’ve used your ice cream maker… remember to allow the container to freeze for 24 hours before using it again. This will maximize the freezing power and prevent your ice cream from turning to soup.
9) Fill It Less. My friend, Wardeh from GNOWFGLINS, recommends filling the container about halfway. The frozen container only has so much freeze power to give before it starts to loose its chill. Her ice cream maker is a 2-quart and she only uses it to the 1-quart capacity, sometimes a little more. If there’s too much filling, there’s not enough chilling!
10) Cover The Maker. A must for those who live in hot areas. I started doing this when we were living in the hot & humid beaches of Costa Rica. The coolest place in the house was the fridge and I wasn’t gonna churn the ice cream in there! I found that covering the maker with a damp & cool dish (keeps the cold air in!) towel helped keep the container and ice cream cold long enough to finish its job.
Want more tips and recipes? Check out the ice cream recipe link up from last week.
About the author: Marillyn Beard shares information, recipes, and her heart at her blog Just Making Noise. This post is excerpted from her e-book, Just Making Ice Cream, which includes even more ice cream making tips plus 30 recipes for ice cream & gelato, 9 cultured milk recipe, 10 sherbet recipes and 10 sorbet recipes.