Jump to content

Ice Cream, Gelato, Sorbet


Joe H
 Share

Recommended Posts

I posted this on another thread ("Cold Stone Creamery") but am also posting it here. Sorry for my lack of modesty but I make the best caramel pecan ice cream I have ever had. A number of people on this board and on Chowhound have had it along with a number of chefs. This is the recipe:

1. Pecans-saute 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans in

3 tbsp. unsalted Vermont butter until lightly browned. Set aside.

2. Caramel-1 1/4 cups heavy cream (not ultrapasteurized, regular pasteurized-I do not make this unless I can find Lewes Dairy-it is better than ALL others), 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 whole stick unsalted Vermont butter

In a heavy bottomed saucepan scald the cream and keep warm. In another heavy bottom saucepan combine the sugar with 1/2 cup water over medium heat and stir until it dissolves and the liquid is "clear." Turn the heat to high and boil the misture, without stirring, until it is a light to medium amber color. (Note: this is tricky and the key to correctly made caramel-not to cook this too long.) This takes me about 5 to 5 1/2 minutes. Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the heavy cream. Stir until smooth then whisk in the butter (chunks at a time) and let cool.

3. Ice cream base: 2 cups heavy cream (pasteurize Lewes Dairy), 1 cup whole milk (NOT 2 or 1%, cream top if available), 6 organic egg yolks, 3/4 cup sugar

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, scald the cream and the milk. In the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, whisk egg yolks and sugar. Add the scalded cream mixture, turn up the heat until the water is boiling and whisk the mixture continuously until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the caramel. Then fold in the chopped pecans.

4. Let cool, then transfer to storage container and refrigerator for 8 hours +.

5. For a White Mountain freezer pour the cream into the stainless steel cream can. Place this inside the wooden tub. Crush ice into fine particles and place a layer about three inches deep around the can in the tub. Sprinkly 1/2 inch layer of rock salt on top of this. Repeat with ice and rock salt layers until the freezer is well packed. Turn crank at constant speed until cream is the consistency is one of soft ice cream. This will take about 30 to 35 minutes, perhaps longer depending on the ratio of rock salt to ice. Remove the dasher and scrape the excess back into the container.

6. To pack the ice cream in the container for hardening: place a sheet of wax paper over the top of the container, press the can cover down over this and plug the hole in the top with either a cork stopper or tape. Drain off water in wooden tub and repack with 4 parts of crushed ice and 1 part of rock salt until the entire can and lid are covered with both. Wrap and cover with a burlap bag and let stand until frozen or hard. Probably several hours. An additional 4 to 6 hours in a freezer may also follow this depending on the desired texture.

Notes: Lewes Dairy heavy cream IS superior to any other; there is a difference in the final taste and texture. You are using a total of 3 and 1/4 cups of heavy cream, 1 cup of whole milk, a whole stick of butter, 6 egg yolks and over two cups total of sugar. This is going to be incredibly rich-it is suppose to be. A hand cranked White Mountain freezer is a lot of work. But the texture of the finished ice cream is superior to any other machine. This is also much trickier than it may seem: there is a "window" of about 30 seconds for the caramel when the sugar and water are boiling. The ratio of rock salt to ice is crucial to how long you will have to crank and how well it will freeze when you pack it. You also have to be careful not to let the rock salt slip into the top of the cranking mechanism. This is my recipe based on countless efforts and tinkering over the last 30 years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 128
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Please forgive me for asking a novice question, but how do I scald milk and cream? Am I just adding both to a saucepan and cooking on high for a minute or two? Thank you.
According to The Joy of Cooking, milk or cream is scalded when tiny bubbles form around the edge of the pan and the temperature has reached 180 degrees. You can do this over direct medium heat or in a double boiler over hot water. You should see a "skin" form on the top. If you use heat that is too high, or let it boil too hard, you risk scorching the bottom.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In truth it's a pain in the ass to make-it takes three days with two overnights and uses a lot of pots plus the hassle of rock salt and ice, not to mention the first few times I made caramel I didn't realize how short the time frame is for boiling water and sugar with caramel resulting. Or, it can really stick to a pot if you're not careful. Or too little rock salt can cause one to crank for an hour or so; too much can result in 15 minutes but the texture won't be the same. Major corners can be cut by not using a hand cranked White Mountain freezer but like the Post article a few weeks ago there really IS a difference in the texture and how this affects flavor.

There is only one ice cream that I have ever had that may be as good or better and that is the molasses ice cream with candied walnuts and dark streaks of molasses at Stephen Pyles in Dallas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a Donvier ice cream maker and, for the life of me, I can't see the difference between that (which is also hand-cranked albeit much less) and the old-fashioned type.

If anyone else has my situation; i.e., no space or facilities for the ice-and-rock salt routine, I wouldn't let that stop you from making your own ice cream with a machine or a Donvier-type maker.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since when is 17% butterfat a high butterfat content? Somehow years of advertising and commercial bs have convinced consumers that Haagen Daaz, Ben and Jerry's and others' 16, 17 and 18% butterfat ice cream is extremely rich and high in butterfat.

This could not be further from the truth.

I make ice cream with a hand cranked White Mountain freezer using Lewes Dairy pasteurized heavy cream (3 parts) and Harrisburg Dairy cream top whole milk (1 part). This is my base. The heavy cream is 40% butterfat and the cream top whole milk is a minimum of 4%. This adds up to 31% (40 X 3 + 4 ./. 4 = 31) butterfat which is a real figure.

Of course it tastes rich. Incredibly rich. But I'll also bet that it's the best ice cream most people have ever tasted....31% butterfat. In fact I am eating some as I type this!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since when is 17% butterfat a high butterfat content? Somehow years of advertising and commercial bs have convinced consumers that Haagen Daaz, Ben and Jerry's and others' 16, 17 and 18% butterfat ice cream is extremely rich and high in butterfat.

This could not be further from the truth.

I make ice cream with a hand cranked White Mountain freezer using Lewes Dairy pasteurized heavy cream (3 parts) and Harrisburg Dairy cream top whole milk (1 part). This is my base. The heavy cream is 40% butterfat and the cream top whole milk is a minimum of 4%. This adds up to 31% (40 X 3 + 4 ./. 4 = 31) butterfat which is a real figure.

Of course it tastes rich. Incredibly rich. But I'll also bet that it's the best ice cream most people have ever tasted....31% butterfat. In fact I am eating some as I type this!

Um, your equation should be...

((3 * .4) + (1 * .04))/4 = .31

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lemon Ice Cream

Finely grate the rind of two lemons (or Meyer lemons) and place in a jar with 1/2 c whole milk. Shake and place in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Whisk one large egg with 5/8 c granulated sugar. Add one cup heavy cream, and the strained milk [unless you like biting into lemon rind]. Freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

Notes:

This makes barely more than a pint - which is perfect for me and Mr P (having ice cream stored in the freezer is very bad for my weight loss plan). You can easily double, triple or quadruple the recipe, but you don't need to quadruple the amount of lemon rind.

The flavor is on the mild side. I've found that steeping the rind for more than two hours leads to very sharp tasting ice cream - rather like using lemon extract, which I despise. I find the flavor harsh. YMMV.

Yes, it has raw egg.

If you harden it properly it stores well for several days. However, I like it best straight from the can - I love the firm but not hard consistency and the fresh, fresh flavor. Again, YMMV.

I like the basic ratio of 1 egg: 1 cup heavy cream: 1/2 c whole milk. Many people will find it not rich enough. A few will find it too rich.

Just because I like it this way doesn't mean you will. One of the joys of homemade ice cream is playing around with the formula. I won't preach that you must only make it this way, with only Lewes dairy cream [which is the best commercailly available, though] and Meyer lemons lovingly hand harvested by Cuban virgins and eggs that are free range and hormone free and sugar that comes from free trade regions, or whatever. Play around with it and make what works for you.

The key, though, is the extraction, which I'll address in another post.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Extraction in Ice Cream Making

A decade and a half ago, when I went on an ice cream making bender, I found that the best way to get pure flavor was to do my own extractions.

The concept is simple: many ingredients have fat and/or water soluble components that can be extracted in milk. This results in a milder and more natural tasting ice cream than using a commercial extract or essence.

Citrus fruits extract quite nicely. But don't overdo it or you'll get undesirable flavor components (just like steeping tea leaves too long).

I've seen recipes for coffee ice cream calling for strongly brewed coffee or instant coffee. The former adds too much water and not enough flavor. The latter is just yucky.

I make coffee ice cream by steeping coarsely ground dark roast in milk, then straining. It's been years, but I seem to recall that it was an overnight process.

Add some broken cinnamon stick to make coffee-cinnamon ice cream.

Use the same technique for ginger if you don't like biting into pieces of candied ginger.

I'm going to guess that if you want chai ice cream, you could extract tea, spices, ginger, etc. in milk. If anyone wants to play with this idea please report to me if it works! Hmmm, come to think of it , I have some free time next week...

If I had access to a well-equipped lab I would experiment with the ideal water:fat ratio for each ingredient, recognizing that some compounds are fat-soluble and others water-soluble. But I don't, so I'll guess that whole milk gets the job done.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Extraction in Ice Cream Making

I have used this technique with toasted almonds and hazelnuts to make some very good ice cream. I heat the milk to about 160-170F and then steep the nuts for about 60-90 minutes. (I will have to go look up exact amounts) After steeping toss the nuts, as they will have no flavor left, and bring the volume of the liquid back up to the required amount and then make your ice cream.

It is summer time so why don't we see what interesting flavors we can come up with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have used this technique with toasted almonds and hazelnuts to make some very good ice cream. I heat the milk to about 160-170F and then steep the nuts for about 60-90 minutes. (I will have to go look up exact amounts) After steeping toss the nuts, as they will have no flavor left, and bring the volume of the liquid back up to the required amount and then make your ice cream.

It is summer time so why don't we see what interesting flavors we can come up with.

I'm a big fan of using that technique for nut ice creams too. I'll have to try Elizabeth's idea with coffee beans (Never thought of doing that-- I usually use instant espresso powder).

An interesting one for summer is basil ice cream. Steep the basil for about 30 minutes to extract the flavor and then go ahead and puree it if you want (an immersion blender comes in handy here) to get some green color and more flavor (served this atop a stab at Tosca's tomato tart once).

How about corn ice cream via steeping it in milk?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As someone without an ice cream maker I am feeling the need to organize an ice cream tasting :unsure: Anyone offering their back yard?

Hmmm, let's see. Lots of yummy homemade ice cream appearing at my home with no effort from me, except for a bit of weeding and setting up the extra tables? Yeah, sure, I'll offer my back yard for that. ;) I have a fairly large patio and deck area, seating for 32 (and standing room for more - we had just under 60 in May with no problems), and the kids can cool off in the pool (as long as there's an adult in there with them). In Falls Church, about a mile from Seven Corners.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have used this technique with toasted almonds and hazelnuts to make some very good ice cream. I heat the milk to about 160-170F and then steep the nuts for about 60-90 minutes. (I will have to go look up exact amounts) After steeping toss the nuts, as they will have no flavor left, and bring the volume of the liquid back up to the required amount and then make your ice cream.

It is summer time so why don't we see what interesting flavors we can come up with.

oven for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. When the skins begin to crack and the nuts are golden brown I remove them from the oven. I wrap them in a towel and rub them to remove as much of the skin as possible. After cooling I rinse them in a strainer, then crush them with a rolling pin before folding them into the custard. Depending on how well or coarsely you crush them can allow a bit of texture if you want. For the base I use two parts heavy cream to one part whole milk, egg yolks, split vanilla bean, sugar and Frangelica. Sometimes I'll also add chunks of good chocolate. The result is quite intensely flavored and very rich.

Just because I like it this way doesn't mean you will. One of the joys of homemade ice cream is playing around with the formula. I won't preach that you must only make it this way, with only Lewes dairy cream [which is the best commercailly available, though] and Meyer lemons lovingly hand harvested by Cuban virgins and eggs that are free range and hormone free and sugar that comes from free trade regions, or whatever. Play around with it and make what works for you.

I make the best caramel ice cream and the best hazelnut ice cream I have ever tasted. It makes a difference when you use pasteurized vs. ultra pasteurized cream, commercial butter vs. Vermont, Lewes Dairy (which we are extremely fortunate to have available to us) vs. Trickling Springs, cream top vs. regular whole milk (I include the cream at the top of the bottle in the ice cream). I specify this (as I did with gorgonzola dolce toasted pistachio risotto-I use pistachios from Heart of the Desert in Alamagordo, NM which I believe are the best anywhere.-) because many people have asked me for the recipes. I use the absolute best ingredients I can find-it makes a large difference. But my goal is to not just make ice cream and risotto; it is to make the best of each. My goal may be different from anyone else on this board.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Just because I like it this way doesn't mean you will. One of the joys of homemade ice cream is playing around with the formula. I won't preach that you must only make it this way, with only Lewes dairy cream [which is the best commercailly available, though] and Meyer lemons lovingly hand harvested by Cuban virgins and eggs that are free range and hormone free and sugar that comes from free trade regions, or whatever. Play around with it and make what works for you."

I make the best caramel ice cream and the best hazelnut ice cream I have ever tasted. It makes a difference when you use pasteurized vs. ultra pasteurized cream, commercial butter vs. Vermont, Lewes Dairy (which we are extremely fortunate to have available to us) vs. Trickling Springs, cream top vs. regular whole milk (I include the cream at the top of the bottle in the ice cream). I specify this (as I did with gorgonzola dolce toasted pistachio risotto-I use pistachios from Heart of the Desert in Alamagordo, NM which I believe are the best anywhere.-) because many people have asked me for the recipes. I use the absolute best ingredients I can find-it makes a large difference. But my goal is to not just make ice cream and risotto; it is to make the best of each. My goal may be different from anyone else on this board.

I agree that using the best ingredients makes a difference, but someone explain to me why cream top milk makes a difference versus homogenized milk? They are both pasteurized and have ~4% fat and the only difference is that the fat is emulsified in the water that makes up the bulk of the milk. Does the homogenization process affect the flavor as much as ultra-pasteurization does?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not trying to be flippant but open a bottle of Whole Foods (Harrisburg Dairy) Cream Top Whole Milk and open a carton of (pick a brand) whole milk. I can taste a difference. I also believe this contributes as does the Lewes Dairy pasteurized cream and the White Mountain rock salt and ice freezer (and the two steps after this) to the final texture. I have also made this with Trickling Springs pasteurized heavy cream (a month ago) and I was not as satisfied as I am with Lewes Dairy. I am also not a fan of Horizon nor the other dairy, Chrome Dairy, that Whole Foods used to carry.

Edited by Joe H
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not trying to be flippant but open a bottle of Whole Foods (Harrisburg Dairy) Cream Top Whole Milk and open a carton of (pick a brand) whole milk. I can taste a difference. I also believe this contributes as does the Lewes Dairy pasteurized cream and the White Mountain rock salt and ice freezer (and the two steps after this) to the final texture. I have also made this with Trickling Springs pasteurized heavy cream (a month ago) and I was not as satisfied as I am with Lewes Dairy. I am also not a fan of Horizon nor the other dairy, Chrome Dairy, that Whole Foods used to carry.

Ah, you are comparing two completely different products. I am seriously asking about the homogenization process and if it affects the taste of the milk.

BTW, doesn't cream top and homogenized whole milk have about the same amount of fat?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BTW, doesn't cream top and homogenized whole milk have about the same amount of fat?

Taken as a whole, it does. The homogenization process simply breaks the larger fat clusters into tiny particles that remain suspended in the milk...imagine something analogous to pressing a lumpy mug of milk and Quik through a sieve to break the floating bits up. Without homogenization, cream top milk would eventually separate into a cream-rich top layer, and a lower milk layer not unlike 2%.

MDT's question is still really interesting, and I don't know the answer. How does ice cream compare when made from the milk of the same cows, processed different ways? Suppose side-by-side batches are made using Trickling Springs creamtop versus Trickling Springs whole, using a straight non-custard ice cream recipe. If egg is used, it should be pre-beaten and shared with both batches. This also calls for an automatic ice cream freezer, so identical freezing conditions are used...too much influence over the final texture. I suspect the creamtop might still have a more interesting mouthfeel because the fat particles may be vastly larger, whereas they've been smashed to bits in the homogenized milk. Or the difference might be completely overwhelmed by the larger fats in the heavy cream or half-and-half.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MDT's question is still really interesting, and I don't know the answer. How does ice cream compare when made from the milk of the same cows, processed different ways? Suppose side-by-side batches are made using Trickling Springs creamtop versus Trickling Springs whole, using a straight non-custard ice cream recipe. If egg is used, it should be pre-beaten and shared with both batches. This also calls for an automatic ice cream freezer, so identical freezing conditions are used...too much influence over the final texture. I suspect the creamtop might still have a more interesting mouthfeel because the fat particles may be vastly larger, whereas they've been smashed to bits in the homogenized milk. Or the difference might be completely overwhelmed by the larger fats in the heavy cream or half-and-half.

I'm willing to place money on a bet that if we set up a scientifically valid test, most tasters will be unable to distinguish the difference over a course of mulitple tastings.

So, for example: whisk sugar into eggs, add vanilla and heavy cream; divide in half (by weight), add whole milk to one and cream-top milk to the other (identical amounts, by weight). Allow both to chill in same refrigerator in identical containers. Get two identical electric ice cream makers, with cannisters chilled in the same freezer for the same amount of time [note: ice cream makers that use ice and salt would be ineligible, as the results could vary too much texturally between batches]. Freeze both mixtures for the same period of time. Harden for the same period of time. Serve identical portions in identical glassware.

If you just have one round of "which is which?", it wouldn't be valid, because the odds are fifty-fifty that anyone would get it right. But if you had multiple blind tastings in which the portions are re-labeled [test one: a vs b; test 2: x vs y, where 'a' is not necessarily the same ice cream as 'x'; repeat several times], most people would not be able to tell the difference.

I can easily set up this experiment at my house. I think it would make an excellent party theme.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As someone without an ice cream maker I am feeling the need to organize an ice cream tasting :unsure: Anyone offering their back yard?

Basil ice cream? Yummmmmmmm

Does sorbet count? Strawberry/black pepper?

For what it's worth, it is hard to get cream or milk that is not ultra-pasteurised these days, and I can absolutely taste the difference between ultra-p and just pasteurised.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does sorbet count? Strawberry/black pepper?

For what it's worth, it is hard to get cream or milk that is not ultra-pasteurised these days, and I can absolutely taste the difference between ultra-p and just pasteurised.

[/quo

It is very easy to get pasteurized (not ultra) milk and cream: Whole Foods sells both (Trickling Springs cream and Harrisburg Dairy milk) including cream top milk in a bottle. Both Dean and DeLuca and Balducci's carry Lewes Dairy heavy cream and pasteurized milk. Lewes Dairy is also sold at a stand in the Eastern market.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For what it's worth, it is hard to get cream or milk that is not ultra-pasteurised these days, and I can absolutely taste the difference between ultra-p and just pasteurised.
Ultra-pasteurization causes the cream to break down to such an extent that stabilizers have to be added. Just look at the ingredients list on a container of ultra-pasteurized heavy cream: Heavy cream (milk), mono and diglyderides, polysorbate 80, carrageenan. It is harder to whip and, when whipped, "weeps" quite a bit more than non-ultra-pasteurized cream. Plus, it just doesn't taste right. Has a MUCH longer shelf-life, though. Pasteurized cream doesn't have anything but cream in it. :unsure:

Those of us in Adams Morgan can buy Shenandoah's perfectly good, non-ultra-pasteurized, cream by the quart at the IGA Metro Market on Columbia Road for less than $4. For some unknown reason, the one cup containers are all ultra-pasteurized. I use the non-U-P all the time when making ice cream.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alton Brown adds peach preserves to his vanilla ice cream. I heard of this once before-- it has something to do with the pectin acting as an emulsifier (for a better/less icy texture). I keep trying to catch his ice cream episode, as he apparently explains it. Anyone seen this? Is that the reason for adding preserves? Does this trick work?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alton Brown adds peach preserves to his vanilla ice cream. I heard of this once before-- it has something to do with the pectin acting as an emulsifier (for a better/less icy texture). I keep trying to catch his ice cream episode, as he apparently explains it. Anyone seen this? Is that the reason for adding preserves? Does this trick work?

I tried it once with black raspberry preserves, as even the best berries don't seem to give a lot of flavor. IIRC, the result was a very sweet but still not favorful ice cream. I don't recall any difference in texture. I, too, would be interested in seeing that episode.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chai Ice Cream

As an experiment, just noodling around in the kitchen, I steeped the following in 1/2 c whole milk: a generous tablespoon of English Breakfast tea (loose, not bags); a crushed cinnamon stick; about 8 whole green cardamom pods; about 5 whole cloves; about a dozen black peppercorns; half a packet of Ginger and Honey crystals (I has no other source of ginger readily available).

After twenty four hours I strained this into my basic ice cream mixture (recipe up-thread) and put it in the ice cream maker.

The result is promising, but needs work. The ice cream had a bit of astringency (probably from the tea steeping too long), and the cardamom was a bit strong. Come to think of it, so was the clove. There is a definite tea flavor, though.

If I try it again I might play up the Indian dessert aspect by using some sweetened condensed milk to get a taste and texture a bit more like kulfi.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last night I put together the base for Nutella Gelato, and churned it this morning. Hmmm Nutella....

BTW the base for this also makes a wonderful hot chocolate in the colder months.

3 cups of whole milk (I recently discovered that Giant sells non-ultra)

1 cup of Nutella

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt (I like fine seasalt for this)

1 teaspoon espresso powder

Bring all but a 1/2 cup of the milk to a boil. While waiting, mix together the sugar, cornstarch, salt, espresso powder, and remaining milk. When the milk has come to a boil, turn down the heat, add the nutella and stir until disolved. Add the sugar-cornstarch mixture, and bring to a boil stiring constantly until thickened.

Refrigerate overnight (or at least 2 hours), churn according to your machine's instructions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This morning's noodling-around-in-the-kitchen, using-up-scraps-of-leftovers flavor: buttermilk banana. One overly ripe banana mushed and mixed with an egg, about 1/3 c sugar, about 3/4 c heavy cream, and about 1/3 c whole milk cultured buttermilk. The result was good but not distictly buttermilky enough. Will try again next time I have overly ripe bananas. I'm wondering if I use enough buttermilk to get the flavor, will the butterfat content be too low? Can I dose it with something like Devon double cream to compensate?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This morning's noodling-around-in-the-kitchen, using-up-scraps-of-leftovers flavor: buttermilk banana. One overly ripe banana mushed and mixed with an egg, about 1/3 c sugar, about 3/4 c heavy cream, and about 1/3 c whole milk cultured buttermilk. The result was good but not distictly buttermilky enough. Will try again next time I have overly ripe bananas. I'm wondering if I use enough buttermilk to get the flavor, will the butterfat content be too low? Can I dose it with something like Devon double cream to compensate?
How would a little sour cream do to enhance the buttermilk flavor? (The banana-buttermilk combination sounds really good to me.)

Now I've got a question. I've made two batches of ice cream in the last week, after having not made any for years. The first batch was black raspberry. I don't think I churned it long enough, and it ended up having noticeable ice crystals when it was done. Is that likely cause and effect or two totally separate issues? Is the fruit possibly a culprit in the icyness?

Yesterday I made butter pecan, from a Ben and Jerry's recipe, and it's probably the best ice cream I've ever made. I churned it longer than I thought it should have been churned, and the consistency was good, with no icing problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now I've got a question. I've made two batches of ice cream in the last week, after having not made any for years. The first batch was black raspberry. I don't think I churned it long enough, and it ended up having noticeable ice crystals when it was done. Is that likely cause and effect or two totally separate issues? Is the fruit possibly a culprit in the icyness?

In my experience fruit ice creams (except lemon and mango) are prone to this. A good fix is to add the chopped and macerated fruit in the last few minutes of churning, when the ice cream texture is already well-developed. Also, if you're macerating fruit, don't overdo it - the longer it sits, the more water will extract; that water carries alot of flavor that you don't want to lose, but if you add it to the mix the ice cream will be icy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about using dried buttermilk mixed into the regular buttermilk you're using? Would that give you the more intense flavor without compromising the ratio of butterfat?

Interesting idea. Except that I don't like dried buttermilk. It has an odd flavor to me. :unsure: But maybe it would work in ice cream...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my experience fruit ice creams (except lemon and mango) are prone to this. A good fix is to add the chopped and macerated fruit in the last few minutes of churning, when the ice cream texture is already well-developed. Also, if you're macerating fruit, don't overdo it - the longer it sits, the more water will extract; that water carries alot of flavor that you don't want to lose, but if you add it to the mix the ice cream will be icy.
Thanks. I may have added the fruit too soon, and before that it was sitting out in a colander where it was probably wet. That, combined with not churning long enough, probably accounts for the problem. It still tasted good but not superlative.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about using dried buttermilk mixed into the regular buttermilk you're using? Would that give you the more intense flavor without compromising the ratio of butterfat?
I wouldn't recommend dried buttermilk. Adding sour cream or double cream would probably make up some tanginess without risking icy texture.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This cannot be a good idea.
I'm not sure I understand why. My impression has always been that one way of getting a better mouthfeel is to add (non-sweetened) condensed milk to the mix. You get more milk protein with less water. I'm thinking dried buttermilk might have the same effect. (NB the theoretical nature of what I'm writing here. I have no specific experience from which to draw!)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

i was making gelato in my dads pastry shop. we had a professional italian ice cream machine, where you would be able to cook the custard in the top compartment and then feed it directly into the freezing bowl below it.

we experimented with many recipes and learned about the relationships between fat/water/sugar levels of custard mixtures. to enhance the rich flavor we also added milk powder. the only thing i didn't like about the milk powder was, that it had its 'own' taste. you are definely able to tell, compared side to side [that depends on the amount used though]. you are probably able to see the difference of a batch with milk powder against a batch without it, after a week in the freezer. but then again, ice cream shouldn't get that old anyways.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alton Brown adds peach preserves to his vanilla ice cream. I heard of this once before-- it has something to do with the pectin acting as an emulsifier (for a better/less icy texture). I keep trying to catch his ice cream episode, as he apparently explains it. Anyone seen this? Is that the reason for adding preserves? Does this trick work?
Yes, it works. In my first attempts to make sorbet, I kept using recipes that simply called for fresh fruit to be pureed, sweetened, and then frozen. I hated the texture; I couldn't understand why I couldn't make sorbet at least as good as Hagen Daz. What I kept making seemed more like a granita than a sorbet.

The trick is to cook the fruit. I even keep powdered pectin on hand to add even more than what the fruit emits with cooking. Also, by cooking even fairly large pieces to add to a custard base (strawberries, peaches, whatever), it lowers the freezing temp. If you have ever had ice cream made in a hand-crank machine and then added chopped, fresh fruit, you may well have experienced biting into very hard frozen bits. Cooking eliminates that.

It would appear that Brown just eliminated a step by using preserves or marmalades. After all, that is nothing but cooked fruit (or peel) with sugar and pectin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last night I put together the base for Nutella Gelato, and churned it this morning. Hmmm Nutella....

BTW the base for this also makes a wonderful hot chocolate in the colder months.

3 cups of whole milk (I recently discovered that Giant sells non-ultra)

1 cup of Nutella

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt (I like fine seasalt for this)

1 teaspoon espresso powder

Bring all but a 1/2 cup of the milk to a boil. While waiting, mix together the sugar, cornstarch, salt, espresso powder, and remaining milk. When the milk has come to a boil, turn down the heat, add the nutella and stir until disolved. Add the sugar-cornstarch mixture, and bring to a boil stiring constantly until thickened.

Refrigerate overnight (or at least 2 hours), churn according to your machine's instructions.

Why add the espresso powder?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On a minor tangent, I usually only see dry/powdered nonfat milk in the grocery store. However, you can find powdered whole milk in most Indian markets. FYI.

Also Hispanic markets.

Also regular grocery stores that carry a lot of Hispanic foods (Wegmann's in Fairfax and some of the Shopper's Food Warehouses, like the one in Fairfax City.) Look in the Hispanic food section.

Yellow can, Nestle brand, says NIDO in big letters. I use it for homemade yogurt, gives a nice body.

Why add the espresso powder?

Traditional to add espresso or espresso powder to certain chocolate confections, gives a nice complimentary flavor you can't quite put your finger on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That Nutella recipe looks delicious. I've been on a citrus ice cream kick for most of this summer. My best results have been with lemon and key lime. There's an Argentine gelato place near me that serves a wonderful sabayon gelato. I finally attempted to recreate it with good results using a sabayon recipe from a culinary school text. Next up is to recreate an ice cream I had in Belgium made from Westvleteren beer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After my trip to Italy, I bought an Italian Gelato Machine by Lello. My 3rd ice cream maker in the house! This one requires no ice or pre-freezing. I have made a few ice creams and gelatos so far, but the best by far was my Dulce de Leche Ice cream. It is incredible and laden with fat! My machine only makes 1 quart so here is my recipe.

3 cups heavy cream

1/3-1/2 cup sugar

4 egg yolks

2 cans sweetened condensed milk

Place the cans of sweetened condensed milk in a large pot and cover with cold water, bring to a full boil. Reduce to a slow rolling boil and cook for 2 1/2 hours, making sure water covers cans at ALL times. (do this at you own risk, I have never had one explode, but they do if you let the water dry out!) Remove from water and let come to room temperature without opening.

Make the custard base by slowly heating cream and sugar to where bubbles appear but do not let it boil. Mix a half cup of the cream liquids into the beaten egg yolks slowly and return back to the pot. Cook until slightly thickened(about 8 minutes).

Let custard cool a bit. Add one of the cans of sweetened condensed caramel and mix as well as you can (the machine will do the rest). Let the mixture cool in the fridge according to machine instructions. Freeze according to your machine instructions. When the ice cream is almost finished add about 1/2 of the remaining can of sweetened condensed milk to cause a swirl of caramel in the ice cream.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have the Cuisinart Flavor Duo ice cream maker and have always been happy with the results I get from the machine. I keep the two bowls in the freezer and store the machine in a cabinet when not in use. With the two bowls I can make double batches or two flavors at the same time.

Does anyone have tips on making fresh mint ice creams? I have some spearmint and pineapple mint in the garden that I would love to make into ice cream. I did a quick web search on epicurious, but most recipes call for extracts rather than fresh leaves. I'm interested in tips on infusing the mint flavor without getting a grassy or bitter taste.

Heat your milk on the stove to about 170-180F and then add your leaves. I would check the flavor every 10-15 minutes to see when it is done. I don't usually record the exact time or amount of herb so I cannot help with that.

Remeber that this tea will be pretty strong, but it will be much more mellow in the final product.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So here's the question. Why not use pure cream? Why add milk? If 31% milk fat is better, what's the limit? Anybody?

31% milkfat is not the only mark of a good ice cream, although it seems to be the mark for certain folks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So here's the question. Why not use pure cream? Why add milk? If 31% milk fat is better, what's the limit? Anybody?

Depends on the flavor, whether eggs are in it, etc. Generally, either two thirds heavy cream and one third milk or three quarters heavy cream and one quarter milk have worked the best for me. I've made chocolate with all heavy cream and it had a consistency more resembling a kind of mousse. The same chocolate with 2/3-1/3 and chunks of chocolate blended in was superb. I once made hazlenut (toasting and grinding the nuts) with 7/8 heavy cream and 1/8 milk (theory: more heavy cream is better) and it was too rich, the texture just didn't have the consistency that I wanted. A week late I made it again with 2/3-1/3 (and threw some chunks of good chocolate into this, too) and it was outstanding. Like the chocolate, exactly the texture I wanted. It also depends on the heavy cream-this is why I continue to emphasize Lewes if possible, failing that, pasteurized like Trickling Springs, Chrome or Harrisburg Dairy-NEVER ultra pasteurized.

Years ago I made two quarts of vanilla with my White Mountain freezer using ultra pasteurized cream (2/3-1/3) and the next day two quarts of vanilla with the same freezer using pasteurized heavy whipping cream (forget the brand-Mt. Ararat Farms?). The recipes were identical. The texture was not. The creaminess was not.

That was over twenty years ago and I haven't used ultra pasteurized since. Not even for the milk which today is Whole Foods from the glass jug.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This morning's noodling-around-in-the-kitchen, using-up-scraps-of-leftovers flavor: buttermilk banana. One overly ripe banana mushed and mixed with an egg, about 1/3 c sugar, about 3/4 c heavy cream, and about 1/3 c whole milk cultured buttermilk. The result was good but not distictly buttermilky enough. Will try again next time I have overly ripe bananas. I'm wondering if I use enough buttermilk to get the flavor, will the butterfat content be too low? Can I dose it with something like Devon double cream to compensate?
I forgot to mention that I tried making this, adding sour cream. I also used Joe's caramel from the first recipe in this thread. Unfortunately, it didn't occur to me that the caramel recipe should be scaled for a small batch recipe of ice cream base, and I made a full recipe. (It was heavenly. I hope you don't mind my appropriating it for a different recipe, Joe :) ). Since I had a full recipe, I used it, but you can imagine what all of the butterfat of the combined ingredients did to the consistency of this. I took the butterfat issue here to the other extreme. It tastes wonderful, with almost a custardy consistency. It's very rich (!) and smooth and sweet.

Because I altered too many variables, I'm not sure if the sour cream did what you wanted in bringing out the buttermilk flavor. I used 1/3 of a cup of regular dairy sour cream. I'm wondering how 1/4 c. each of buttermilk and sour cream would be (and omitting the caramel, wonderful as it is), for what you were trying to do originally.

The banana buttermilk caramel ice cream went especially well with a warm blackberry peach cobbler I made the other day, which is what prompted my memory and sent me back to post this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...