How To Make Ice Cream
Fast Facts: Ice cream is a frozen custard (or milk mixture) with air whipped into it. The custard or mix, especially for light ice cream, is a delicate balance of dairy products, sweetener, flavorings, and sometimes eggs. Each plays an important role in the overall outcome.
Lighten-Up Tip: A substantial amount of half-and-half combined with two percent reduced-fat milk produces delicious lower-fat ice cream with velvety smooth texture and rich flavor.
- Bucket freezer: (left) Yields the best results because salt lowers temperature to freeze the ice cream below 22 degrees (soft-serve consistency) so ice cream is firm. These are especially good for light ice creams, which tend to have a lower freezing point because of their higher sugar content.
- Countertop machine: (right) Convenient (requires no salt or ice) and good for small batches. If you have space, keep the freezer bowl stashed in the freezer so you can make ice cream any time.
In this step, you heat the milk, and combine the egg yolks and sugar separately. Sugar may cause the milk to curdle if heated, and the egg yolks may coagulate if exposed to extremely high temperatures. Gradually add half the hot milk to slowly heat the egg mixture.
Or simply make the mix in advance and refrigerate, a process known among professionals as aging. Aging involves chilling the mix for four to 24 hours, allowing the proteins to swell and bind with the water molecules, which makes for a creamier product.
Ice Cream Recipes:
Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream (This received our Test Kitchens' highest rating!)
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (shown)
Double Chocolate Ice Cream (shown)
Pecan Pie Ice Cream
Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
Strawberry Mint Ice Cream
Maple Walnut Buttercrunch Ice Cream
Peanut Butter, Banana, and Honey Ice Cream
Bourbon Pecan Ice Cream
Coconut Cream Pie Ice Cream
Peach Ice Cream