Tips for Successful Homemade Ice Cream
Ice Cream is enjoyed by people all over the world. While it is sometimes easier and less-expensive to purchase ice cream from your local supermarket, there is just something extra-special about making homemade ice cream that you can't get from the supermarket.
With just a few ingredients -- cream, milk, eggs, sugar, and flavorings -- you can make this fabulous treat at home. Here are some helpful tips to make your homemade ice cream successful.
Make your ice cream the day before serving.
If possible, make your ice cream the day before you plan on serving it. This will allow plenty of time for the ice cream to harden in the freezer, resulting in a smoother and creamier ice cream.
Pre-freeze ice maker bowls
Since the bowls of most ice cream makers take at least 24 hours to freeze, keep them tightly wrapped in a plastic bag in the freezer. Then they will always be ready when you want to make ice cream.
Use only 3 to 4 tablespoons of hot liquid when tempering egg yolks
Regardless of the recipe's instructions, when tempering egg yolks for custard-based ice creams, only pour 3 or 4 tablespoons of hot cream into the yolks before slowly adding them back into the ice cream mixture to avoid the eggs from scrambling.
Use alcohol in moderation in your ice cream mixture
Only use up to 1/4 cup of alcohol per 1 quart of ice cream. Any more will interfere with the ice cream's ability to freeze. To prevent loss of flavor, add the alcohol after the ice cream mixture has cooled.
Add in your extracts when ice cream has cooled
For the best flavor, add the extracts or flavoring oils (vanilla, almond, maple, orange, peppermint, etc.) after the ice cream mixture has cooled.
Strain custard-based mixture before processing
When making egg-based or custard-style ice cream, strain the completed mixture before chilling to remove small chunks of egg that may have scrambled during cooking.
Keep the ice cream mixture cold
Always, place your ice cream mixture in a container and chill it in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight. The ice cream mixture freezes quicker and better if you start with a cold mixture in your ice cream maker.
Fill ice cream maker three-quarters full
For best results, only fill the ice cream maker three-quarters full. It is important not to overfill it. If there is too much mixture in the bowl, it will not aerate properly when processed.
Add mix-in just before the churning has completed
To maintain the texture of your mix-ins (chocolate chips, nut, candy pieces), add them during the last minute of churning. The ice cream should already be done, you just want to distribute them evenly into the ice cream.
Toast mix-ins just before adding them to the ice cream
Toast nuts and coconut slivers or cookies, brownies and cakes before adding to your ice cream to extract their full flavor. Using toasted mix-ins help keep their crunchiness and prevents them from becoming soggy in the ice cream.
Store processed ice cream in rectangular containers
Once your ice cream has been processed, store it in the freezer in a shallow, flat, rectangular container. This will promote an even consistency to your ice cream.
Store processed ice cream in a container with a tight fitting lidUse a rectangular container with a tight fitting lid to prevent odors in the freezer from changing the flavor of the ice cream.
Keep your ice cream covered with plastic wrap
Once the processed ice cream has been placed in a storage container, place a layer of plastic wrap or wax paper over the top of the ice cream before closing the lid. This will prevent ice crystals from forming on your ice cream.
Store ice cream in the main compartment of your freezer
Homemade ice cream is best stored in the main compartment of your freezer where the temperature remains mostly consist. This will keep the ice cream from partially thawing and re-freezing when the freezer door is opened which will help prevent ice crystals from forming on the ice cream.
Consumer your homemade ice cream within a week
Homemade ice cream keeps well in your freezer up to a week. After that, it will begin to lose its creamy texture and flavor.