Once you taste homemade ice cream, you won’t go back to store-bought tubs again. But many home cooks struggle with the process of making ice cream and don’t always understand where things went wrong. Here are a few common mistakes and how to prevent them. Once you read this article, you’ll be ready to take on the world of ice cream making again!
Ice cream not freezing properly can be due to a number of reasons. You ice cream bowl (from your ice cream machine) should be in the freezer for as long as possible – preferably overnight – to make sure it’s cold enough. Your ice cream custard should also be chilled.
If your ice cream recipe is alcohol-based, it could be because the alcohol you added was too much. Alcohol interferes with the freezing point of ice cream, and if you add too much, the ice cream will never freeze hard enough. You can actually use this to your advantage. If you want to prevent your ice cream from becoming too hard in the freezer, add a few tablespoons of vodka to the custard.
Adding too much sugar will also have the same effect. Make sure you follow the recipe carefully. You might think that there is no harm in adding more sugar, but each ice cream ingredient plays a functional role, and will affect more than the taste of your product.
French and Italian style ice creams rely on a custard base made with eggs. This means a smoother, tastier ice cream. But sometimes you end up with an ice cream that tastes like scrambled eggs. This is most likely due to the cooking temperature being too high. When cooking your custard base, make sure the temperature of your custard does not go higher than 185°F (85°C). This will cook the custard enough to pasteurize your eggs, but will not result in an eggy flavor.
You can also look at alternative recipes (such as Philadelphia style ice cream) that does not contain eggs. It won’t be as rich as custard-base ice creams, but will still taste delicious.
The reason why you ice cream tastes ‘icy’ is because of large ice crystals. During freezing, you want smaller crystals to form, which will ensure a smooth ice cream, instead of a grainy or icy one. To do this, make sure your freezer bowl is sufficiently cooled (by placing it in the freezer overnight), and chilling your custard mix as much as possible. Custard-based ice creams (such as French and Italian) are less likely to become icy, as the egg proteins helps to stabilize the mixture during freezing.
Have you made ice cream at home before?