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Ice cream-how does it remain soft?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi

What is the secret to have home made ice cream remain soft?? I use an icecream machine, however when put in the freezer, I have to get it out at least half hr before so that we can take since it is not soft as the ready ones you buy.

Thanks
Pam
post #2 of 25
High overrun (100% in most commercial ice cream, limited there by law) and texturizers mainly.

Sugar plays an important part too since it essentially prevents ice cream from freezing solid, but you already have sugar covered.

Phil
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post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
But what is high overrun? is it something you can buy it??
post #4 of 25
Overrun is how much air is whipped into the finished product in the churning. Measured as the volume of the final product compared to the volume of the starting product.
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post #5 of 25
If you buy commercial ice cream that does stay soft then you are buying icecream with some not so natural stuff in it. It's pretty natural for ice cream home made or not to get hard/frozen.

If you absolutey need it soft try adding corn syrup or alcohol those both inhibit freezing. It is also a good idea to soak any fruit in alcohol before adding to ice cream so that it doesn't get all crystaly. Also make sure you are using cream and real sugar as opposed to milk.

"over run" is impossible to do on a home machine. Commercial machine make ice cream in a matter of seconds/minutes.
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post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
mmm we do not have corn syrup i think here in my country - at least i never saw...if i don't find could I substitute that with honey or golden syrup? and if yes what is the measuring I should add to ice cream?

tks
post #7 of 25
Corn syrup is often called glucose I believe.

But anyway, i have a recipe for ice cream (only chocolate or vanilla - not fruit) which is out of this world and never forms crystals and is always soft, without using unnatural ingredients, and which doesn;t need any special equipment (ice cream makers) because it doesn;t form crystals.

i posted it recently in the baking secton (under italian meringue) and will copy here. It's from Julia Child, mastering the art of french cooking.

italian meringue

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
3 egg whites
pinch salt
pinch cream of tartar (I usually don't use it, comes out ok anyway)
1 tsp vanilla

Combine sugar and water in a small pot with well-fitting cover. Boil, swirling pan by handle till sugar is dissolved. Don't put a spoon in it or anything, or later yuo will make crystals form.
Cover pan and lower heat to simmer
Beat egg whites with cream of tartar till stiff peaks. Add vanilla.
Remove cover from pot and bring to high heat and boil till the bubbles begin to thicken and you have 238 degrees F or soft ball stage. (any things you don;t know - like soft ball, metric equivalents, or why not use spoon, for example, just ask)
Immediately begin beating the whites again and pour the boiling syrup slowly in a thin stream as you beat, like making mayonnaise. When all used up keep beating till it goes down to room temp

(You can frost a cake with this for a very pleasant fat-free frosting.
(Or add soft butter and it's a soft, fluffy buttercream))

For chocolate ice cream, the best ever,

Melt about 6 oz (but you can go as high as 12 oz) good quality semi-sweet baking chocolate (about 60 to 70 % cocoa)
Add to the meringue as soon as it's done and keep beating till cool (if you have the possibility to beat over cold ice water that is much quicker)
Whip one pint (half liter) of heavy cream till soft peaks form
fold into the coolish meringue and then freeze it in a bowl.
Julia child does it in a mold, but this is fine just in a bowl
It will never make crystals, you just put it directly in the freezer, and it freezes soft and creamy. Make sure the meringue is not warm or it will deflate the cream

Without the chocolate you can just add whipped cream to the meringue and you have a wonderful vanilla ice cream.
Fruit doesn;t work, though, because the liquid in the fruit makes crystals. I believe I tried it with mashed bananas once, and being less wet, they worked ok, and you might try apricots which are kind of dry, or depending on where you are, fresh dates or figs, but i can't guarantee they'll come out.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #8 of 25
Siduri your recipe is a very close to a 7 minute icing. Because of the air and sugar combo that product will stay soft in the freezer alright but will lack dairy notes.

Ice cream softness is achieved by controlling the size of the ice crystals in the product.
Churning does that mechanically.
sugar disrupts the freezing of water (simple syrup 2:1 sugar:water for example does not get solid in the freezer)
texture modifiers like certain gums also restricts large crystal formation and help air to be incorporated which also helps (like Patch said).
Freezing the mixture very quickly also prevents large crystal formation.

Pam If your icecream gets hard in the freezer it is because it was not churned at the same temperature of your freezer. Since it was warmer it solidified while cooling further in the freezer.

My suggestion: churn you icecream to the coldest possible temperature (mesure with a thermometer) and/or add more sugar (glucose or corn syrup also will help).

I teach homemakers simple recipes and one of them is making gelato/icecream using simple ingredients without special equipment (a rolling pin and a ziploc bag). The method is to let the stuff freeze stiff then roll it to break down the crystal size. It's always a success. If anybody is interested (tell me) I'll post the method in the recipe section (but I must translate it from French to English first which can take a little time).

Luc
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post #9 of 25
Pam, in what country are you? We may well have a member from there, or others who are knowledgeable and can suggest a substitute for corn syrup.
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post #10 of 25
The meringue is like 7 minute icing, (and i use it to frost cakes occasionally) but then there is also half a liter of cream in there. Dairy notes galore. It's not the usual ice cream, more like a frozen mousse, but wonderfully soft and creamy. Since that was the request, for ice cream that would remain soft without any special ingredients, i thought it might fit the bill.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #11 of 25
Sorry Siduri,

My dyslexia is acting up!!

Luc
I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks all of you for your help

I'm interested to try your ice cream siduri...tks for the recipe. It's a pity you can't add fruit..however you mentioned figs for example, what makes figs or dates ok and other fruit no?? So that I can figure out what varieties I can make. And anyone knows how to make amarena ice cream?? Last time i tried to add those tins of amarena cherries to normal icre cream the cherries and syrup literally became ice!!!

I live in Malta mezaluna.

Hi Luc!! I'm very interested in your method...you mean you teach how not to use an ice cream machine? I do use an ice cream machine however I never managed to do real ice cream because it always freezes up to a soft cream stage and not ice cream...i have to leave it in the freezer then!
post #13 of 25
The reason bananas will work (if you don;t put much in) and probably dates and figs, is that these are not watery fruit. The water in fruit becomes ice and crystallizes. (That's why the cherries turned to ice, they contain water (you can squeeze one and juice comes out) and water just freezes to ice, no>)
I haven;t tried figs or dates, but imagine they're somewhat like bananas in their water content.

Don't worry, Luc, about the dyslexia - i can;t read numbers, i always reverse them and get them all screwed up. :crazy:
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #14 of 25
The reason bananas will work (if you don;t put much in) and probably dates and figs, is that these are not watery fruit. The water in fruit becomes ice and crystallizes. (That's why the cherries turned to ice, they contain water (you can squeeze one and juice comes out) and water just freezes to ice, no?)
I haven;t tried figs or dates, but imagine they're somewhat like bananas in their water content.

Don't worry, Luc, about the dyslexia - i can;t read numbers, i always reverse them and get them all screwed up. :crazy:
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #15 of 25

This is a recipe I got from the Jamie Oliver forum and have just put mine in the freezer.

 

400ml tin of evaporated milk

120 gms of caster sugar

teaspoon of vanilla extract

 

Put tin milk in fridge the night before making it or for at least 4 hrs

 

Whisk the milk until creamy 

Mix in sugar and vanilla extract (I continued beating at this stage)

 

Put into an ice cream maker and churn for 30 mins

 

Pour into a container and freeze

 

Basically this recipe is just frozen sweetened milk but so far it's looking good :-)

post #16 of 25

If you roast the fruit, you will concentrate flavor and greatly reduce the water content (think cherries, strawberries, etc.).   I make ice cream at home very regularly, one key piece of equipment is the right scoop.  You don't want a standard disher with a spring, you want an actual ice cream scooper, Zeroll makes some nice ones with a liquid filled handle that helps transfer heat such that it cuts through hard ice cream a little easier.

 

Another trick I use is to pack the ice cream in smaller containers like a pint instead of a half-gallon.  The greater surface area exposed to the air temp helps it to soften a little faster sitting on the counter than a larger container would.

post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by PAM25 View Post

mmm we do not have corn syrup i think here in my country - at least i never saw...if i don't find could I substitute that with honey or golden syrup? and if yes what is the measuring I should add to ice cream?

tks

 

Thank goodness.  Please don't use corn syrup.

post #18 of 25

Funny, that in the last six years no one mentioned freezer temperatures.

 

BDL

post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

Funny, that in the last six years no one mentioned freezer temperatures.

 

BDL

 

Well, that is definitely a consideration.  Aside from having a second freezer with a slightly higher temp, another option would be to store the ice cream on the door where the temperature is the highest.  As the original question was for a home environment, I didn't really think about the option of adjusting freezer temperature, although it is certainly possible, but maybe not ideal for the other items stored in there.  Ironically, you would want a colder temperature for the ice cream maker bowl (if it is the kind that you pre-freeze, I keep mine in the deep freeze) since the lower the temperature on that, the quicker the ice cream freezes (as so makes smaller crystals).

post #20 of 25

If you use italian meringue and whipped cream, you can freeze at any temperature, and it comes out soft.  Try it, try it, and you may. Try it and you may, i say.To quote sam I am.

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #21 of 25
Pam
I have found adding a gelatine sheet (which has been soaked in water for about 5mins) to the hot anglaise keeps the ice cream from going rock hard in the freezer.
post #22 of 25

! just want to say everybody loves ice cream

post #23 of 25

Some great info given here in response to qu about keeping ice cream soft.  But as another home cook who makes this much-loved treat, my ignorance is getting the better of me.  What's wrong with taking the ice cream out of the freezer a bit before serving or using a scoop that's been warmed in hot water?  It 's ice cream, not soft serve.  Just asking.  :smiles:

post #24 of 25

Bubbamom, the question is not just making it soft, but keeping it without crystals.  Taking it out of the freezer will soften the part you don't eat, which then going back into the freezer will be sort of ruined. 

To SOFTEN ice cream, though, i put it in the dish, put it in the microwave at the lowest setting (90 watts) and turn it on for five seconds.  Perfect!

For preventing crystals, the italian meringue is excellent. 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #25 of 25

If ever we have left overs, a bit of plastic wrap pressed down to eliminate trapped air pockets seemed to work well to prevent crystals.  Harder still is the curing process which often gets skipped.  I have successfully added crushed strawberries, raspberries and peaches.

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