Thursday, October 14, 2004

Icy ice cream

For some reason, many ice cream maker manuals and recipes seem to leave out one crucial step in the ice cream making process. Everything has to be really cold.

First, the ice cream maker's inner container has to be completely frozen. Most people do this. Second, the ice cream mixture has to be cooled to room temperature and then chilled in a refrigerator for several hours before it is poured into the ice cream maker.

If your homemade ice cream is icy, the container or the mixture was not cold enough. Why is this? Consider why you cannot just forget the ice cream maker and stick the mixture straight into the freezer. Ice crystals form and you get a solid chunk of ice. Moving the mixture around while it is being frozen prevents ice crystals from forming, resulting in a creamy texture. When either the mixture or the container is not cold enough, the mixture cannot freeze enough before it is put in the freezer. So when the partially-frozen ice cream mixture goes in the freezer, ice crystals form.

So, next time you have an immediate craving for homemade ice cream, make your mixture, chill it in the refrigerator, and then go out and buy some Mitchell's or Rick's.

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