Sour Cream Ice Cream Base Recipe

 

I liked the Strawberry sour cream variation of Jeni Bauer’s ice cream I came up so much that  I decided to re-post it here set up as an ice cream base.  The slight tang of sour cream complements fruits and chocolate flavors (maybe herbs?) really well. And the high butterfat content contributes to a smooth and creamy dessert.   If you try it please let me know how it turned out in the comments below.

Makes roughly 1 pint, double quantities for a quart. 

Sour Cream Ice Cream Base Recipe
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Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Sour Cream Ice Cream Base - variation on Jeni Bauer's base
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 ounces (2 tablespoons) cream cheese
  • a pinch of fine sea salt
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup and 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Ice Bath (if you are going to pre-chill)
Instructions
  1. Add the cream cheese and sour cream and vanilla extract to a blender and blend until smooth. Or if you would prefer to use a mixing bowl, add the cream cheese and vanilla to a medium mixing bowl and whisk until soft and smooth. Add the sour cream and whisk until combined and smooth.
  2. Combine 2 tablespoons milk with the 2 tablespoons of corn starch in a small bowl. Mix together well.
  3. Pre-chill the container/s you will storing the finished ice cream in, in your freezer.
  4. Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup in a heavy bottom, 3.5 to 4 quart saucepan.
  5. Bring mixture to a rolling boil for 4 minutes, stirring with a heat-proof spatula.
  6. Reduce the heat, remix the cornstarch slurry and slowly add it to the saucepan. Cook until thickened, about 1 minute. You should be able to run a line through the back of your coated spatula with your finger and have it not fill back in immediately.
  7. If using a blender, pour in the milk mixture, make sure the lid is firmly on and blend covered until well combined, about 20 seconds. If using a mixing bowl, whisk in milk mixture until well combined and smooth.
  8. Pre-chill by pouring the mixture into a one gallon Ziploc bag, seal and submerge into the ice bath. Let stand for about 30 minutes until the mixture is cold. For detailed tips on pre-chilling read this.
  9. Cut a corner of the ZipLoc bag, pour the chilled mix into your ice cream maker and freeze as per manufacturers instructions. It should take about 20 - 30 minutes.
  10. Store in a freezer ready container/s. Lay down a sheet of parchment paper or cling-wrap right against the surface of the ice cream before closing the container. Store in the coldest part of your freezer for 2 - 4 hours before serving.

 

Simple Fruit Ice creams

  1. Puree enough fruit to end up with at least a cup or two of puree.
  2. Combine 1/2 cup of the puree with the sugar and heat over low heat until the sugar is completely melted and combined with fruit. You are not so much cooking the fruit as binding the sugar to the fruit and released water.
  3. Whisk or blend in the puree to the mix right before your pre-chill it.
  4. Chill the remaining uncooked puree to spoon over the served ice cream.  You can also use it in a cooked sauce but I love it fresh and simple like this.

Base Recipes for Frozen Yogurt

Frozen Yogurt is a type of dairy ice cream in which all or some of the milk and cream is replaced with yogurt.  I go over 3 different approaches in this post.  I will start with the simplest recipe and then show you some interesting and tasty variations, discussing the tradeoffs of each.

The first thing you should understand is that the frozen yogurt you make at home isn’t going to taste like what you may be used to buying at chain frozen yogurt shops, at the mall. Those guys have spent years perfecting a frozen yogurt that tastes as little like yogurt, and as much like bland soft-serve ice cream as possible. Of the processed franken-foods one can consume in a mall, commercial frozen yogurt has always seemed to me one of the strangest. Kind of a cold, white foam acting as a delivery system for fat and lots of sugar (or NutraSweet). I don’t think it is a coincidence that you are expected to load on the junk food mix-ins.

The recipes presented here will have a pronounced tang and tartness. They are going to taste like yogurt. If you don’t enjoy eating regular, non-frozen yogurt, you wont enjoy these recipes. For something that approximates mall frozen yogurt (but is IMHO, much better) use this simple vanilla ice cream recipe and replace the 3 cups of cream with 2 3/4 cups of cream and 1/4 cup yogurt. Eat it right out of your ice cream maker, once its finished freezing.

Preliminaries

Some of these recipes include vanilla beans or extract. Vanilla complements and enhances most other flavors, however feel free to reduce or eliminate it entirely as your creative spirit directs you.

Use the highest quality, freshest yogurt you can. If possible make your own. It is easy as can be and yogurt makers can be found for peanuts on eBay, garage sales, thrift stores etc… For grocery store purchased yogurt I use and love Seven Stars brand, but I’m not sure how national the distribution for it is. Nancy’s is a good alternative.

Always use a yogurt with live cultures because whatever additional health benefit frozen yogurt can provide over ice cream, comes from these good guy bacteria. From what I have read freezing does not kill bacteria cultures in yogurt, it just makes them dormant and warming them up again when you eat them, reactivates them. Always check the For Sale By Date on a yogurt container, as freshness does effect the amount of live cultures you end up with, not to mention the taste.

Greek Frozen Yogurt

Greek Yogurt has become increasingly popular over the last year or so and has a number of advantages for home frozen yogurt making. It is essentially pre-strained yogurt that as a result has much less water and a higher fat content than regular yogurt. Both excellent attributes for a making creamy, non-icy, frozen desserts. You can substitute it in any of these recipes, and I encourage you to do so if you choose to use low or non-fat yogurt.

Strained Yogurt

You can make your own Greek style or strained yogurt (and the Bauer recipe below call for you to do this) by straining some of the water out of yogurt through cheese cloth or coffee filters for 6 to 8 hours. This is really easy to do. Place a colander in bowl. Line the colander with cheese cloth or coffee filters. Pour a quart of yogurt on top, cover with cling wrap, refrigerate and come back in 6 to 8 hours. As with Greek, strained yogurt can be substituted in any recipe below.

By the way if you strain yogurt long enough (12 -24 hours) you end up with a cream cheese like consistency and hence yogurt cheese, which makes a very tasty, healthy substitute for butter or cheese, especially when made with low or non-fat yogurt. It can be used plain or flavored with herbs, nuts , nut oils etc.. If you try nothing else from this post, I urge to try this, you will probably become slightly addicted to it.

I chose these 3 recipes because they all produce excellent but very different results. Unfortunately all of them freeze hard after more than a few hours in the freezer.

So from simplest to most elaborate…

David Lebovitz’s Frozen Yogurt Base

As pure and simple as can be.

Makes 1 pint or 4 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (360 g) of plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1/2 cup (200 g) of sugar

Instructions

  1. Mix together until sugar is completed dissolved and refrigerate for an hour.
  2. Freeze in your ice cream maker as per manufacturers instructions.
  3. Serve from your ice cream maker or with less than 4 hours of additional freezing in your freezer.

David’s original recipe is from his book The Perfect Scoop and is for a vanilla version that is the same as above, but includes 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract per pint. The original recipe is for a quart and I have simply halved the ingredient amounts.

Variations

Use Powdered Sugar

I found a simple but interesting variation on this recipe, Nancy’s Yogurt Gelato, that is almost identical but uses 1/3 cup of powdered sugar instead of the 1/2 cup table sugar above. The powdered sugar should dissolve into the yogurt completely with very little effort. I tried to find some kind of sweetness equivalency formula for powdered vs table sugar (how much powdered sugar to use for the equivalent sweetness of one teaspoon of table sugar) on the internet but could not. If anyone knows, please post it in the comments below! Another feature of powdered sugar that makes it especially interesting here, is that it can contain up to 3% corn starch. This is included to absorb moisture and thus help keep the fine sugar powder a fine powder. Corn (and tapioca) starch is commonly used in ice cream recipes (including the very good Jeni Bauer Frozen Yogurt recipe below) to absorb water and produce a creamier, less icy dessert. So using powdered sugar may actually kill two birds with one stone, ensure the sugar is well incorporated into yogurt and result in a creamier dessert.

Low Fat Frozen Yogurt

Use low fat or non-fat yogurt. Though this will cut the calories, it will result in a noticeably icier dessert. Also, though I am not an expert on this by any means, using a non-fat yogurt may result in what you eat actually being more high glycemic than either the low or full fat versions. The presence of the fat potentially slowing down your bodies processing of the dessert’s sugars. It goes without saying if you have been diagnosed as diabetic or pre-diabetic, you should not be making and eating anything on this website.

Greek or Strained Yogurt.

As I mentioned above you can you substitute Greek or strained yogurts for regular yogurt in this recipe and you will end up with a creamier, richer dessert, especially if you wish to use non-fat yogurt.

More Ways to Increase Creaminess and Scoopability

Like most homemade frozen desserts, frozen yogurt is best eaten right out of your ice cream maker or with less than 4 hours of additional freezing in your freezer. Here are some suggestions for increasing creaminess and long term softness.

  • Add more fat. Use whole milk Greek yogurt and add 1/2 cup of cream.
  • Replace an 1/8 cup of the table sugar with 1/8 cup of corn syrup.

One of these can be tried with any of the variations above.

  • Add 1/2 tablespoon of vodka.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Dissolve first in 2 tablespoons of milk or some of the yogurts whey before mixing in.

 

Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook Version

I liked this recipe for its use of unflavored gelatin to improve the resulting texture and the addition of milk to soften the yogurt taste for those who might find the Lebovitz recipe to much of a good thing. This opening quote from the recipe says it all.

Recipes for homemade frozen yogurt often result in an icy slab with a grainy texture from the sugar and an overly tangy flavor from the yogurt from the namesake ingredient.

Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook 2011

I was very surprised how well this turned out. I used Fage low-fat Greek Yogurt and Organic Valley Grass Fed Milk and we ate it after about 3 hours in the freezer. The texture was excellent; firm and smooth and I liked the softer, but still very dominant yogurt taste. I am definitely going to be experimenting more with gelatin as an additive. We served this at a dinner party and everyone loved it. In a funny coincidence, the host brought out the latest addition of the Joy of Cooking to show me how many ice cream recipes there were in it and I discovered that the frozen yogurt recipe included, was almost identical to this one.

BTW our host threw together a simple peach coulis that complimented the yogurt beautifully. The following is enough for 4 servings.

2 firm peaches cored and sliced thinly, and a tablespoon each of sugar, butter and lemon juice. Combine over a low heat and cook until soft and starting to brown. A splash of brandy or other alcohol is a nice addition. He used some limoncello.

Ingredients for 1 pint

  • 1 Cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 7/8 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 3/8 cup of sugar

Instructions

  1. Strain the yogurt in a fine mesh strainer over a measuring cup in your refrigerator, until 1/4 cup of liquid has been released. Should take about an hour.
  2. Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup of milk in a small bowl until it softens, about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile scrape out the seeds from the vanilla bean. Video how here.
  4. Combine with the remaining milk and sugar in a small saucepan and heat over a medium heat, stirring until mixture is steaming and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.
  5. Add the gelatin/milk to the mixture and stir until completely dissolved. Discard the vanilla bean.
  6. Cool the mixture to room temperature over a bowl of ice water or in a refrigerator and combine with the yogurt. Cooling before mixing ensures that the yogurt cultures are not killed by the heat.
  7. Pre-chill the combined mixture as needed by your ice cream maker. Read more on this here.
  8. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker as per manufacturers instructions.
  9. Serve or harden in your freezer for 2 – 4 hours. Cling wrap pressed onto the surface of the yogurt will remove air and prevent freezer burn.

 

Jeni Bauer’s Frozen Yogurt Base

Furthest afield from our purist recipe, this one is really a kind of yogurt flavor version of Jeni’s basic ice cream recipe. Regular readers of my site know that I am a big fan of Ms. Bauer’s recipes for home ice cream makers. I probably use her cookbook more than any other. This recipe has the highest fat content, and the yogurt is used a co-equal flavor with everything else going on in the recipe. You end up with delicious and complex dairy/yogurt flavor. Alas the few times I have made it its final texture was not as good as her straight ice cream base and it freezes harder than her ice creams. This could well be my own fault as I used greek yogurt as opposed to strained. If eaten with 4 hours or less in your freezer you will not be disappointed.

Ingredients for 1 Pint

  • 2 Cups of plain low-fat yogurt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon corn or tapioca starch
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup light corn syrup

6 to 8 Hours Ahead of Churning

  1. Pour the yogurt into a fine wire mesh sieve that is lined with two layers of cheese cloth, set in a bowl.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in your refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours.

Preparation

  1. Mix about 3 tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl or jar until smooth, set aside.
  2. Whisk cream cheese in a medium size bowl until soft and smooth. Or alternatively use my blender method of combining everything. You must have a blender with a jar big enough to comfortably hold the quantity of mix your are making. In that case drop the cream cheese in the bottom of the blender.

Cook the Mix

Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup in a heavy bottomed saucepan or pot. During the cooking process use a spatula to keep stirring the mixture so that it doesn’t stick and burn on the bottom of your pot especially at in the corners. If you use the same pot every time you make ice cream you will get a good feel for how much you need to do this and what temperature to set your burner at.

Bring to a rolling boil, and boil for 4 minutes.

Remove from heat and gradually whisk in the corn starch mix. You will have to re-mix it before adding it.

Return the mixture to the your burner and cook for about a minute until slightly thickened. You want to be able to run your finger long the back of your spatula and leave a trail that doesn’t immediately fill in. Remove from heat.

At this point, even though this isn’t in the original recipe, I would suggest you cool the mix to room temperature or slightly warmer so that when you combine it with the yogurt you don’t end up killing the active cultures in the yogurt. Fill a large bowl with ice water and place your saucepan in it. It will only take a few a minutes of stirring to get the temperature down.

If you used a bowl, gradually whisk the tepid or cool mix into the cream cheese until smooth. Then add the yogurt and combine well. If you are using a blender, add the mix to it, cover, and blend together with the cream cheese. Turn it off, add the yogurt, cover and blend until smooth, maybe 20 – 30 seconds.

Pre-chill as needed.

Jeni’s standard method is to pour the mixture into a Zip-Loc bag and immerse it in an ice water bath for about 30 minutes. This works quite well, but its a bit messy. You can also read my post on alternatives.

Churn

Freeze the mix in your ice cream maker as per manufacturer’s instructions.

Freeze in appropriately sized freezer containers. Press a piece of cling wrap into the top of the ice cream first to remove air bubbles.

 
Read all our posts tagged Frozen Yogurt.

 

06/10/2013
Frozen Yogurt

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
yogurt, sugar / 1 pint

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour
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Sweetened Condensed Milk Ice Cream Base

sweetened-condensed-milk-ice-cream-base

I wanted to have one post that contains my current version of a sweetened condensed milk ice cream base. This is a work in progress as I keep tinkering with various proportions of milk, cream and condensed milk. Why do I keep tinkering? Because I actually made the perfect version of this once; silky smooth, absolutely perfect texture, that stayed that way for days in the freezer and I didn’t write it down! Sigh..

If you haven’t tried a condensed milk based ice cream, you should. It has a unique, cooked milk, slightly caramelized taste and very nice texture. It is very sweet!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Sweetened Condensed Milk Ice Cream Base
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Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Sweetened Condensed Milk Ice Cream Base
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon of tapioca or corn starch
  • 2 inches of split, scraped vanilla bean, use a whole for vanilla ice cream
Instructions
  1. Combine 2 tablespoons of milk and tapioca or corn starch in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat milk, cream, and condensed milk in a medium, heavy bottomed pot until simmering. Stir regularly to avoid sticking.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in the remixed tapioca/corn starch slurry.
  4. Put back on heat and cook for about a minute or until you can run your finger along the back of your stirring spoon or spatula, and leave a track that doesn't immediately fill in.
  5. Remove mix from the stove and pre-chill as required by your machine.
  6. Freeze in your ice cream maker as per manufacturer's instructions
  7. Store in freezer-proof container with a sheet of cling wrap pressed on to the surface of the ice cream.

 

Click here for more recipes that incorporate sweetened condensed milk.

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French Vanilla Ice Cream

This is a classic French vanilla ice cream recipe that is simply a creme a l’anglaise  (egg custard) frozen in an ice cream maker.  You will be very, very happy if you eat it right out of your ice cream maker or with less than 4 hours in your freezer.  After that it will get hard and need a little thawing before you serve it.

French Vanilla Ice Cream
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Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Classic French recipe for vanilla ice cream. Read embedded links before printing.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • ½ cup of heavy cream
  • 8 egg yolks
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or a 2 inch piece of a split and scraped vanilla bean
Instructions
  1. In a medium, heavy bottomed pan, over a medium heat, cook the milk, vanilla bean (not extract), sugar and salt until it just starts to simmer.
  2. Temper the eggs with the cooked mix using one of these methods
  3. Add the combined mix back to the stove, and cook stirring, until the mix hits a temperature of 170 F or you can run your finger along the back of your stirring spoon and leave a track that doesn't fill in right away. This should only take a minute or two. Do not overcook or bring to boil.
  4. Immediately pour the mix into a medium heat proof bowl and whisk in the cold cream and vanilla extract if that is what you are using.
  5. Pre-chill as needed. Read this for options.
  6. Freeze in your ice cream maker as per manufacturer's instructions.
  7. Serve right away or after 2 - 6 hours hardening in your freezer as you prefer.
  8. Store in a freezer-proof container with a layer of cling wrap pressed against the top of the ice cream to prevent frost buildup.

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A Classic Philadelphia Style Ice Cream Base

philadelphia-style-ice-cream

This recipe is for a basic, very traditional, Philadelphia style ice cream. The primary characteristics of this ice cream are: a 2 or 3  to 1 cream to milk ratio, no eggs, and an uncooked mix. It’s main strength, a  simple, pure, super fresh, uncooked taste, also results in its primary weakness; after more than 4 – 6 hours in your freezer, what you make will become rock hard, with a slightly grainy texture from ice crystal formation.  This style ice cream is best eaten right out of your ice cream maker or after just a few hours in your freezer, when it will be delicious. I would also suggest pre-chilling the mix even if you have a built in compressor ice cream maker.  You want everything as cold as possible when you go to freeze this in your ice cream maker.  I would also suggest you use the freshest, highest quality ingredients you can for this recipe as you will taste the difference.

Here is a recipe for about a quart of ice cream.

5.0 from 1 reviews
A Classic Philadelphia Style Ice Cream Base
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Serves: 8
 
A classic Philadelphia style vanilla ice cream recipe
Ingredients
  • 3 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of milk
  • ½ - 1 cup of sugar. To taste, ¾ cup is most common.
  • ½ vanilla bean split and scraped. or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Whisk together all the ingredients in a lipped bowl.
  2. Pre-chill using one of the methods described here.
  3. Freeze in your ice cream maker as per manufacturers instructions.
  4. Serve immediately or within 4 - 6 hours in your freezer.
  5. For a full vanilla ice cream, double (or more) the amount of vanilla called for in ingredients above.

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Strawberry Sour Cream Ice Cream

strawberry_sour_cream_ice_cream

This is my current favorite recipe for strawberry ice cream. It is based on Jeni Bauer’s Roasted Strawberry and Buttermilk Ice Cream recipe in Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

Here are the changes I have made to the original recipe:

  • Reduced the total amount of sugar by 1/3 cup from 1 cup to 2/3 cup.
  • Replaced the 1/4 cup buttermilk and 1/4 cup heavy cream with 1/2 cup sour cream.
  • Increased the amount of Strawberry puree added to 3/4 cup up from 1/2 cup.
  • Added 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

The resulting ice cream, I am happy to say, retains that great texture of Jeni’s, even after freezer hardened. The reduction in sugar is compensated for by the additional puree; less sweet, more strawberry flavor. The sour cream plays a similar role to the buttermilk in the original recipe, offsetting yet highlighting, the strawberries. Of course there isn’t any tang from the missing buttermilk and it isn’t at all sour from the sour cream. I am very pleased with it and I think you will be too.

One of the nice things about this recipe is that you end up with left over strawberry puree. It is fantastic spooned onto the ice cream when served or added to milkshakes. Strawberry sour cream ice cream makes one fantastic milkshake!

 

Strawberry Sour Cream Ice Cream
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Cuisine: ice cream
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
My current favorite strawberry ice cream. Based on Jeni Bauer's Roasted Strawberry and Buttermilk Ice Cream recipe. Makes about a quart.
Ingredients
Roasted Strawberries
  • 1 quart strawberries, hulled and sliced ½ inch thick
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
Ice Cream Base
  • 11/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cream cheese
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Ice Bath
Instructions
Prep
-Strawberry Puree
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Combine the strawberries with ⅓ cup sugar in an 8 inch square baking dish.
  3. Roast for 10 minutes or until just soft.
  4. Puree the berries in a blender with lemon juice.
  5. Measure out ¾ cup of the puree and add it back to the blender. Refrigerate the rest for another use.
-Ice Cream Base
  1. Add the cream cheese and sour cream to the strawberry puree in the blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Combine 2 tablespoons milk with the 2 tablespoons of corn starch in a small bowl. Mix together well.
  3. Pre-chill the container you will storing the finished ice cream in, in your freezer.
Cook
  1. Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup in a heavy bottom, 3.5 to 4 quart saucepan.
  2. Bring mixture to a rolling boil for 4 minutes, stirring with a heat-proof spatula.
  3. Reduce the heat, remix the cornstarch slurry and add it to the saucepan. Cook until thickened, about 1 minute.
  4. With the blender on a low setting pour in the milk mixture though the lid hole, add the vanilla extract, and blend until combined, about 15 seconds.
Pre-chill
  1. Pour the mixture into a one gallon Ziploc bag, seal and submerge into the ice bath. Let stand for about 30 minutes until the mixture is cold.
Freeze
  1. Freeze in your ice cream maker as per manufacturers instructions. It should take about 20 - 30 minutes.
Store
  1. Store in a freezer ready container. Lay down a sheet of parchment paper or cling-wrap right against the surface of the ice cream before closing the container. Store in the coldest part of your freezer for 4 hours before serving.

 

 

 

Goat Milk Ice Cream Recipe

I have been curious about using goat milk in ice cream as I love goat cheese and was recently turned on to cajeta, a mexican goat milk dulce de leche.  After doing a bit of reseach I found that there are only minor differences either nutritionally or in make up between milk from cows and goats.  Here is a comparison table that I pulled from this interesting comparison between dairy goats and cows.

goat_milk_comparison

So the decision to use goat milk instead of cow milk comes down to taste preference. Maybe you are lucky enough to own a goat, and have a ready supply of fresh goat milk. While you will certainly taste the goat in goat milk ice creams, the taste is subtler than in cheese. Cold dampens flavors and the taste of sugar pretty drasticly alters flavor in most ice creams. Having said that, the unique tang of goat milk seems to be one of those flavors that inspires a wide range of extreme reactions in people.  I assume if you have read this far you are fan.

So here is my first attempt at a goat milk ice cream.  I decided to be a goat milk purist and use no cow milk or cream at all.  This means we have to get more fat from somewhere and we need something to to help us fight grainy ice crystals.  The additional fat will come from egg yolks and the additional ice tamer will be corn starch.  Im using honey rather than table sugar because the flavor is a good complement to goat milk. Try to use a strong, dark version. The downside to using honey is that ice creams with a lot of it tend to develop a coarse texture after being stored in a home freezer for a while. We are only going to make about a pint and a half so that we can eat it with only a few hours hardening (or straight out of our ice cream maker).

Goat Milk Ice Cream Recipe
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Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
A vanilla goat milk ice cream that can be eaten as is or used as a base for other flavors.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups goat milk
  • ½ vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon of corn starch
Instructions
  1. Mix together the egg yolks, ½ cup of goat milk and the corn starch until smooth in a blender.
  2. If using a vanilla bean, split it and scrape out the seeds. Add the pod and seeds to the goat milk in the next step. If using vanilla extract it will be added in at the end of the cooking process.
  3. Add the remaining goat milk and honey to a heavy bottomed, medium, saucepan (preferably one with a pouring lip), and bring to a rolling boil on a medium heat. Boil, stirring for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the burner. Turn the blender on at a low setting and in a very, very, thin stream pour in the hot goat milk. It is critical that this is done very slowly so as not to end up with scrambled eggs. Do this through the access hole in your blender lid as opposed to just having the lid off, otherwise you risk making a surprising and regretable mess. If you would prefer a more traditional method read this.
  5. When the goat milk mix is fully incorporated with the eggs, turn off the blender and pour the mix back into the pan you used to heat the goat milk.
  6. Thicken the mixture into an egg custard by stirring constantly, over a medium heat, until you measure 170º F/77° C on a good instant read thermometer. If you don't have an instant read thermometer, thicken it until you can run your finger over the back of the spoon or spatula you are stirring with and leave a trail that doesn't immediately fill back in.
  7. Remove from heat. Remove the two pieces of vanilla bean pod. If using vanilla extract instead, mix it in now.
  8. Pre-chill the mixture before freezing it in your ice cream maker. Read about the various ways of doing this (or not) here
  9. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker. It should take 15 - 30 minutes.
  10. Serve right out of your maker or within a few hours of storing in your freezer. Store remainder in a freezer proof container. A layer of cling wrap smoothed on to the top of the ice cream before you close the container, will help keep air out and frost from forming.

 

I would serve this as a sundae using a generous topping of warm cajeta sauce and some toasted almond slivers.

For more goat milk recipes click here.

A Classic Gelato Base

This is the standard gelato base that I will be updating as I experiment. I put together this recipe to approximate the fantasy ideal of what most people imagine this Italian ice cream to be. That is lower in fat, at least dairy fat, and having a dense, silky-smooth, glossy texture provided by the inclusion of a lot of egg yolks. As you can read about here, this actually describes only one style of gelato, even in Italy.

The most important practical thing to know about making gelato is that it is best served either right from your ice cream maker or after only a few hours of hardening in the freezer. It just doesn’t keep well for long periods of time in a home freezer. You will find that the next day it can be hard as a rock and will need to be thawed a little before you can scoop, let alone serve it. The only problem with this is that if you do it more than a few times the process of melting and re-freezing starts to ruin both the taste and texture of what is left in the container. For that reason my recipe is for one pint rather than a quart. Just double everything if you with to make more.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup  heavy cream
  • 1 1/3 cup  whole milk
  • 5 large  egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup  sugar
  • 1 teaspoon  vanilla extract

 

Instructions

  1. Place 1/2 cup of heavy cream in a medium size bowl in your freezer to pre-chill for no more than than 1/2 an hour. If you do this at the start of making this recipe that should be enough time.
  2. Mix together the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of cream and sugar until smooth in a blender.
  3. Add the milk to a heavy bottomed, medium, saucepan (preferably one with a pouring lip), and bring to a rolling boil on a medium heat. Boil, stirring for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the burner. Turn the blender on at a low setting and in a very, very, thin stream pour in the hot milk. It is critical that this is done very slowly so as not to end up with scrambled eggs. Do this through the access hole in your blender lid as opposed to just having the lid off, otherwise you risk making a surprising and regretable mess. If you would prefer a more traditional method read this.
  5. When the milk is fully incorporated with the eggs, turn off the blender and pour the mix back into the pan you used to heat the milk.
  6. Thicken the mixture into an egg custard by stirring constantly, over a medium heat, until you measure 170º F/77° C on a good instant read thermometer. If you don’t have an instant read thermometer, thicken it until you can run your finger over the back of the spoon or spatula you are stirring with and leave a trail that doesn’t immediately fill back in.
  7. Remove from heat and immediately pour the mix into the bowl that contains the heavy cream you have been chilling in the freezer. Whisk together until smooth. The purpose of this step is to rapidly lower the temperature of the mix and stop it from continuing to cook.
  8. Pre-chill the mixture before freezing it in your ice cream maker. Read about the various ways of doing this (or not) here.
  9. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker. It should take 15 – 30 minutes.
  10. Serve right out of your maker or within a few hours of storing in your freezer. Store remainder in a freezer proof container. A layer of cling wrap smoothed on to the top of the gelato before you close the container, will help keep air out and frost from forming.

Download a pdf of this recipe here.

Notes and Variations

Feel free to flip or even out the proportions of milk to cream. With a two to one cream to milk ratio I would call this a frozen custard and with a one to one proportion, I would call this an ice cream. But what’s in a name?

The number of egg yolks used is completely up to you. In one pint I wouldn’t use fewer than two or more than 6. The more yolks you use, the denser, smoother and glossier the result be. Unfortunately it will also be that much higher in cholesterol.

For a true vanilla gelato I would use 1/4 vanilla bean split and scraped and added to milk when you boil it. You can still add or not as you prefer, the teaspoon of vanilla extract later as the recipe above calls for.

If you prefer a sweeter result you can add up to 1/4 cup more sugar to the recipe above. In the interest of experimenting with texture, instead of adding more table sugar try adding 1 tablespoon of light corn syrup. This should help it stay softer in your freezer. Add the corn syrup to the milk when you go to boil it. Another thing we could try to soften the stored texture, is the addition of one tablespoon of an 80 proof alcohol that compliments the flavor you plan to make; for example Meyers rum, bourbon, vodka or maybe a liqueur that you like. Add this right before you pour the mix into your maker.

A Classic Gelato Base

Bob Clark
Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 20 min
Total Time: 40 min

Sweetened Condensed Milk Cardamom Vanilla Ice Cream

This is an easy as can be recipe, that makes one pint of silky smooth, sweet, homemade vanilla ice cream without eggs. Just combine the ingredients in a blender and freeze in your ice cream maker. On the other hand I suspect (note suspect, I haven’t actually tried this yet), that an ice cream maker might not even be required. Just mix everything together, store in your freezer, stir once an hour for the first few hours, and in 4 hours or so you will have ice cream. In that scenario you might need to use heavy cream rather than half and half, but this remains to be seen.  Another no ice cream maker required method, especially if you dont want to wait hours, would be to make it using the Ziploc bag method described here.

Sweetened Condensed Milk Cardamom Vanilla Ice Cream
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 can (14 oz) of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup half and half (or heavy cream, or milk and heavy cream as you desire.)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground cardamom seeds
Instructions
  1. Grind the cardamom seeds in spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Freshly ground cardamom explodes with flavor!
  2. Add half and half and cardamom to the blender.
  3. Open condensed milk can with a can opener and pour into a blender. It is much easier to use a spatula and scoop out the whole can with the entire top removed.
  4. Blend the mix until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  5. If you have a built-in freezer/compressor ice cream maker add the mix to it and freeze. This should take about 15 - 20 minutes.
  6. If you have a freezer canister model. Pre-chill using one of these methods.
  7. Eat and/or store in a freezer proof container in your freezer. This ice cream stores quite well, getting a little harder in texture but still remaining soft and easy to scoop.

 

Serving Suggestions

Because it is so sweet, a scoop of this ice cream goes amazingly well with anything based on dark chocolate.  For example, it is a perfect side to a slice of flour-less chocolate cake.

 

Notes and Variations

I should sub-title this recipe the simplest ice cream base in the world because really that is what it is. You can see how easy the basic foundation of half condensed milk and half cream/milk is to experiment with. Depending on the strength of the flavors you want to add, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of any spice could be used in place of the cardamom. Up to 1/4 cup of a fruit puree or chocolate or caramel syrup are other possibilities. Keep in mind that even without added sugar this is a very sweet ice cream, so flavors that balance that are the way to go. Melting a 1/2 once of bittersweet chocolate in half of the half and half before combining is good example.

Update 4/14/13

A recent version of this ice cream that worked out well,  used these ingredient quantities. It has a nice texture, is just sweet enough for me and freezes fairly well.

1 can of sweetened condensed milk

2 cups of heavy cream

2 cups of whole milk

1 Tablespoon of cornstarch

1 vanilla bean

1 Tablespoon freshly ground cardamom

In this variation I cooked the base by bringing the heavy cream, milk vanilla bean and cardamom to boil for 4 minutes.
Took the pot off the burner for a moment while I stirred in the cornstarch which had been earlier dissolved into 1/4 cup of the milk.
Then I Cooked the mix for around a minute until it thickened from the corn starch.
Then I added it directly to my compressor ice cream maker to churn.
If you are using a freezer canister ice cream maker you need to chill the mix first.

 
Google/

Mark Bittman’s World’s Simplest Ice Cream Base

NY Times

Mark Bittman, The New York Times resident foodie and cook has come up with what has to be one of the easiest of all cooked ice cream bases. A basic corn starch base that is simple both in ingredients and in preparation. If you want to make a fast ice cream that is still better than anything you can buy at the supermarket this is the way to go. Plus as he notes in the article you can make this as low fat as you want or need to based on the type of milk or cream you use

Corn Starch Ice Cream Base

Mark Bittman's World's Simplest Ice Cream Base
Posted By: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Corn Starch Ice Cream Base Makes 1 Pint
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups light cream, half-and-half or milk (whole or skim), or a combination. You can also substitute buttermilk or yogurt for half (1¼ cups) the mixture.
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch.
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl blend ½ cup of milk mixture with cornstarch so there are no lumps.
  2. Add the remaining 2 cups of the milk/cream mixture, the sugar and salt to a saucepan. If using a vanilla bean, split it and scrape in the seeds and then add the pod to the pan, if not don't add the vanilla extract now. Cook over a medium low heat until mixture begins to steam.
  3. Remove the vanilla pods and add the cornstarch mixture to the pot. Cook, stirring until it starts to thicken and just begins to boil. Reduce the heat to very low and stir for another 5 minutes or so until thick.
  4. Take off the heat, stir in vanilla extract if using instead of a bean.
  5. If the mixture has any noticeable lumps, strain it through a fine mesh sieve. If you are not using an ice cream machine with a built in freezing condenser, pour custard into a bowl and refrigerate until cold. This will usually take a couple of hours but here are some options.
  6. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

 
Go to the original recipe for a short list of flavor variations

Corn Starch Ice Cream on the New York Times

A Video of Mr. Bittman preparing the base.

Jeni Britton Bauer’s Ice Cream Base

To make great ice cream you need to start with a great base recipe that you can then build on with additional flavors. I first read about Ms Bauer’s in Saveur magazine and her base is one that I use regularly. I was put off from trying it for a while because of her use of cornstarch and (horrors!) corn syrup. Boy was that a huge mistake! For one thing the light corn syrup she uses is not the same as the high fructose corn syrup used in sodas. Most importantly, for philadelphia-style, eggless bases, it doesn’t get any better than this one.

The most amazing distinguishing quality of Jeni’s base is its texture. Smooth, grain free and slightly chewy, with an inherent warmth that allows you to bite into it without it being so cold as to hurt your teeth. And it melts in your mouth in that perfect lush wave of dairy creaminess which is what ice cream is all about. Her’s are the only ice creams I make that I prefer eating after hardening for a few hours in my freezer, as opposed to right out of the ice cream maker. That time and additional freezing very noticeably locks in the texture. Unlike most homemade ice creams this recipe stores well and scoops out like a dream.

No ice cream recipe is for everyone (what fun would that be?) so let me point out a few aspects that I have read people having issues with. Some people find the cheesecake component really stands out in flavor, and either find it distractingly strong or just don’t like it.  Try to use a very high quality cream cheese (she recommends Organic Valley). If you are concerned this will be a problem for you, just leave it out. The recipe will be less smooth but cream cheese is not a deal breaker. Some people also claim the taste of corn starch is overwhelming to them. Though my natural inclination is to think this is a figment of their imagination, the fact is the range of what people taste is surprisingly broad so who is to say.  I don’t taste corn starch in the final product.

One issue that I do notice is that with 3/4 cups of sugar and two tablespoons of light corn syrup this is a very sweet ice cream base. Not unusually so, many ice creams use a full cup of sugar. To sweet for my personal taste. Jeni says you can reduce the the amount of sugar by two tablespoons but no more. Honestly I reduce it by 4 tablespoons (using 1/2 cup of sugar rather than 2/3 cup) and yes it degrades the texture a small, but noticeable amount. Life is compromise. I would suggest you try making the original recipe (below) to the letter before making any changes.

The last thing I want to point out is that you need a good 3.5 or 4 quart saucepan or pot that conducts heat evenly. Jeni has you bring the milk and cream mixture to a rolling boil for 4 minutes in order to reduce out some of the water in the mixture. If you use one with a thin metal base, you are much more likely to get some burnt milk sticking to the base. I use an enameled cast iron Le Crueset style soup pot as it totally avoids this issue. The downside is that it is heavy and doesn’t have a lip. Whatever you use, try to set the heat of your burner low as you can and still bring the mixture to a boil.

Recommendations:

  • Use Organic Valley cream cheese or better.
  • Harden the ice cream in your freezer for at least a few hours for the best texture.
  • Use the best quality ingredients you can. If you can get local, fresh milk and cream you will taste it.
Jeni Britton Bauer's Ice Cream Base
Posted By: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. of cornstarch
  • 1¼ cups heavy cream
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • ⅛ tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp. (1.5 ounces) cream cheese, softened (10 seconds in a microwave will do it.)
  • 1 Heavy duty 1 gallon ziploc freezer bag. Or a flat heatproof tupperware or rubbermaid style container that seals tightly and can hold a quart of liquid. The freezer bag works the fastest but can be a little messy when emptying.
  • A large bowl with a tray or two worth of ice and water in it.
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, stir together a few tablespoons of milk and the cornstarch to make a slurry. Set aside.
  2. Place the cream cheese and salt in heat proof bowl or pitcher big enough to handle the full quart of mixture. Ideally this would have a pouring spout and and handle to make your life easier and would be non metallic so you can microwave the cream cheese for 10 seconds to soften it.
  3. In a 4-qt. saucepan, whisk together remaining milk and the cream, sugar, syrup, and salt; bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat.
  4. Boil for 4 minutes; give the corn starch slurry a remix and stir it into the pot.
  5. Return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about a minute. Coat the back of a spoon with the mixture and run a finger through it. If the track left by your finger doesn't immediately fill back with the mixture it is thick enough.
  6. Pour in ¼ cup hot milk mixture into your cream cheese bowl whisk until smooth. Whisk in remaining milk mixture.
  7. Pour mixture into the ziploc bag or container. Seal, and submerge it in a bowl of ice and water until chilled. This takes about 30 minutes.
  8. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker. It is a little less messy if you cut off one of the bottom corners of the bag and pour the mix out through that.
  9. Process according to manufacturer's instructions.
  10. Transfer ice cream to a storage container and freeze until set. At least a few hours. This step is essential to fully lock in the perfect texture Jeni as conjured into this recipe.

Tempering eggs when making ice cream

Many ice cream and gelato recipes, including some of my favorites, are based on an egg custard. Eggs add a signature richness of flavor that complements many other flavors, especially vanilla. Vanilla ice cream is in turn often used as a base for other flavors.

If you can make a great egg custard, you are more than half way to making great ice cream of any flavor. There are a number of different egg custard base recipes on the site that result in wonderful but significantly different tasting ice creams.

There is a small catch however, the only aspect of making ice cream that is at all temperamental and needs to be done correctly is how you handle eggs when making a custard. You have to temper them. A process of gradual heating so that they don’t prematurely cook, become essentially scrambled eggs and ruin the mix for ice cream making.

Simplest Technique of All, Don’t Temper! (Update 7/2013)

I came across this technique for cooking egg custard when reading a beer ice cream recipe post.   As long as you have the simple equipment required and consider yourself of average competence in a kitchen, there is no longer any reason to temper egg yolks.

Essential to This Technique

  • A good instant read thermometer.
  • A heavy bottom pan that conducts heat uniformly and doesn’t have any hot spots.
  • A soft rubber or silicone spatula.
  • Bring the mix up to temperature slowly, then immediately pour it into a bowl that is in an ice bath or cold water to stop the cooking process.

The technique is as simple as can be.

Set up your finishing bowl in an ice or cold water bath.

Add the ingredients you will be cooking in egg custard (typically, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla bean, egg yolks)  together in you pot while it is at room temperature on a cold burner.

Turn on the heat to medium-low and whisk them together until they are well combined.  At that point switch to the spatula and keep the mix moving, scrapping the bottom and edges, so that no cooked spots develop.

Slowly cook the custard until the temperature reaches 170°.  Immediately pour into the bowl you have waiting in an ice bath.  Stir the mix to help it cool it down quickly.  If you choose to, you can pour the mix though a sieve to remove any bits of cooked egg that may have formed.  I never do this.

Also note the range at which you want to stop cooking is between 165° – 180° F.    In my humble opinion 165° is a little on low side and 180° is pushing your luck towards scrambled eggs, but if you closely follow this technique you can experiment safely.

 

Classic Egg Tempering Technique

The following video by pastry chef Heather Bertinetti that I found on eHow, is an excellent break down of the classic process of egg tempering and clearly lays out easy steps for guaranteeing your egg custard bases come out perfect every time.

 

 

My Blender Egg Tempering Method. 

It occurred to me that a very simple way to solve the problem of tempering eggs when making a custard is to use a blender to combine ingredients.
For this to work you have to have a blender with a big enough jar to comfortably hold the entire combined ice cream mix. Also you need to use a saucepan with a lip for heating your milk mixture or be willing to pour the hot milk mixture from the saucepan into a heatproof pitcher or bowl with a lip which you will in turn use to pour the milk mix into the blender.
The steps go like this.
  1. Combine the egg yolks and sugar portion (according to the recipe) in the blender. This quickly gives you a beautifully combined, smooth egg mix.
  2. Heat you milk/cream/sugar mix according to the recipe, in a saucepan with a lip.
  3. Turn on the blender to a low speed and with the cap on but the pouring hole cover removed, very gradually, in a very thin stream, pour the hot milk mixture into the blending egg mixture. After a cup or two you can pour it a little faster. Once you have poured it all you can turn off the blender in 10 seconds or so.
  4. Take the blender jar by its convenient handle and pour it back into the saucepan to heat the combined mixture until thick as indicated in the recipe.
  5. Continue with the recipe.
So far I haven’t made scrambled eggs yet and the work-flow of the process to my mind is noticeably smoother.
Note using a blender adds air to your mix. Good or bad, in this case it doesn’t matter because it all gets lost again in the process of thickening the combined custard on the stove.