Ice cream is a favorite dessert across the globe and July is observed as National Ice Cream Month. The average American consumes more than 23 pounds of ice cream per year, according to the International Dairy Foods Association.
Even though a trip to the local ice cream parlor can yield many different opportunities to indulge, making ice cream at home is easier than one may believe and a family-friendly activity that can be incorporated as part of the National Ice Cream Month celebration. Also, creating homemade ice cream can be a fun way to experiment with unique flavors and textures. It is easy to customize concoctions based on what everyone likes best. Making ice cream also is a fun way to bring the family together with the reward of a tasty prize for all of the effort. Here are some tips for making ice cream at home.
Buy quality ingredients. Choose fresh, high-quality ingredients. Real vanilla beans or extract can produce better flavor than imitations. Select in-season berries and other fruits and, if possible, use organic milk. All of these ingredients will blend together for fresh flavor.
Freeze equipment early. Cold equipment is necessary to produce ice cream. Store the bowls of an ice cream maker in the freezer to keep them frozen and ready for when the mood strikes to make a batch of ice cream.
Avoid ice crystallization. According to Food 52, a foodie equipment and recipe resource, ice crystals in the ice cream can ruin texture by making ice cream crunchy. Freezing ice cream quickly at very cold temperatures is essential. That means freezing the bowl and keeping the ingredient mix cold. Spinning the ice cream and transferring it quickly to the freezer helps keep ice crystals small.
Keep mix-ins small. Mix-ins, like cookie pieces or cake crumbs, can add a different dimension to ice cream. Chill the ingredients and make sure they are small (roughly the size of chocolate chips). Add them after the ice cream is entirely frozen.
Watch alcohol usage. Alcohol can create a tipsy ice cream experience, but adding too much can interfere with ice cream’s ability to freeze. Therefore, use alcohol sparingly.
Store ice cream smartly. According to David Lebovitz, author of ‘The Perfect Scoop,’ store ice cream in a shallow container to keep it softer. Also, cover the surface of the ice cream with plastic wrap to prevent ice crystals from forming.