Published July 1, 2011. From Cook's Illustrated.
The main reason more people don’t make their own ice cream? It’s never as creamy, smooth, or dense as the best stuff from the store. We decided to change that.
Instead of thick, dense, and velvety, homemade ice cream, homemade ice cream often turns out crumbly, fluffy, and icy.
We wanted homemade ice cream with a texture rivaling the highest quality commercial stuff.
One of the most critical factors in an ice cream’s texture is speed of freezing. The more quickly the ice cream freezes, the smoother the texture. We figured we could speed up the freezing time of our ice cream if we started with a colder base. To do this, we let our hot custard base cool for a few minutes, and then transferred some of it to a small bowl, which we popped into the freezer. We then put the rest of the custard in the refrigerator to cool overnight. The next day, we scraped the frozen custard into the refrigerated stuff and stirred it until the frozen custard dissolved.
The final key to our ice cream’s texture lay in the ingredients themselves. We had been sweetening our ice cream with granulated sugar, but we found that corn syrup could aid in eliminating large ice crystals. The batch made with both sugar and corn syrup froze faster and remained harder at home-freezer temperatures than the all-sugar recipe. It was also virtually free of large ice crystals, and stayed that way for nearly a week in our freezer.list of recipes