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My ice cream doesn't feel creamy enough. I got the recipe from Good Eats, and I can't tell if it's just the recipe or maybe that I'm just not getting my "batter" cold enough before I try to make it (I let it chill overnight in the refrigerator, but it doesn't always come out of the machine looking like "soft serve" as he said on the show - it's usually a little thinner).

Recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/serious-vanilla-ice-cream-recipe/index.html

Thanks!

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9 Answers 9

up vote 17 down vote accepted

More fat!

Your recipe has two dairy components (half and half and whipping cream). The half and half is half cream, half milk. To increase the fat, experiment with using more cream and less half and half.

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Also make sure your churn container is not too full or else, as the volume increases with freezing, it will bind the beater and not fully churn. –  Mike B Jul 29 '12 at 7:08

Try churning longer, making sure that your churn container is thoroughly frozen.

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1  
Given that he's apparently not hitting "soft-serve" consistency, I'm leaning toward this. BarrettJ: check your freezer temperature - it needs to be consistently cold (well below freezing) for the duration of the freezing process, or you won't get the tiny ice crystals and air mixture needed for that creamy texture. –  Shog9 Jul 9 '10 at 20:35
    
+1: There's a video out there on where the guys on some science program made ice-cream with liquid nitrogen. The faster it cools the smaller the ice crystals, and the smoother it is. Apparently scientist's ice-cream is incredibly smooth. I couldn't find the video I saw, but this girl seems to be doing the same thing youtube.com/watch?v=gqoxvy7gESs –  Binary Worrier Jul 13 '10 at 15:26
    
I have made liquid nitrogen ice cream and it is indeed smoother than the traditional sort. –  daniel Jul 18 '10 at 15:54
    
Longer and more frequent churning will break up the ice crystals that form and the smaller the ice crystals, the smoother the texture. –  Allison Feb 3 '11 at 23:24

Eggs!

Try a recipe with eggs (especially freshly plucked from the chickens you have living in your back yard as we do). My wife and I discovered this butter pecan recipe a few months ago and were quite pleased. We subsequently tried a chocolate recipe with eggs (as well as melted chocolate instead of powdered) and were quite pleased with that as well. Better than previous batches made sans egg.

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Check to make sure that your running it long enough, and also that your container is cold enough at the start. If it's too thin, likely you're not getting the ice cream cold enough while churning.

  • Make sure you put the container in the back of your freezer (often a little colder back there).
  • If it's still getting firmer, let it keep churning, you might just not be there yet.
  • Lower the temperature in the freezer (or use a deep freeze if you have one), to better chill the container.
  • Remove the container from the freezer at the last possible second.
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If you've got a frozen bowl type ice cream churn (like a Kitchen Aid) then the unwritten rule is to nearly freeze your batter before churning.

I like to keep the batter in the freezer until crystals form on top. Then I'll take it out, and give it a good stir to raise the temperature just a wee bit to break up those crystals.

Then, and only then do I take the churning bowl out of the freezer.

There is enough "cold" in the bowl to absorb the latent heat of fusion, but not if you have to drop the temperature 5-10 degrees before it freezes.

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simply use 2 cups of cream & only 1 cup of WHOLE milk. this should help. make sure freezer bowl is SOLID, no loose liquid inside.

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Existing answers already talk about making sure to freeze it well and adding more fat. I don't think you're offering anything new here. –  Jefromi Mar 14 '12 at 2:03

It takes heavy whipping cream, half/half 1:2 ratio ( no milk), sugar, eggs and a freezer that has a strong motor to run longer and firm it up. Also chill mix and canister before starting freezing process.

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-1: You can make creamy ice cream with milk just fine. The existing answers are a lot more clear about what you actually need. –  Jefromi Apr 15 at 17:07

I'm not sure what you're finished ice cream product looks like, so this answer is based on conjecture, but I do have a few recommendations.

I think the main issue here is that the recipe calls for too much sugar. If I were you I would reduce the sugar to about 3/4 cup. Large amounts of sugar drastically lower the freezing point by interfering with recrystallization during freezing. This would explain why you are unable to get the soft serve consistency that you are looking for. It also explains the lack of creaminess because the ice cream is not able to freeze around the air, which is where the volume and creamy feel come from.

If that doesn't work, then I second the notion to try an egg custard base or to add more cream, but honestly it looks like the recipe already has plenty of fat. Altering the fat content could be more damaging to the recipe because the proteins in dairy are essential to stabilizing air bubble formation in ice cream.

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Add 1 ounce of alcohol or extract containing alcohol. This makes it creamier.

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