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I'm looking up ice-cream recipes to try to make one for the first time. I found recipes that use the custard base (with eggs) and then some that do not use any eggs. I am also planning to buy an ice-cream maker coz I plan to make lots of different flavours, well hopefully.

As I will be trying this for the first time, I am really confused, which method to choose and what do people generally follow at home. I have read heaps of different questions, but nothing really helps. For now, I am leaning towards an egg-less recipe as the custard based recipes seem to harden up and crystallize a lot, if not cooked properly. But then custard seems to be silky and smooth in texture. I am really confused and looking for some help!

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The two types of ice cream are generally referred to by name as:

  • Philadelphia style. No eggs.
  • French style. Custard based.

Each can produce a quality product.

Philadelphia style ice cream is easier to make, as it is not necessary to make the custard, and it can have very pure, clean flavors. Its mouthfeel is critically dependent on the quality of cream, and the way it is churned and frozen (even more so than French style).

French style ice cream has a smooth almost silky texture, due to the natural emulsifiers in the egg yolks, as well as a distinctive eggy or custard like background flavor. It is also somewhat more work to make, and the egg flavor can compete with other flavorings.

There is no way to give you a single recommendation, as both types of ice cream have their advantages. For pure, single note flavors like a delicate fruit or coffee, you may wish to go with Philadelphia style. For maximum richness and decadence, especially for deep chocolate and vanilla flavor, French style is very good.

There is no reason to exclusively make one or the other; you can have recipes from both types in your repertoire.

Either way, the quality of your product will be enhanced by making the base mix the day before, and refrigerating it over night before churning.

See related:

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Thanks, I think I'll go with the Philadelphia style before trying the French one, just for the simplicity I guess. Great tip on holding the ice cream mix –  Divi Dec 29 '13 at 21:49
    
Yeah you want the base as cold as can be before you churn it. There is just something completely decadent about home made custard ice cream. I would definitely give it a try and digital thermometer to check the temp when making the custard. –  draksia Mar 13 at 13:14

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