I'm looking for a rule of thumb so I don't mess up the base custard. So for example, let's take this NYTimes recipe: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1016605-the-only-ice-cream-recipe-youll-ever-need

I plan to use chamoy (liquid sauce, it's acidic, but not alcoholic, and isn't very sweet) as a flavor compound (NOT a mix-in for later)

How does that affect the amount of milk or cream I need to use (since I've introduced a new liquid)? I recognize this may vary by taste (if I decide, by taste, that 1 teaspoon of chamoy is enough vs like... 3 tablespoons, I dunno), so looking for rules of thumb, just like the NYTimes recipe. Thanks!

  • there is no single "rule of thumb" that will work for every recipe because the final ice-cream product will be determined by fat, sugar, alcohol, stabilisers, and a host of other factors, and that is before taking into consideration the qualities expected of the end product such as hard/softness, texture, mouthfeel, etc.
    – Mr Shane
    Commented Feb 27, 2022 at 21:06
  • thanks! i updated question with what i specificaly want to try to use
    – james
    Commented Feb 27, 2022 at 22:28
  • I know that your plan wasn’t to do it as a mix-in, but if you have trouble getting things to work, you might be able to make a pudding out of the chamoy using cornstarch or similar, then mix that in when it’s starting to set up as it churns
    – Joe
    Commented Mar 25, 2023 at 13:19

1 Answer 1


The best starting point to use is a simple 1:1 substitution.

You can use different liquids to make a custard; a zabayon, for example, is a custard made completely with fruit juice. Dairy is not the defining component of a custard.

There will be differences in texture when you do it that way. The custard itself already will act differently - the acid itself will influence the custard and its thickening, especially if you add the chamoy before cooking the custard. If you add it afterwards, I expect less curdling, but the base itself will now be more liquid. And overall, you will have different ratios of liquid to fat to nonfat solids, but also some pectins from the fruit-based sauce.

Even though you cannot predict the exact effects and a "perfect" ratio, the overall effect won't be clearly in a direction where you know you should make adjustments. You will need a starting point before starting to tweak, and in the case you have, 1:1 is good enough for that, and it is also the best guess you can make. And with the tiny amounts you are planning to use (which surprise me a bit - did you only want to use an additional note of the flavor?), you may not even notice much of a difference.

Even if you start using more, you will still likely have to go for 1:1 with the total liquid amount, but add enough sugar to the chamoy (before measuring it for the 1:1 substitution) to prevent crystalization. Or just use a recipe for a good custard-based fruit ice cream, and instead of the fruit puree, add your chamoy. Or, if that is too intense for you, substitute some part of the fruit puree for the chamoy, again 1:1.

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