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I make a custard based ice cream with eggs in it and I heard that aging your base makes the ice cream taste better and gives a creamier texture.

Without aging it I normally make my base, warm the entire liquid to 170 degrees and then cool it down to 40 degrees before immediately putting it in my ice cream churner.

So if I start aging the base for 24 hrs, what temperature should the base stay at in the fridge without being in the danger zone to grow bacteria?

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  • Recommended procedure is <4°C (<40 °F) for 4-24h. So this is quite below the temperature range that bacteria grow well in. Also keep in mind that the base has been pasteurized just before.
    – J. Mueller
    Commented Apr 21 at 14:15

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There's no evidence that aging ice cream gives a better result. Serious Eats investigated this and found that there's no significant difference as long as the base is completely cold throughout before churning. This tallies with my own experience. Overnight is fine, or you can use an ice bath if you're in a hurry.

However, there's nothing wrong with aging, if you are steeping additives before churning it will help extract the flavors.

The right temperature for aging your ice cream is your refrigerator's temperature, after all it's been designed to keep food at the optimal temperature. If it's good to store your milk and cream it's good to store your custard base.

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  • Aging improves some technical parameters like whipping qualities, shape retention and shelf life. And that´s why it is a standard procedure in commercial and industrial ice cream production. None of this parameters were subject of the SE test. * Adleman R et al. (2001) Lipid crystallization and its effect on the physical structure of ice cream. * Barfod NM, et al. (1991) Effects of emulsifiers on protein-fat interaction in ice cream mix during aging. Fett Wiss Tecknol * Gelin J-L et al. (1994) Structural changes in oil-in-water emulsions during manufacture of ice cream. Food Hydrocoll
    – J. Mueller
    Commented Apr 21 at 14:01

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