I know this has been discussed before, but I am approaching the problem from another angle: I don't have an ice cream machine.

So I made Alton Browns Philedelphia style ice cream

I made the base, put into a freezer bag, froze it for approximately 7 hours, removed it from the freezer, into a food processor for 30 seconds or until the texture was creamy and then back into the freezer where I kept it overnight.

The result was a very delicious ice cream. However, it melted very easily and I am wondering what I can do to prevent that. It is my understanding that fast melting is a result of too much overrun. But I didn't have a machine so the only overrun is the result of my food processor breaking up the crystals?

I might have stored the base for too long in the freezer. After 7 hours, a lot of crystallization has taken place and I could hear the blade in the food processor beating the crystals while the mixture was in there. For next time, I thought about storing the mixture in the food processor container and just put it into the food processor every 30-60 minutes while it is being frozen.

What can I do to prevent the rapid melting of the Philadelphia style ice cream, given that I don't incorporate an ice cream machine in my process?

  • I think it is time to buy an ice cream machine. The frozen barrel kind are not terribly expensive, and work well. The food processor method is never going to get the same small ice crystals and quality texture.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Nov 29, 2013 at 19:25
  • Oh boy. I hate these unitaskers.
    – l3win
    Nov 30, 2013 at 0:04
  • That link isn't working for me... But I looked through both Churn Baby Churn episodes on the Good Eats Fan Page, and couldn't find a food processor recipe. I guess AB didn't consider the ice cream machine a unitasker. Anyway, I'd guess you need to freeze it for less time before processing, and also make sure to give it the 8–12 hours in the fridge first, before freezing, at least if it's been heated at all.
    – derobert
    Nov 30, 2013 at 16:38
  • I think there should be a 'call to all' mission to exterminate the ice cream machine. I guess AB is just using liquid nitrogen these days. I let the base sit in my refrigerator overnight but I think it was in the freezer for too long. Next time I am thinking to put the base into the food processor container bowl (with the blade intact) and the container in the freezer. Then, periodically (every 20-30 min) blend it with the food processor to break up the crystals.
    – l3win
    Nov 30, 2013 at 20:17
  • You can avoid buying a machine by using a large bucket and a can and lid from a can of coffee. Fill the large bucket with rock salt and ice. Put the custard/base in the coffee can, put the lid on it, and push it into the center of the bucket and tip the whole thing to about a 45-50 degree angle. Then use your finger tip to spin the coffee can. It should spin freely. Every 2 minutes or so, scrape down the sides of the coffee can with a spatula. This is essentially how an old fashioned ice cream machine works. Honestly though, just get the machine. Especially if you have access to old fruit.
    – Matthew
    Jan 13, 2014 at 18:45

1 Answer 1


Most the time when ice cream is melting faster than it should, the problem is over-churning it. Like you said since that is eliminated due to the fact you don't have an ice cream machine.

I would suggest a method I use: keep an old coffee tin laying around (one of the metal ones). Wash it out and dry. Then stick it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes or until it's cooled. Then make your batter directly in the can, then back to the freezer for a few hours. The coffee can helps insulate the batter and keep it cold even when it is out of the freezer.

Then use the same food processor method as before. Scoop the ice cream mixture back into the coffee can and let it set in the freezer over night. The next day you will have perfectly scoopable ice cream that doesn't melt too fast.


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