I started off making ice cream in the French style with cream and egg yolks. I've mostly been using David Lebovitz's web site and his fantastic book the Perfect Scoop. I've recently been experimenting with using a milk/corn starch base which isn't really covered in his book. As a technique it has several advantages:

  • Lower fat content
  • Lighter flavour than cream and egg yolks so the flavours come through more vividly and the ice cream is less rich.
  • Easier to thicken corn starch base without overcooking or under cooking.
  • Doesn't need cream which we don't buy as a household staple
  • Ingredients have longer shelf life.
  • Easier to make ice cream on impulse without going shopping first.

I'm looking for web site, book or general technique recommendations for this style of base. Looking to achieve similar quality of texture and scoopability as cream/egg bases.

For non-cream bases so far I've tried:

  • Milk with 3 egg yolks per litre
  • Milk with 3tbsp corn starch per litre
  • Milk with 2tbsp of corn starch per litre + 2tsp liquid pectin (recommended in Cuisinart ICE-100 recipe instructions)

To my taste the pectin version has the best texture. Is it likely to be hard to digest for people with dietary intolerances or delicate stomachs?

Any another base ingredient recommendations to try? e.g. Dried milk powder, Xantham gum etc.

Any general tips for adapting recipes that are designed for different bases e.g David Lebovitz's brilliantly balanced cream+egg base recipes?

The recipe below seemed to work very well with corn starch + liquid pectin base. It's even possible to make caramel sauce with milk rather than cream if added slowly and carefully.


  • 1
    I don't know if it'll help, but one of the ice cream chains that actively mixes stuff into their ice cream (I think it was Coldstone Creamery) uses what's effectively chilled pudding, so that it doesn't become completely liquid when it's warmed back up. You might look at various pudding & custard recipes, and see how well they freeze.
    – Joe
    Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 18:38
  • Interesting reference, thanks. Quite a list of stabilizers in their ingredients: SWEET CREAM ICE CREAM (Cream, Nonfat Milk, Milk, Whey, Sugar, Corn Syrup, Guar Gum, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan, Mono & Diglycerides, Polysorbate 80, and Annatto Extract)
    – persiflage
    Commented Mar 30, 2015 at 10:50
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    I've made frozen pudding (rather than frozen custard) by pouring cornstarch-thickened pudding into my ice cream maker. I've even done so with instant puddings made from off-the-shelf boxes.
    – DrRandy
    Commented Mar 31, 2015 at 20:11

1 Answer 1


Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer has a (somewhat) similar base to this, in that it has no eggs, and uses a mix of milk and cream - along with a tiny bit of cream cheese to provide the requisite proteins, and corn starch to thicken.

In my opinion, it's one of the best ice cream bases out there.

I also have the Perfect Scoop, and have had no trouble switching the recipes I've tried from it over to Jeni's base.

  • Thanks for the recommendation. Really helpful to hear that you've had success adapting Perfect Scoop recipes. I'd heard about Jeni's base but I was a little sceptical because it contains cream cheese which is quite strongly flavoured (at least in the UK). I've tried one Lebovitz recipe with cream cheese (brown bread ice cream) and it was great but it seemed to me that the cream cheese added a noticeable extra richness and 'weight' to the flavour. What effect does the cream cheese have in your experience? The recipes I've seen have 3tbsp per litre.
    – persiflage
    Commented May 2, 2015 at 11:00
  • The amount of cream cheese you are citing is about right (3 tbsp per litre, roughly). I can't say I've particularly noticed the flavour of the cream cheese (although the base itself is certainly rich; compared to commercial ice cream, it is more along the lines of a "premium" brand). I am in Canada, so I am using American-style cream cheese. I'm not sure if there is any appreciable difference between that and what you can get in the UK. Commented May 2, 2015 at 16:45
  • (cont'd) IMO, the richness of Jeni's base might not work with very delicate flavours (pear, citrus, grape), it would probably overwhelm them. For delicate ice creams, I use Barbara Tropp's "light" ice cream recipes from The China Moon Cookbook. I've not tried adapting Barbara's recipes to Jeni's base, mostly because I've had no reason to :-) Commented May 2, 2015 at 16:45

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