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My family has been making homemade ice cream for years. I run the machine, but usually there are many other hands that want to make it. I know their is the custard less variety, containing milk, condensed milk, vanilla, and any other flavoring or fruit they want.

Recently, I found a recipe for 'banana pudding ice cream'. I decided to give it a go. Unlike the other ice creams we make, it has a custard base of milk, cream, sugar, and a pinch of salt. You add in pureed banana, a little lemon juice, and a little nutmeg. So I tried this recipe, doubling everything to get 3 quarts.

It really didn't want to get made as first, the custard foamed up on me and ran over in about 3 seconds, then when I was blending the mixture, the bottom didn't come out with the rest of the blender and I lost some there. I persevered and got the mixture done and in the fridge over night. I put it in the machine the next morning, because it called for making it, folding in the crushed/frozen vanilla wafer cookies, and letting it set for 4hrs.

I did this and it turned out great. It came out of the machine at the consistency of soft serve. I folded in the vanilla wafers and it froze from ~9-10am on to around 5pm. When we pulled it out of the freezer, it was a similar consistency and everyone liked it.

However, the next day I didn't go back to the river and the rest of the family did. They ate more of my ice cream and while one person said it was really good and tasted the same, my dad said it had frozen funny. I couldn't figure out if he meant it crystalized or just froze up harder than soft serve.

To be honest, I don't really eat leftover ice cream, because there are usually enough people to polish it off, so I don't know how either version turns out when left to freeze over night. What I'd like to know is what can I expect if I make another batch. I have a trip to the mountains this weekend to see more family and after hearing about it, they want to try it. I plan to make the mix and churn it up there, because I'm worried it'll do something funny if I freeze it too long. Is custard based ice cream supposed to be set up hard or can the soft serve consistency be what I expect? Is it prone to getting too hard or forming crystals when frozen over night? That's the kind of thing I need to know. I'd just like to repeat my experience with the good ice cream and I don't want to disappoint them by making a hard icy ice cream instead of the soft smooth goodness I made last time. Thanks for the help.

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It may freeze hard, that depends upon the sugar and salt content and any other ingredients, like alcohol, that don't freeze solidly. If it does freeze hard it should be like store-bought ice cream, not icy. Ice cream that seems like softserve before it goes into the freezer should not crystallize. If it does, that usually means that it wasn't packed properly. Be sure that you pack the ice cream in an airtight container, with as little air as possible in the container, and that it isn't allowed to melt before packing.

  • If it did crystalize, that may have been the problem. We'd made a truly massive amount of food for the 4th of July and the only container I had for it was about twice the size necessary, so it had about as much air as ice cream in it. I don't think it melted any, but it did sit on the counter for about 30min as people finished eating at different times and went back for seconds. – Dalton Jul 14 '15 at 17:11

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