Tips for making the best ice cream

browned butter pecan ice cream

Heat waves have been punishing residents in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere recently. Eating a bowl of cold ice cream is a delicious way to cope with the hot weather, and indexed blog Food 52 is at the ready with 15 tips for making great ice cream that they've gleaned from cookbooks.

The first tip, from Big Gay Ice Cream Book  by Bryan Petroff and Douglas Quint, doesn't exactly involve the ice cream but rather focuses on the cone. From the book: "Think of the inside of cones as unused real estate. If an ice cream cone gets a topping, we tell our staff that a little of the topping also goes down into the empty cone. Some customers want an extra wallop of flavor and ask for their cones fully lined. There's pretty much an endless mix-and-match game you can play with these tasty schmears." Try filling the inside of your cone with Nutella, dulce de leche, jam, or balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a bit of sea salt.

Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna, authors of Ample Hills Creamery: Secrets and Stories from Brooklyn's Favorite Ice Cream Shop, have a secret ingredient to share. They suggesting adding skim milk powder to your recipe, and note that "Ice cream makers use it combat the effects of too much water in their ice cream base. Milk is almost 90 percent water, and heavy cream is about 60 percent water. You need water to freeze your ice cream, but too much water will freeze into itty-bitty ice cream crystals… and your ice cream will be icy and grainy, not smooth and creamy. Skim milk powder absorbs excess water and givers a milkier, creamier flavor." They suggest adding about 1/2 cup skim milk powder to your ice cream base before you start heating the milk/cream. Make sure to whisk well to avoid lumps. Read the remaining baker's dozen tips at Food52.

Photo of Browned butter pecan ice cream from Food52.

 

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