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Aug 28, 2006 12:56 AM
Discussion ice cream is not freezing!

Hi again!

I'm trying to make a mint ice cream. I used a variation of the recipe put on this site a week or so back and a mix of the one in the William and Sonoma book.

The mixture had been cooled for a while. I used a custard base, the boil method. And the bowl was frozen rock solid.

However, this is the first time that the cream mixture has been churning and it's not freezing!!

Anybody have any suggestions of what I can do? I'm hoping it's not the machine but I just made a batch last week and it was perfect.

Please advise.

Loads of thanks,


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  1. Cooled for a while? Was it refrigerated overnight? Overnight refrigeration is the only way to chill the base sufficiently.

    If you did refrigerate it sufficiently, it sounds like you might be overfilling the machine. The less base you work with, the faster it freezes.

    1. I cooled the mixture for almost 5 hours. Previously, I've refrigerated it for 3-4 hours and it worked.

      Odd thing is that the mixture became a bit thick and then it became runny in the machine. It wasn't even in for 15 minutes and it usually takes 25 minutes to get to the soft serve texture.

      1 Reply
      1. re: gtrekker2003

        sounds like maybe your freezer bowl wasn't quite frozen enough. I've had that before - where it looks like it starts to freeze, then goes back to liquid. When it's happened to me, my freezer bowl either wasn't cold enough or wasn't frozen long enough. When that happens, it doesn't have the ability to freeze the ice cream base before the air temp raises the temperature of the bowl.

        Also, about the base... I'd still check the temp of the base of the ice cream before you put it in the machine. It should be around 38-40 degrees. Even after 5 hours, depending on the bowl it was in, how cold your fridge was, where in the fridge you put it, what else was in your fridge, how often you opened the door, it may or may not have gotten down to that temperature.

        If you are pressed for time, I usually cool my custard down in an ice bath. I can actually get it down to about 40-ish degrees by patiently stirring the mixture in an ice bath, then putting it in the fridge for a short while. Works well...

      2. Sounds like you did the right things and have gotten advise to cover all the bases — except for alcohol. Was there alcohol in your recipe? If you overdid it, it will interfere with the freezing. That's why it's a prime ingredient in automotive anti-freeze.

        1. That was my guess-- I thought of alcohol immediately....

          1 Reply
          1. re: BackyardChef

            no alcohol in it. I'll try all the suggestions above. Thank you so much!


          2. Alright, I've tried all the suggestions and even took the temperature of the mixture. It still did not freeze. Everything was cooled and the bowl was frozen solid.

            Only other thing I could think of possiblyl......the custard base was not as thick as usual. Would that be a reason for it not freezing in the bowl?

            It did become thicker, however, not to the soft service ice cream texture as usual. I took it out of the machine and it melted. It was churning in the bowl for a good 25 minutes at least.

            Sorry to bug about this query again. I'm at a loss. I was so excited by this machine at first.



            2 Replies
            1. re: gtrekker2003

              even though the freezer bowl is frozen solid doesn't mean it necessarily is frozen cold enough or long enough to generate the kind of freezing mojo you need for ice cream. It has to be frozen at least 24 hours in a freezer that is at minimum 0 degrees.

              Do your other point, yes, I've had custards that didn't thicken and it made it harder for it to freeze totally.

              lastly, again, if your mixture was, say 48 degrees, it's going to feel pretty cold to the touch. But it needs to be around 40 to really freeze properly. So, I'd recommend that if you don't do it overnight, use a thermometer to check the temp of the mixture too. Cold is relative.

              1. re: gtrekker2003

                Which machine do you have? Is it fairly new or have you successfully made many batches before but are having difficulty w/ one particular recipe?

                Sounds like you may not have enough egg or that you didn't heat up the custard properly. I used to use the coating the back of a spoon method, but that's not exact enough. Need to heat up slowly (on low heat) til it reaches 170-175F.

                Chilling overnight is key and not only helps w/ thickening but allows flavors to really meld and develop.

                I keep my bowl in the freezer at all times so I can make ice cream whenever I want and to make sure it's really, really frozen. I personally think the 24 hr. recommendation given by manufacturers isn't long enough...go for at least 48.

                Best of luck and keep us posted!