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Possible to make ice cream solely with whole milk?

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I want to make a banana ice cream recipe (with a custard base), but don't have half/half, cream, etc. With enough egg yolks as an emulsifier, do you think I can get away with making a smooth ice cream (ok, ice milk!) with only whole milk as my dairy? How many egg yolks will this require? 6-8?

Any feedback appreciated! (Carb Lover, you still in to making ice cream these days?!)

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  1. It should be fine if you make a creme anglaise base. I'd use 3 yolks per cup of milk to make a richer base.

    1. If I'm not mistaken, authentic gelato is made from whole milk...not cream.

      1. I've made custard base ice creams with whole milk only plenty of times, and while it didn't come out quite as lusciously creamy as a cream-based ice cream would, it was still smooth and tasty (and not quite as guilt inducing). I say go for it.

        Without knowing the amount of ice cream your aiming at, I can't really comment on the number of egg yolks, but I wouldn't go too crazy with them.

        2 Replies
        1. re: wawajb

          I'm thinking of a standard, cuisinart/krups style home machine. The kind of machine that you put roughly 4c liquid in and you get out (I think) roughly a pint of ice cream. I've seen recipes with as few as 2 eggs (or egg yolks) for this base and as many as 12 (that would be Claudia Fleming!)--and these are for recipes with the standard mix of whole milk and half and half. I'm thinking Non Cognomina's recommended ratio of 3 yolks/c whole milk may be pretty on the money.

          Any thoughts?

          1. re: Smokey

            My mother in law makes ice cream with whole milk, a can of evap milk, and a couple of eggs and sugar/vanilla...it's a no-cook recipe, and she usually purees most of a really ripe cantelope and adds it, or whatever the berry patch is producing too much of!). It takes about 10 minutes to get ready for the freezer, and is really good. (and I know you should be careful about raw eggs, but we have have chickens, plus we like living on the edge

        2. Yes, gelato is milk-based and ice cream is cream-based.

          I would probably do about 3 1/2 cups of milk with about 8 egg yolks. I think the banana (if you're using fresh bananas not extract) would also help with the creamy texture and emulsification.