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May 23, 2007 11:29 AM

Buttermilk Ice Cream Recipe?

I just got my first ice cream maker!
I want to try and make ice cream out of buttermilk, to serve with sweet local strawberries. I don't want it too sweet, but maybe with a complimenting flavor? Vanilla? I have never seen it or eaten it, but I have an imagined flavor in my head (mouth?)

Any suggestions?

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  1. Oh, I've got it for you! Just mix up your buttermilk with some sugar to taste, lemon rind to taste and a squeeze of lemon juice. That's all! Not much of a recipe, but you can suit it to your needs. Make sure it's good and chilled before it goes into the ice cream maker. Enjoy! It's my favorite. No one ever knows what it is, but they love it.

    4 Replies
    1. re: katecm

      I second this. It does work, an it's yummy.

      1. re: Pei

        Third here. I served this to my husband's family and they loved it. They had NO idea I'd used buttermilk. I didn't want to tell them because I was sure they'd be grossed out if they knew in advance (they are very conservative eaters). They couldn't believe it when they found out.

        1. re: sivyaleah

          Next time bump up the weirdness another notch with balsamic strawberries on top! This is probably my favorite topping for creamy desserts with a little tang (panna cotta, buttermilk gelato). Dice the strawberries, add a half teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and a squirt of simple syrup per cup of berries, let them mellow in the fridge, and put on top of the dessert.

          No one ever knows why the berries taste so good. I actually had one friend start arguing with me that there was no way something sour (vinegar) could make strawberries taste sweeter than they already were. I kept saying "Well, did you like the dessert?" She kept saying "I loved it! But there's no way vinegar goes with strawberries." I told her to be quiet and keep eating.

          1. re: Pei

            I love balsamic on strawberries. I bet it would taste great on top of that lemon buttermilk ice cream! Great idea.

    2. Thanks everyone, I am going to try it this weekend - with some fresh picked strawberries. I don't know if I will do the balsamic on the first round :)

      2 Replies
        1. re: balilolly

          I've had buttermilk ice cream on strawberry shortcakes made with poppyseed scones. Fabulous! Balsalmic is nice execpt I would nt put it on really ripe excellent berries.

        2. I have tried all kinds of ice cream experiments at home and feel confident in saying that the worst batch can still taste pretty good. If I want to be pretty cautious w/ a new flavor, then I just make a pint so there's less waste if it doesn't turn out.

          That said, I've been holding out for a good ice cream book to come on the market and I think I've found it in "Perfect Scoop" by David Lebovitz (see link below). I just got it from Amazon yesterday so haven't had a chance to make anything yet, but I think my first one will be his lemon-buttermilk sherbet this weekend. I'll probably macerate some strawberries to serve on top.

          I'll report back and let you guys know how it is, but early impressions of this book say it's a BIG hit. Great content and range of recipes, and I like David's narrative voice. The photos and layout are also wonderful...

          17 Replies
          1. re: Carb Lover

            Please do report back on what you think of the recipes. I have the book coming next week and look forward to lots of ice cream this summer. Judding from the blogworld, the book is loaded with excellent and creative ideas.

            1. re: cheryl_h

              I made David's lemon-buttermilk sherbet this past weekend and it was great! Light and refreshing w/ an ice milk texture. I thought the balance was dead on. If anyone is interested in a paraphrase of the recipe, then I can post later. This is looking like a big ice cream summer again for me...

              1. re: Carb Lover

                I am 100% interested! Actually, you all have gotten me so interested I'm probably going to go pick up the book the next time Border's e-mails me a 30% off discount (please, let it be today!). I feel a big ice cream summer coming on too.

                1. re: Pei

                  Hi Pei, I think you'd really enjoy this book. While I usually like my ice creams pretty smooth and plain, David's ideas for toppings and mix-ins look enticing. Here are the flavors that I've bookmarked to make first:

                  Vietnamese coffee
                  green tea (he uses matcha and sprinkles w/ kinako powder--roasted soybean powder--before serving)
                  gianduja gelato
                  toasted almond and candied cherry
                  olive oil
                  super lemon
                  strawberry frozen yogurt
                  cherry sorbet

                  Many other wonderful sounding recipes. I better pace myself...

                  Here's the lemon-buttermilk sherbet recipe paraphrased:

                  Lemon-Buttermilk Sherbet
                  From "Perfect Scoop" by David Lebovitz
                  Makes about 3+ cups

                  1/3 c. (80 ml) water
                  2/3 c. (130 gm) sugar
                  1 lemon, prefer unsprayed
                  2 c. (500 ml) buttermilk
                  1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)

                  Combine water and sugar in medium, nonreactive pan. Grate lemon zest directly into pan. While stirring frequently, heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. When syrup reaches room temp., then chill in refrigerator. (I chilled overnight.) Whisk buttermilk into syrup, then mix in lemon juice. Freeze accordingly.

                  1. re: Carb Lover

                    Yummy. Thanks for the report back! I think I just found my next Amazon buy and gift idea for everyone I know who ownes an ice cream machine.

                2. re: Carb Lover

                  It just happens that I have some very good buttermilk in the fridge right now. This may be a good way to use it. My copy arrived last week and I've been drooling over the pages, trying to pick something to start. So many choices, so little time...

                  1. re: cheryl_h

                    where do you get very good buttermilk? what brand?

                    1. re: budlit

                      I get it from my local Whole Foods. I think it's called Organic Valley. The flavor is rich and tangy, as opposed to mostly sour which is what most supermarket buttermilk tastes like to me.

                      1. re: cheryl_h

                        That's what I buy and it's SO much better than anything else available here. The one issue is that it spoils more quickly than buttermilk from conventional dairies. With buttermilk this good you'll be daydreaming how to use up the rest of the quart before it grows the green stuff.

                  2. re: Carb Lover

                    Carb--How do you reduce ice crystals in your homemade stuff? I have read other posts on th esubject on here--but I'd like to advoid the additive method of reducing crystals. Plastic on the container then a lid helps a little, but I have solved the problem completely.

                      1. re: Ora

                        Reducing ice crystals is always a challenge when it comes to homemade ice cream. While I find that packaging can help a little, I think it has more to do w/ the ingredients in the ice cream than anything. Here are some principles that can help:

                        1. Don't make more ice cream than you can consume in 2-3 days. Ice cream is always the best on the first day so I try to finish most of it within a day or two. I like to make it for dinner guests so that husband and I don't eat the whole thing ourselves! I also have experimented w/ halving recipes.

                        2. Don't skimp on sugar, cream, or eggs when a recipe calls for a certain amount. All of these combine to enhance texture and sugar particularly correlates w/ freezing point.

                        3. As already mentioned, alcohol can help to keep ice cream from freezing over too hard but beware that too much will result in a runny product.

                        4. Let ice cream sit on counter for 10-15 min. before serving.

                        5. I've heard that some restaurants will rechurn their ice cream the next day to revive it, but I've never tried this myself.

                        6. You might check your freezer temp. I forget what the ideal temp. for ice cream storage is, but I'm sure you could find that through a little research.

                        7. I've had better luck reducing ice crystals and retaining smooth texture w/ these ice cream flavors: honey; strawberry yogurt; vanilla (sometimes). It's sort of a gamble though since natural ingredients and environment can vary. That's part of the fun for me though...

                        I stumbled upon the linked recipe one day claiming that this ice cream tastes better w/ age and can stay soft for two weeks! I assume it's all the cream and sugar. I don't usually like that style of ice cream but I'm definitely curious. Good luck and please report back on your trials.


                        1. re: Carb Lover

                          CL, I got a newsletter from Cook's Illustrated which included a link to their test of commercial vanilla ice creams. Their #1 pick was something made by Turkey Hill (sorry can't remember exact name, and each company makes so many that sound alike). Tasters liked the creamy, custardy texture. The #2 was made by Edy's. The test team looked at what made these two distinctive and the answer was emulsifiers and stabilizers - the standard carrageenan, guar gum, xanthan gum etc. Turkey Hill uses these with no eggs. Edy's uses both stabilizers and eggs.

                          So I did my own experiment, making a buttermilk ice cream (the sorbet will have to wait) with far fewer egg yolks (4) than the recipe called for (12), and adding some stabilizer (1 rounded teaspoon). I also added more buttermilk because I like the tang (recipe on Epi if anyone's interested). I was knocked out by the results. It's creamy, rich tasting, and has no ice crystals 2 days after being put in the freezer. The texture is about as good as any ice cream I've ever tasted including the ones I've made with tons of egg yolks. Flavor is a whole lot better, thanks to excellent buttermilk, eggs and cream (thank heavens for small farmers with high standards).

                          1. re: cheryl_h

                            Sounds great! Yes, I forgot that stabilizers can be added in ice cream making at home. Remind me the name of the stabilizer you use? Is it xantham?

                            I'm not sure if I want to buy xantham, but I'd like to experiment more w/ cornstarch and corn syrup.

                            1. re: Carb Lover

                              I have some of the neutro stabilizer from icaffe which is basically locust bean gum and guar gum mixed with some dextrose and sugar. I had great doubts about using this when I first heard of stabilizers, but it worked very well on fruit sorbets last year. And my little experiment with buttermilk ice cream worked so well I'm going to try it on gelati next. Used very sparingly (1 teaspoon in 2 quarts of finished ice cream), it gave the ice cream wonderful texture with no obvious negative side effects.

                              1. re: cheryl_h

                                Thanks, I think I steered you to that product by icaffe. I may have to get some now...

                                I vote that you try this w/ David's gianduja gelato!

                                1. re: Carb Lover

                                  Yes, it was your link that got me the stabilizer. I'm torn between the gianduja gelato and the salted caramel ice cream. Decisions, decisions...

                3. I use key lime juice instead of lemon for mine, It's always a hit!