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Dec 18, 2007 11:04 AM

Making ice cream at home: longevity questions

I tried making some ice cream two days ago, but my canister apparently wasn't frozen enough (I had stored it in the front of my freezer for the bare minimum recommended time), and the "batter" didn't solidify. Threw the batter back in the refrigerator and had success with it 24 hours later.

1. Is the ice cream safe to eat? How long is the batter (in this case, consisting of warmed up cream, milk and egg yolks) safe to store before turning into ice cream?

2. What is the recommended shelf life of homemade, preservative-free ice cream?

Appreciate any answers, and perhaps referrals to resources online or otherwise that might help with these kinds of questions.

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  1. I'm sure it's safe to eat. And ice cream won't spoil. The recommended shelf life in a lot of recipes is a few days, but the worst thing that'll happen to ice cream if you keep it for longer than that is freezer burn.
    That's my opinion anyway.

    1. Safe? Almost certainly - despite the media hype there are amazingly few cases of people really getting sick from undercooked eggs. This link is from an industry source, but the data is valid:

      This time of year I enjoy eggnog and Coquito and don't think homemade ice cream is any less dangerous becuase it is frozen. If you had left the unfrozen mixture out in the sun it would have gone bad, but 24 hours in the fridge? Seems unlikely to be a concern.

      As to how long you can keep the ice cream in your freezer the biggest factor is ice crystal formation. If you have normal self defrosting freezer at about zero degree F the ice crystals will start forming in about 2 days and ruin the texture in about 5 days. A deep freeze might give you about two weeks, I doubt any homemade ice cream will go unenjoyed that long!