Another Ice Cream Question
My two batches of ice cream churned up really well, considering I'm using a $30 rival machine. I want to work on my techniques before I invest in a nicer, more expensive machine.
I did the vanilla recipe from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book first and it was good, although I think I cooked the custard too long, it was pretty thick. This churched up really thick and smooth, but a little "off" in its texture.
The second recipe was vanilla from David Lebovitz. Immediately upon tasting, I prefered this recipe. It was still pretty soft and a little grainy when it was done churning and melted quickly. It reminded me of the homemade ice cream of my childhood in its texture. I put it in the freezer for a couple of hours and it firmed up a little, but still pretty soft.
My question is this...what's up with the grainyness? Was it something in the way I churned it? Will the grainyness go away as it becomes firmer? There was a little bit left and that's in the freezer now, so I'll check it tomorrow.
And suggestions for a less crystally/grainy ice cream? I'm wondering if it isn't my cheapy lil' machine. Would that have something to do with it?
Thanks so much in advance.
I had some weird results with the Ultimate recipes also. I have a Krups canister maker and the texture has been pretty good. However, strange as this may be, I prefered lower fat content recipes because the ice cream churned up very smoothly and I got more flavor coming through. The lower fat recipes (not "low", just "lower") did need a little while to cure in the freezer to be at their best. I wonder if the Dave Lebovitz recipe was a little lighter than the Ultimate recipes?
I've used a krups churner all summer, with lovely results. Sarah's right, using less fat makes it grainer, but I've also found the ice cream comes out grainy if you skimp on freezing your canister (it really DOES need the amount of time the instructions give) and/or skimp on chilling your ice cream mixture. Even for recipes that do not call for a cooked custard (i.e. combining ingredients which are often already chilled) I chill the mix eight hours, or preferably overnight. It makes a big difference both in texture, and the amount of time it takes to churn - if it's been chilled long enough, I find the krups machine takes only 25 minutes.
And finally, try restrain yourself and don't eat it directly from the machine unless you like it really melty-soft. Freeze overnight, and then eat - it gets really fudgy-creamy that way.
Grainyness is a factor of two things - amount of churning and amount of fat. More fat, ie. cream vs milk, will produce a creamier ice cream. If you don't continuously churn, it may become crystalline. Also, did you have lots of ice and salt? If it isn't freezing fast enough, it may affect texture.
re: sarah galvin
Ah ha! That's probably it. I used half and half instaed of cream and I also did 2 cups of whole milk and 1 cup half and half instead of 2 cups cream and 1 cup whole milk. I bet that's it!
I'm off on a business trip for the week, so I'll try it again next week!
Thanks for the help sarah and chopper.