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Apr 7, 2009 05:58 PM

making ice cream at home help!

I tried to make strawberry ice cream and when I was making the custard it seemed like it was thick enough but when I poured it into the bowl it didn't seem thick enough and when I ran it through the ice cream machine it didn't thicken or freeze at all. I put it in the freezer and now I have basically a frozen creamy milkshake on my hands. Is it because the custard wasn't thick enough? Anyone done some ice cream troubleshooting before?!

Is there any way I can fix this now? Is it just time for a milkshake? Thoughts on future batches? I got the temperature up to what the recipe said and it coated the back of the spoon...

This was my recipe I mashed teh strawberries with a pastry blender and added them to the cream before I chilled it in the fridge. (It still didn't seem thick enough when I put it in the fridge either....

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  1. Sounds like it just didn't get cold enough to freeze well. Even if the custard is undercooked (or not cooked at all, for that matter) it should freeze. Possibilities:

    1) Custard was not fully chilled before processing.

    2) The ice cream insert was not fully frozen--I give it 24 hours. If your freezer is not nice and cold, it may never get cold enough.

    3) Volume was too much to freeze fully.

    4) You didn't let it process long enough--it sometimes takes longer than the instructions suggest it will.

    5| Expectations for texture at the end of processing are wrong: It will be like soft-serve ice cream--that is, can hold it's shape, but just barely.

    Or it could be a combination of these: The margin for error can be small with the usual home ice cream makers--don't be discouraged!

    At this point, you could re-freeze the insert well, let the milkshake thaw most of the way, then re-process. Should work nicely.

    Good luck!

    2 Replies
    1. re: zamorski

      The volume sounds like a possibility. The bowl was definitely frozen, it had been in the freezer overnight. Perhaps we will try again... Thanks for the help everyone!

      1. re: zamorski

        I think you hit it with #2 and #4.
        I see your tenacity, you really have your steps down, and I think it's great that you're so diligent, you will narrow out what you're doing wrong in no time.

        All of the recipes that I've made are without egg, in the ones of done ( quite a few ) I have used different dairy combos with different fat content, and then cream. I have to admit, I've not been disappointed with the texture at all. Working with berries is a little tricky. The first time I did, I was using berries and using them whole (small ones) and halving them if they were a little bigger. After freezing the ice cream for the suggested time, I had a deliciously creamy vanilla ice cream with strawberry rocks. Oh sure, I could suck on them, but this was not exactly what I had in mind, I trieda vanilla base ice cream with chocolate chunks or chips, the pieces of chocolate also would get rock hard. Fruit should be crushed or it should be small pieces of berry or puree the berries and to the pureed berries, add sugar to sweeten them, then swirl the fruit through the ice cream I did this in layers, and carefully so not to mix it up. Mix it all together thoroughly for a complete strawberry ice cream flavoring. I've only inserted this photo about a kazillion times, so anyone that has seen it before, sooooorrry, but it's to help a fellow ch.
        As far as your list of steps, I seem to always run over the recommended time, with good results,I think the texture comes out nice, scoops beautifully.

        Reicpes with eggs, funny prior to buying my ice cream maker, thinking back, I focused on mostly custard based ice cream recipes, that's what I thought would be the superior ice cream. I associated eggs in the recipe as, "richness, custardy mouth feel, and a smooth scooping textute" I don't know what gave me that idea, but thats what I was thinking should/would/could happen. So I am asking, do the eggs do that? One of the things I was a worred about with eggs was that they would overpower, make it taste too eggy. I'm so turned off by that taste, and I've had that happen with baked desserts, mainly clafoutti.. very disappointing...

        Moving along, I must stress the importance to really get the machine's insert freezing cold, let it stay in there longer than overnight, how about all the time when you're not using it. Then there is no doubt about it.

        I think you're close. OOh how rewarding a really good ice cream is, "homemade": of course, and one with your twist!
        Keep up the good work, you're almost there.And.....
        as a *side note*

        Get ready to gain a few, I surely did.

      2. This is just an educated guess, but if you are using an ice cream maker that has a bowl you need to freeze, I think the problem is either:

        1) You did not chill the mix enough before churning. The recipe says "until well chilled" which is rather vague. In fact, you should chill the mix close to freezing, 35 F or lower for best results. If you just put it in the fridge for a couple of hours after heating to 180 F or so and did not measure the temp, it probably was too hot.

        2) The bowl was not cold enough, probably because you did not leave it in the freezer long enough.

        3) The batch was too large. I had one of those freezer bowl units a while back, and I found you did not get good results unless you made batches of about 2/3 the recommended capacity, even if the bowl was chilled properly (See Item 2).

        Note: you can melt that popsicle and try again. Just move it from the freezer to the fridge for a day or two.

        Hope this helps.

        1. I'm not sure exactly what you did or didn't do, but whether or not the mix was thick enough it should've frozen in the ice cream maker; if it wasn't thick enough it just would've been more icy than creamy. Two things I've done wrong for the same effect: 1. Didn't freeze the machine bowl long enough, or 2. Didn't chill the mix long enough. If I remember my physics correctly, in either case the freezer bowl wouldn't be able to absorb all the heat in the mix, and you'd end up with a milkshake.

          1. Even though the recipe you used didn't call for this, but I would "cook" the custard either in a double boiler or in a bowl sitting on top of some boiling water (so as not to cook the eggs). Heat until it is very warm to the touch and it will be noticeably thicker. The same thing happened when I made a batch of salted caramel ice cream-it came out way too thin and I ended up with a drinkable custard, though it was still delicious. A few days ago I used the exact same recipe and used the double boiler, cooled it completely, and then used my ice cream machine and it turned out great, perfect texture and everything.

            1 Reply
            1. re: aftervirtue

              I think a double boiler is an excellent idea. I was thinking that last night as I was snacking on the chocolate ice cream we'd made the day before- I think we burned the chocolate by cooking the cream and chocolate instead of letting the chocolate melt in the cream like the recipe said... it's not horrible but it works well with the milkshake light strawberry ice cream. I'm super ready to try again now!