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Jul 26, 2009 11:26 AM

using substitutes in homemade ice cream

another ice cream question =)

I want to substitute heavy creams for when I make ice cream, gelato, and frozen yogurt.

So, I'm wondering if this would work:

evaporated milk instead of whole milk, and soy creamer or half and half for the cream?

I could also just leave in the regular whole milk and use evaporated milk instead of cream?

I would like to know what the best combination would be when using these kinds of ingrediets.
I'm also open to almond milk, rice milk, and soy milk.

By the way, I am using arrowroot powder, and I am not vegan/vegetarian.

Thanks again!

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  1. I can answer part of your question. I've been using Simply Smart or Over the Moon 1% milk as a substitute for whole milk with great results. I do still use the heavy cream, but tend to make gelato rather than ice cream, so I'm dealing with less cream anyway.

    For example, I just made the following Cinnamon Basil Gelato. Note it only calls for 1/4 cup of heavy cream, then 2 1/4 cups milk, which in my house is 1%. Also note, not all 1% milk is created equal. I only drink the two brands I mentioned because both taste nice and creamy like 2%.

    Hope this helps. I'm sure others will chime in to address other parts of your post.

    1. I've often subbed half-and-half for cream, and 2% milk for whole (or both) to get a lower-fat, lower-calorie result. Haven't tried any of the non-dairy milks, though. For ice cream with mix-ins (e.g., tin roof or mint cookie ice cream) you get a decent product. Clearly not a premium ice cream, but definitely edible. Anything that might be covered in syrups or sauces and whipped cream would probably work with the subs. A friend of mine has subbed fat-free 1/2 and 1/2 for the full fat version and she is pleased with the result. Me, I find fat-free 1/2 and 1/2 to be too full of preservatives and emulsifiers and whatnot, so I've never tried this. But if that doesn't bother you, you might want to try it.

      If you are making an ice cream where you want the flavor to be showcased (say, a vanilla ice cream that you don't plan on smothering in chocolate syrup), I'd forego the substitutions. Also, I did a comparison between the regular (not the extra-rich) vanilla ice cream with the lower-fat one in The Ultimate Ice Cream Book. The fat is lower in the second, but the calorie content is higher, owing to the increased sugar.

      Why don't you try some of the substitutions and report back? I'd love to hear the results! And happy ice cream making!