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Oct 25, 2009 01:26 PM

homemade ice cream help

I made the Williams and Sonoma Pumpkin ice cream today. It had a great consistency after about 20 min in my ice cream maker (soft-serve consistency) so I put it in Tupperware in the freezer. Now it seems to be solid and I'm unable to scoop it without defrosting it. DId I do something wrong? I froze the freezer bowl of my ice cream maker for over 24 hours and I made the custard last night so it chilled overnight. Any other steps I could have forgotten or messed up? Thanks!

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  1. I am surprised that you had this problem. I have sometimes had this problem with fresh (not cooked) ice cream, but never with an egg custard based ice cream which seem to stay softer and creamier. Also odd given that there is alcohol in this one, which should keep it from getting too hard. Have you made other ice cream and had this same problem?

    8 Replies
    1. re: mountaincachers

      I actually omitted the alcohol from the recipe. And this is my second time making ice cream (the first one I made was not custard-based).

      1. re: AnjLM

        You didn't do anything wrong, although including the alcohol would have made a more scoopable product. It's common for homemade ice cream to freeze much harder than commercial ice cream, which has much more air beaten into it than you get from a home ice-cream maker. More air=easier scooping.

        A sweeter base will freeze softer than a less sweet one, as will one containing alcohol (sugar and alcohol both lower the freezing point of the mix).

        1. re: sfmiller

          Also, it's not uncommon (nor unusual) to have the ice cream "rest" at room temperature for a bit before scooping and serving.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Thanks for the help and reassurance! It still tasted great (I put it over homemade gingerbread cake). Do you think more time in the ice cream maker would beat more air into it?

            1. re: AnjLM

              It will be great and very creamy - don't overchurn/beat more air into it!

              I make ice cream often once a week, and it really depends on the recipe. Yesterdays brown butter caramel chocolate sorbet remained soft in the freezer - a very nice texture for that. The amount of certain types of fats, sugar, alcohol affect freezing and ice crystalization.

              For your ice cream set it out on the counter for 5-10 minutes at least before serving, or if it is for dessert stick it in the fridge when you serve dinner and it should be good by dessert.

              Remember - ice cream has a better flavor slightly softened.

              If you don't want it to freeze as hard in future batches, add a bit of vodka, gum stabilizer or increase sugar.

              1. re: jsaimd

                Thanks for the tip. I put the ice cream in the fridge tonight when I ate dinner and by the time I was ready for dessert, the ice cream was much softer!

                Next batch I'll have to try adding some alcohol!

                Do you freeze your ice cream in regular tupperware? I've seen special ice cream containers sold on amazon for about $ it worth it?

                1. re: AnjLM

                  My favorite container is a pyrex loaf pan with a plastic lid if I am serving that day, because it is so nice to scoop out of. however, I freeze in anything. Usually 1 quart containers with lids. Usually the same container that i chill the mixture in.

                  1. re: jsaimd

                    That's a great idea about the loaf pan. I have often used a round pyrex container, but the loaf shape would be better. I have also frozen in tupperware, but don't use any of the semi disposible (eg glad ware) which tend to crack easily with scooping when they are cold.
                    Also, if I make ice cream to serve when entertaining, I usually freeze it about 4 hours prior to when I serve. I think the texture is best then.