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May 24, 2010 03:44 AM

Make ice cream with frozen milk.

Anybody out there in chow-space know if it is OK to make an egg-custard ice-cream from previously frozen milk?

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  1. I'd be leery. Milk separates into its various components when frozen and although you can shake the carton or beat the milk vigorously, it never regains its original mouth feel. Whole milk, by the way, separates even more than reduced- or non-fat milk. I would think that a smooth texture and mouth feel are a good part of what it is that you're looking for in an ice cream. I do use frozen milk for cooking and baking, but only in applications where any deficiencies in the texture of the milk would be disguised.

    8 Replies
    1. re: JoanN

      Thanks for the reply. Is it my imagination or is the time screwed up. I entered my stuff round about 7-30 am. Some time zone thing?

      1. re: Paulustrious

        Looks as though time stamp is set for Pacific time.

        1. re: JoanN

          "time stamp is set for Pacific time." Yup, PS time.

          I would think your milk would be just fine to use in cooking, baking or a custard for ice cream. Somewhere I read that the ice crystals causes the fat and milk solids to separate. Here's some more info on this subject:

          "According to the National Dairy Council, freezing causes "undesirable changes in milk's texture and appearance." The dairy council wants every glass of milk you drink to be fresh, cold, and delicious. It wants you to love milk. It doesn't want you (or your children) ever to associate splotchiness or graininess with a glass of milk."

          "And freezing milk does cause some degree of separation among its components. Skim and low-fat milk freeze (thaw, actually) better than whole milk, as there is less separation. You can shake the thawed milk vigorously or beat it in an electric mixer, but it still will not have the same "mouth feel" as milk that has not been frozen. The dairy board and other milk groups suggest that you might prefer to use previously frozen milk in cooking and baking, and save never-frozen milk for drinking."

          So, to make a long story short, it seems like your milk would be fine for ice cream, for drinking, not so much.

          1. re: bushwickgirl

            I always thought you couldn't successfully freeze milk too until a couple of years ago. We were leaving for several days and didn't wish to leave the milk in the refrigerator. We froze about a quart of milk and later thawed it and it was indistinguishable from milk that had never been frozen. It was 2% milk by the way.

            1. re: John E.

              Yes, I think the deal with milk is, the lower butterfat content, the less separation, the better defrosting result.

              I lived in Maine when I was a little kid and the bottled milk (I'm aging myself here now) would routinely freeze in the milkbox on the porch in the cold winter mornings there. There was no lowfat, 2%, or skim milk, that I know of, back in them days, only whole milk. I don't remember my mom being too concerned about separation, graininess, splotchiness, etc. Or maybe I just don't remember the quality of the milk in my glass, I just drank up.

            2. re: bushwickgirl

              I use it for drinking (in tea) often.

              Tvm bushwickgirl,

              I can now tell you that the ice-cream came out perfectly. The custard was thick smooth and uniform, and my first frozen fingerful was delightful.

              Aside: Custards are one of the best things to cook in copper pans. No hot spots. And with a probe thermometer you don't need a double boiler.

              Wonder if the mods spotted the time lapse?

              1. re: Paulustrious

                Happy to hear it worked for you. I once tried to make a custard with previously frozen whole milk and it was a disaster. The granularity, even after putting it through a fine sieve, was obvious and off putting. I wonder why the difference?

        2. re: JoanN

          In this part of Canada (Ontario) we buy our milk in 4litre (about 4qts) bags - there are three bags of about 1.3litres in each pkg. We buy a few at a time and freeze them, so rarely run out of milk, remembering to pull a bag out of the freezer as one gets low.
          There's no detrimental affect on the milk, and we use if for drinking, yoghurt making and cooking all the time. We use 2%, occasionally you see a bit of milk-fat deposited on the side of the bag, but I suspect the result is that the 2% simply becomes 1.5% and it works fine.

        3. I often make ice cream (custard style) with previously frozen milk or half-and-half, because I often have leftovers (I'm not a milk drinker). Warming the milk corrects those separation issues.