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Ice cream - why yolks but no whites?

henrikbe Feb 26, 2013 01:07 AM

Hi all,

When making a custard based ice cream, all the recipes I've seen require egg yolks, but no egg whites. I was getting a bit curious about this: Why do we need to remove the egg whites? They're just a tiny amount of water and some proteins, right? I assume the water can't be any problem, so if anything it has to be the proteins. But exactly what kinds of problem will I get if I keep the whites in the mix? Wouldn't the egg white proteins act as a kind of stabilizer, making my ice crystals smaller and the mix viscous?

  1. s
    sandylc Feb 26, 2013 07:02 PM

    The whites give dishes that "eggy" flavor.

    1. ttoommyy Feb 26, 2013 12:06 PM

      "When making a custard based ice cream, all the recipes I've seen require egg yolks, but no egg whites."

      You've answered your own question; because you ar making a "custard" based ice cream. By definition, a custard is a variety of culinary preparations based on a cooked mixture of milk or cream and egg yolk.

      There are ice cream recipes that call for whole eggs; they are not truly "custard based."

      1 Reply
      1. re: ttoommyy
        chefj Feb 26, 2013 05:16 PM

        That is not true.
        Custards can be made with whole eggs
        Custard is a culinary preparation made by blending eggs with milk or cream. Custard is thickened by the coagulation of the egg proteins, which is achieved by gently heating the custard in some way.

      2. ChefJune Feb 26, 2013 11:56 AM

        I always use whole eggs in ice cream. Been doing it for years with no ill effects. So did my aunts back in the day...

        and I don't have problems with crystals unless the ice cream hangs around for a few weeks (not too often...)

        1. chefj Feb 26, 2013 11:52 AM

          You can use whole Eggs. They work just fine especially in cooked Custard Bases.

          1. greygarious Feb 26, 2013 06:56 AM

            Since ice crystals are the bane of ice cream making, it's no surprise that recipes eliminate as much water as possible, which means no whites. Also, the sulfur - which gives eggs their smell - is in the whites, not the yolks.

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