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Sep 29, 2013 10:30 AM

Ice cream won't harden

Yesterday I tried to make some ice cream (actually frozen custard) with a recipe that's 1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup half and half, 3 egg yolks, and one cup sugar. One base is vanilla with hazelnuts and chocolate, and the other is a basil infusion.

Problem is, I can't get them to freeze anywhere near solid. It's none of the obvious problems - the frozen bowl insert was in the freezer for weeks, and I chilled the mixture before churning it. I cooked the custard until it coated the back of a spoon before chilling it. Even after sitting in my freezer overnight it's still pretty runny, and my freezer is plenty cold.

I'm guessing it has to be something with the recipe - maybe it's too much sugar and that's preventing it from freezing? Can anyone help me figure this out? THANKS!

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  1. If the bowl was absolutely frozen and the mixture was chilled. The discussion in the forum below suggests that you may need to make sure you did not overfill the bowl.

    My ice cream maker only does pints so I have to do most recipes in batches and sometimes they don't freeze very well.

    Good luck!

    1 Reply
    1. re: pinkpooskie

      That wasn't it either - the bowl was only about half full. FYI, I have an old-school hand crank machine that's probably about 20 years old.

    2. It sounds like an awful lot of fat in there, and fat doesn't really freeze solid. Perhaps if you added a cup or two of milk, and run it through the ice cream machine again, it may freeze up. We make ice cream and frozen yogurt pretty often, and I've found that a high fat content can feel kind of greasy in your mouth.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kitchengardengal

        Thanks kitchengardengal! I was wondering if the fat content could be the culprit. I'm thinking I might try a batch next weekend that uses milk instead of half and half.

      2. That sounds like too much sugar. Just looking at my copy of "The Perfect Scoop" the vanilla recipe is 3 total cups of milk+cream and 3/4 cups of sugar. You have two cups of liquid, so it is 2/3 of my reference recipe. 2/3 of 3/4 C sugar is .5, but your recipe is 1 C sugar, so your recipe has twice the sugar.

        1. Too much Sugar.
          Should be around a scant 1/4C(3oz) per cup of liquid