about our ice cream recipes and some technical tips
If you have one excellent ice cream recipe, it doesn’t mean it will easily convert to another recipe especially if it has fruit or chocolate in it. Thinking that you can just invent an ice cream recipe without understanding some of the chemistry is naive. Too much sugar and the ice will not set properly, too little and the crystal structure will be different, and shards of icicles will appear. The quality of milk, the quality of the cream, even something as simple as using pure cream against the more readily available thickened cream all makes a difference.
So if someone gives you a good recipe, follow it carefully and the ice cream will speak for itself. Remember when our recipes say ripe fruit, it means just that. Ripe fruit will be full of natural sugar and the recipe will work to perfection. It has become extremely hard to find tree-ripened fruit with flavour. When a fruit is out of season it may well be a better option to use either dried fruit or some of the readily available unsweetened frozen fruit.
Dried fruit should be soaked in cold water overnight and remember, you will need half the weight of dried fruit, as it will pump 50%.
It is important to remember that homemade ice cream has a short shelf life and should be eaten within a week of making. Eggs yolks can be dangerous things in terms of bacteria. Accidentally thawed egg based ice cream should not be re-churned they should be discarded. Make your base, chill and churn it without delay and always store in the freezer in an airtight container. If you want to re-churn your ice cream to chop it roughly and put it in the fridge for an hour then re-churn it. Never allow the ice cream to go above 3°C.
The microwave technique has the great advantage of not having to be carefully stirred, and you don’t have to worry about scorching the milk or cream on the bottom of a saucepan. Make sure you use quality microwave safe plastic. Glass/Pyrex microwave dishes are not recommended. They accumulate too much heat and can curdle/cook the anglaise. If you don’t have a microwave heat the cream/milk on the stove, and cook your anglaise in a stainless steel bowl over a saucepan of water. Make sure you stir constantly with a rubber spatula and as soon as it is cooked, immediately strain it into a cold bowl sitting in ice.
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY
The history of ices is fascinating and few foods have commanded the culinary excesses of ice creams and sorbets. The harvesting and storing of ice is a very ancient practice, dating back to around 2000BC. The popularity of iced drinks, sorbets and ice cream is as popular today as it was 4000 years ago, but with the advent of modern refrigeration stylish ice cream with many different styles and flavours is no longer entirely the property of the rich.
The quality of ice cream is of course, still utterly governed by price. There is no greater indicator of public taste than the supermarket shelves, and as freezer compartment space gets smaller with frozen meats and foods, the ice cream section has expanded as more and more quality brands seek to tempt the ice cream fanatic.
Two hundred years of immigration to Australia has brought with it deep cultural change with the introduction of Italian gelatos, the Chinese/Asian shaved ice coloured and flavoured with cordial, usually called snow and of course the Indian Kulfi. All have a long history, but the Chinese snow is clearly recorded at 1110BC, where the practice of collecting and keeping snow was already common.
Harvest of the Cold Months, Elizabeth David
the social history of ice and ices — published by Michael Joseph, London
Frozen Desserts, Francisco J. Migoya