How to Make Ice Cream with the Perfect Texture
Ice cream is one of the most beloved desserts for children and adults alike. It brings comfort to many during hard times and brings even more joy to others during fun times, but the ease and comfort of eating the food doesn’t necessarily translate to making it. For many people, making ice cream quickly begins to seem out of reach after their first attempt. It should be simple: find a recipe, gather the ingredients, mix them all in the ice cream maker, and then the hardest part, endure the wait before being able to eat your creation; but unfortunately, making ice cream isn’t that easy.
Every ice cream maker is different, so the times recipes state to churn it for aren’t necessarily accurate, which can easily lead to under- or over- churning. If this occurs, the ice cream texture coming out of the maker might feel perfect, but once it gets placed in the freezer, this quickly changes to being so firm it won’t scoop or come out of the container. The reason for the hardness is the large ice crystals that form during the churning process; if it isn’t churned enough, the mixture freezes and the machine doesn’t have time to break up the crystals that form, and if it is over-churned, the ice cream gets so thick that pockets are formed where large ice crystals don’t get broken up. The more oversized crystals are present in the mixture, the harder the ice cream will become. So how do you combat this issue?
Thankfully, the answer is simple. Just add a tablespoon or two of vodka into your mixture as it is churning. The vodka will mix with the water within whatever liquids are present in the recipe, and prevent the ice crystals that create an unpleasant texture from being formed. Other alcoholic beverages that have an alcoholic concentration of around 40% can also be substituted for vodka if you so choose, but vodka remains the superior choice. Not only is the flavor easily masked once in the ice cream, but it is also clear, so it will not have any negative effects on the taste or coloring of your creation.
Remember, a little goes a long way with this method, so don’t add any more than two tablespoons in a regular sized batch or you will be able to taste it. Start with one tablespoon, and if it is still too hard after being put in the freezer, add another tablespoon in the next batch. It might take one or two tries, but once you know how much to add for your specific recipe and ice cream machine, it is super simple! Using this trick quickly turns making homemade ice cream from a difficult task to a fast, simple project that anyone can do.