Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Ice-Cream Month: Proper Custard Ice-Cream, a Kitchen Experiment

This one is admittedly quite experimental, but I want to share with you my no-churn real vanilla ice-cream adventures.

No churn ice-cream made with condensed milk is very tasty, but it's got nothing on vanilla ice-cream made with a good custard. However, these kinds of custard ice-creams are almost impossible to make nicely without an ice-cream machine.

I decided to do some serious research, and this brought me to Serious Eat's own experimentations with no churn ice-cream. In their article on how best to make traditional ice-cream without a machine, they came up with this method: essentially, you make the custard without the cream, freeze it into cubes, then use the cream to blend the ice cubes into an ice-cream with the food processor.

It's a neat trick, but I wanted to try and get back to an even more basic method, without any machinery. I took inspiration from their recipe, and came up with something that's somewhere between a semifreddo and a traditional ice-cream.

So, read below how I did this experiment. I think it turned out surprisingly well: it was a little bit icy, but that'll always happen with no-churn traditional ice-creams.


  • 2 medium eggs
  • 4 ounces (115 grammes) sugar
  • ½ UK pint (285 millilitres) whole milk
  • ½ UK pint (285 millilitres) whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon (15 millilitres) vanilla essence

  • In a bowl over a pan of simmering water, beat together the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl until the sugar has dissolved and they have doubled in volume to make a pale, moussey mixture.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, whip the cream to firm peaks. Fold in the egg mixture, being very careful to maintain the airiness.
  • Gently fold in the milk to get a thin moussey mixture. Pour into a shallow glass or metal dish, and freeze in the coldest part of your freezer for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, take out of the freezer and beat vigorously with a balloon whisk to break up the frozen parts and mix them back into the unfrozen parts. Pop back into the freezer for another 30 minutes, and repeat the process 5 more times.
  • After the sixth and final agitation, transfer to a plastic container with a lid and freeze solid, for about 2 hours.
  • Before serving, allow it to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.

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