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Making Ice Cream with Egg Yolks

Making Ice Cream
with Egg Yolks

This is our collection of French-style ice cream recipes, made with egg yolks and perfectly cooked to a custard. We love custard-based ice creams more than anything; in fact, before we learned how to create our own ice cream recipes, we would reject trying an eggless ice cream recipe (now we know our way to a perfect eggless ice cream recipe too).

Custard-based ice creams are rich and velvety and keep well in the freezer for months without losing their luscious mouthfeel. For us, it is our winter favourite for its cosy mouthfeel. If you are new to making custard, we encourage you to try making one. They may seem a bit tricky to make, but they are so much worth it.

And please do ask us your questions. We ❤️ questions.

top custard ice cream recipes:

Egg yolks in ice cream making:

Egg yolks have been used in the making of ice cream for centuries, and for a good reason. While you can make ice cream using just milk, cream and sugar, if you add egg yolks, you elevate the ice cream to another level. The addition of egg yolks gives the ice cream a perfectly velvety mouthfeel, which keeps in the freezer for a long time.

While modern pastry chefs around the world use a combination of gums to create the desired ice cream texture, they all know that the most luxurious and expensive ice cream is the French-style ice cream, which is made with egg yolks. So consider yourself lucky, because with an ice cream maker and a visit to the grocery store, you can make top-notch ice cream without paying a fortune. 

The most important thing when we use egg yolks in ice cream, is to cook them to eliminate the bacteria, like salmonella. This is done by making a custardwhich is just cooking the egg yolks with milk over the stovetop. So first you make a custard and then you mix the custard with the rest of the ingredients. Making a custard may seem tricky when you are new to it, but after  doing it once or twice, you will be doing it with your eyes closed.  

But there are other reasons that you may want to make a custard, besides killing the bacteria in egg yolks. If salmonella was the only reason for cooking the egg yolks, we could as well just add pasteurised egg yolks to our ice cream mixture; and get away without cooking it. 

When you add pasteurised egg yolks to an ice cream mixture without making a custard, you get some of the benefits of the egg yolks, but miss the best part: the simple notion of making a custard does much more to the ice cream than killing the salmonella. When we cook milk with egg yolks over the stovetop, we thicken the milk to a silky custard, which when combined witht the rest of the ingredients, gives a robust, beautiful body to the ice cream mixture. This ice cream mixture is then churned to a creamy, fluffy ice cream 

The importance of maturing:

In other ways of making ice cream, you can go quickly from making the ice cream mixture to churning it in less than an hour, by chilling the ice cream mixture over an super-cold ice bath.

But when you make a custard-based ice cream, you have to mature the ice cream mixture before churning it, which is as simple as leaving the ice cream mixture in the fridge overnight. During this resting time, all the magic happens: the egg and dairy proteins bond, improving the ice cream’s texture. And the flavours improve, while the aromas come out and the egg’s flavour diminishes. 

So next time you find yourself asking if it is worth the waiting of a custard-based ice cream to cool in the fridge, the answer is yes. Give a custard-based ice cream the time to rest and mature and it you will be rewarded with all the benefits of an egg-based ice cream, without the eggy flavour.

Ice Cream made with egg yolks tastes eggy

This totally depends on the ice cream recipe. The more egg yolks an ice cream recipe contains, the more flavour you need to add to cover it. In all our ice cream recipes, we use 10% egg yolks in the ice cream mixture, but a rich custard based ice cream may contain up to 10 egg yolks, which we find it is too much for making ice cream at home, but it may work well fora pastry chef creating a rich ice cream for a fine-dining restaurant. 

2 cooking eliminates the egg tatse 3 maturing 4. freezeing

How do I make a custard?

These are the basic steps to making a custard:

  1. in a heatproof bowl whisk the egg yolks to break them down
  2. warm the milk with the sugar until hot and steamy and the sugar dissolves
  3. pour a ladle or two of the hot milk over the egg yolks, whisking them costantly – this process is called tempering and it aims to gradually add the hot milk in the egg yolks, without cooking them, which will 
  4. pour everything back to the saucepan and cook over medium heat until the custard starts to thicken slightly (this is at 80° C / 175° F if you have a thermometer)
  5. pour over a fine-mesh sieve and into a heatproof bowl
  6. cool over an ice bath
The custard is ready, you can use it as a base for any ice cream flavour. Always leave it overnight in the fridge to mature and eliminate the egg flavour. 

How many egg yolks?

In all our custard-based recipes we use 4-5 egg yolks (80-100 g) in a 1200 g ice cream mixture. This is a matter of personal preference, for our taste buds it is the perfect amount of egg yolks, before things start to become eggy.

However, a French custard-based ice cream may contain up to 10 egg yolks in 1 litre/quart ice cream mixture. 

How about egg whites?

All custard ice cream recipes

all your custard ice cream recipes in one place

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Questions, please!

( We ♥️ questions )