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THE ITALIAN WAY TO ICE CREAM

Bergamot Ice Cream
• with corn starch •

With bergamots, milk, cream, sugar, and corn starch.

This is our Italian Way to Ice Cream, because we use corn starch to thicken the ice cream mixture, often used to make homemade Italian gelato. It is the kind of ice cream which is refreshing and cooling, with a full-bodied mouthfeel. It is also firm and resistant to melting, making it the perfect ice cream in summer when the weather is hot.

In this Bergamot Ice Cream, we intensify the bergamot flavours by massaging the peels with the sugar and adding the flavoured sugar to the milk. We love this method because it brings out all the aromas of this fragrant citrus.

3 more ways to make this bergamot ice cream:

THE EASY! Crowd-pleasing and easy to make. Eat now, thank us later. With bergamots, milk, cream, and sugar.

THE FRENCH-STYLE ICE CREAM. Rich and velvety, this is a custard-based ice cream; a tad bit tricky to make, but so much worth it. Our winter favourite for its cosy mouthfeel. With bergamots, milk, cream, sugar, and egg yolks.

LIKE A PRO. The closest you can get to an eggless store-bought ice cream with just one extra ingredient: xanthan gum. With bergamots, milk, cream, sugar, and  xanthan gum.

THE EASY! Crowd-pleasing and easy to make. Eat now, thank us later. With bergamots, milk, cream, and sugar.

THE FRENCH-STYLE ICE CREAM. Rich and velvety, this is a custard-based ice cream; a tad bit tricky to make, but so much worth it. Our winter favourite for its cosy mouthfeel. With bergamots, milk, cream, sugar, and egg yolks.

LIKE A PRO. The closest you can get to an eggless store-bought ice cream with just one extra ingredient: xanthan gum. With bergamots, milk, cream, sugar, and xanthan gum.

also available:

The ingredients

Do not reduce or replace anything; everything is there for a reason.

• Corn starch (A.K.A. cornflour or maize starch) in some countries, it is named “cornflour”, but it is not flour; it is a starch. That means that it is white in colour and powdery in texture; it looks like confectioner (powder) sugar. It is described on the label as a thickener for sauces, soups etc.

• Milk: use whole milk; this has approx. 3,5% fat. Do not substitute with skimmed milk (lower fat) or non-dairy milk. You need both the fat and the milk proteins for this ice cream recipe.

Bergamots, fresh: the taste of the ice cream will be as good as the bergamots you use. You can judge a bergamot by scratching a small piece of the lemon and smelling it. If it feels good, it is perfect for this ice cream.

Whenever possible, use local, seasonal. unwaxed bergamots. Imported bergamots may be coated with wax, which makes them look shiny. Remove this wax before using their peel: rinse the bergamot under warm water while rubbing their surface with your hands.

• Heavy cream (for double cream read below): use heavy cream with 35% to 40% fat content. It is ok to use cream suitable for whipping or ultra-pasteurised cream with 35-40% fat content. Do not use low-fat cream or non-dairy cream.

Sugar: only use regular sugar (white granulated sugar).

Do not use any other sugar or sweetener, natural or artificial, liquid or powder, like honey, stevia, golden syrup, table sweeteners, confectioner’s sugar, etc.

🇬🇧 For UK readers: if you want to use double cream -which has a higher fat content (50%) than heavy cream (35-40% fat)- stir some milk into the double cream to bring it to the right fat content. Instructions in double cream – how to use”.

Bergamots, fresh: the taste of the ice cream will be as good as the bergamots you use. You can judge a bergamot by scratching a small piece of the lemon and smelling it. If it feels good, it is perfect for this ice cream.

Whenever possible, use local, seasonal, unwaxed bergamots. Imported bergamots may be coated with wax, which makes them look shiny. Remove this wax before using their peel: rinse the bergamot under warm water while rubbing their surface with your hands.

• Corn starch (A.K.A. cornflour or maize starch) in some countries, it is named “cornflour”, but it is not flour; it is a starch. That means that it is white in colour and powdery in texture; it looks like confectioner (powder) sugar. It is described on the label as a thickener for sauces, soups etc.

Sugar: only use regular sugar (white granulated sugar).

Do not use any other sugar or sweetener, natural or artificial, liquid or powder, like honey, stevia, golden syrup, table sweeteners, confectioner’s sugar, etc.

• Milk: use whole milk, with around 3,5% fat. Do not substitute with skimmed milk (lower fat) or non-dairy milk. You need both the fat and the milk proteins for this ice cream recipe.

• Heavy cream (for double cream see scroll to the right): for this recipe you can use heavy cream with 35% – 40% fat. It is ok to use cream suitable for whipping or ultra-pasteurised cream with 35-40% fat content.

Do not use low-fat cream or non-dairy cream.

🇬🇧 For UK readers: if you want to use double cream -which has a higher fat content (50%) than heavy cream (35-40% fat)- stir some milk into the double cream to bring it to the right fat content. Instructions in Double cream: how to use” notes in the recipe.

Overview

This is a quick overview of the recipe. If you are new to ice cream making, do read the recipe before proceeding. 

1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the bergamots and place in a large heatrpoof bowl.

2. Add the sugar and massage the peels with the sugar with your hands for 1-2 minutes.

3. Leave at room temperature for at least 3 hours, stirring occasionally. 

4. Pour the hot milk over the bergamot peels and stir to dissolve the sugar. 

5. Strain the milk over the saucepan

6. Make a corn starch slurry: in a heatproof bowl whisk the corn starch into 3 tablespoons of  the infused milk.

7. Bring the bergamot milk
to a full boil,
and pour it into the corn starch slurry. Stir to thicken.

8. Add the cream and stir.

9. Chill the ice cream mixture overnight or until completely cold (a faster chilling method is also included in the recipe).

10. Churn in your ice cream maker until fluffed up and creamy.

11. Put it in the freezer for a few hours to set. 

12. As soon as it sets, you can either serve it from the ice cream maker bowl or transfer to a container and store it in the freezer.

Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the bergamots and place in a large heatrpoof bowl.

Add the sugar and massage the peels with the sugar with your hands for 1-2 minutes.

 Leave at room temperature for at least 3 hours, stirring occasionally. 

Pour the hot milk over the bergamot peels and stir to dissolve the sugar. 

Strain the milk over the saucepan.

Make a corn starch slurry: in a heatproof bowl whisk the corn starch into 3 tablespoons of the bergamot milk.

Bring the bergamot milk
to a full boil,
and pour it into the corn starch slurry. Stir to thicken.

Add the cream and stir.

Chill the ice cream mixture overnight or until completely cold (a faster chilling method is also included in the recipe).

Churn in your ice cream maker until fluffed up and creamy.

Put it in the freezer for a few hours to set. 

The recipe

Bergamot Ice Cream | with corn starch

Bergamot Ice Cream | with corn starch

Ingredients:
Notes:

When making ice cream prefer to weigh all the ingredients by weight. We also recommend weighing the liquids directly into the bowl/pan as you proceed with the recipe instead of transferring them from one bowl to another because this transfer causes a small -but unwanted- loss of quantity.

If you do not have a kitchen scale, follow these guidelines:
• 1 cup (US) = 237 ml | 1 Tbs. = 15 ml

• sugar: measuring sugar in tablespoons is more accurate than measuring it in cups. Use a 15 ml measuring tablespoon (not a regular one); this is 13 gr of sugar. To measure correctly, each time you scoop the sugar, level it with the flat side of a knife.

• milk and cream: thoroughly scrape with a rubber spatula any residues left on the sides and bottom of the cup every time you measure something and empty it.

Note that the quantities in each measuring system (grams, ounces, and cups) in our recipes may not always be accurate conversions, while any deviations you may notice do not affect the outcome.

This recipe makes a 1.2 litre/quart ice cream mixture, and its lemons syrup (before churning), perfect for ice cream makers with a capacity of 1.5 and up to 2 litres/quarts (like Cuisinart ice cream makers).

If you need to scale the ice cream mixture up or down, use this ratio of the ingredients (in weight only):

for the ice cream mixture: milk 51.8% / heavy cream 27.9% / sugar 18.3 % / corn starch 2% in desired total weight of ice cream mixture

and bergamots: about 1-1½ bergamot for every 350 g of ice cream mixture

For example, if you want to make 1000 g (approx. 1 litre) of ice cream mixture, you need:

• 1000 g x 51.8% = 518 g milk

• 1000 g x 27.9% = 279 g heavy cream

• 1000 g x 18.3% = 183 g sugar

• 1000 g x 2% = 20 g corn starch

• 3-4 bergamots for their peel

You can combine double cream with whole milk to make heavy cream for this recipe.

To make 355 g (12.5 oz) heavy cream, stir together:

  • 250 g double cream (8.8 oz) (with approx. 50% fat)
  • 105 g whole milk (3.7 oz) (with approx. 3.5% fat) -note that this milk is extra to the 650 g; 22.9 oz asked in the recipe-

The resulting heavy cream has 36% fat, perfect for this ice cream. Proceed with the recipe just as if you had the 355 g (12.5 oz) heavy cream needed.

This bergamot ice cream is perfect as it is. However, if you want to boost its flavour you can add the peel of half a lemon along with the bergamot peels, in step 1. 

A flexible rubber spatula is good for:
-wiping the bottom of the saucepan when you cook dairy on the stovetop.
-scraping residues from bowls, saucepans etc.

If you do not have one, we strongly encourage you to buy one, preferably a flexible one. 

Instructions
Plan ahead:

The ice cream mixture needs to cool completely before churning, so prepare it in advance (approx. 8 hours before) to give it time to chill in the refrigerator. Alternatively, if you have plenty of ice cubes, you can have the ice cream mixture cold and ready for churning in less than one hour; to find out how, read “A faster way to chill the ice cream mixture” under step 3.

If your ice cream maker has a removable freezer bowl, put it in the freezer for the whole time indicated by the manufacturer before churning, usually 24 hours.

Step 1: Make the bergamot sugar

Remove the peel from the bergamots in wide strips using a vegetable peeler. Place them into a large heatproof bowl.

Add the sugar (230 g; 8.1 oz) and massage thoroughly with clean, dry hands for 1-2 minutes, rubbing the sugar against the peel. When you finish massaging, scrape your palms against the rim of the bowl to remove any excess sugar stuck on your hands and push it down to the peels with a rubber spatula.

Leave to sit at room temperature for at least 3 hours and up to 24. Keep a rubber spatula in the bowl for the whole process and occasionally stir.

Step 2: Dissolve the sugar

Warm the milk: in a medium saucepan, pour the milk (650 g; 22.9 oz) and warm over medium heat, often stirring, until it is very hot and steamy (this is at 75° C / 167° F if you have a thermometer). Do not let it boil.

Pour the hot milk over the bergamot peels and set the timer to stir with the spatula for one minute; this is important for the sugar to fully dissolve.

Strain the milk: place a fine-mesh sieve over the saucepan and pour everything, milk and peels, over it. Stir with the rubber spatula, gently pressing the bergamot peels left on the sieve to release their oils.

Discard the peels, or read below how to turn them into bergamot powder.

If you have a spice grinder, you can use the leftover bergamot peels to make a bergamot powder. To do so:

  1. Leave the bergamot peels in the sieve and wash them under running water.
  2. Pat them dry with a kitchen towel.
  3. Place them on a baking tray and spread them onto a layer.
  4. Set the oven to a low temperature, 50° C – 90° C (122° F – 194° F), preferably with the fan on. 
  5. Place the baking tray in the middle rack of the oven and leave the bergamot peels until they feel dry to the touch. Stir once or twice during the process. This can take several hours. Check occasionally and lower the oven’s temperature if they appear to get brown on the edges.
  6. Let the bergamot peels cool completely.
  7. Ground the vegetable peels to a fine powder using a spice grinder.
  8. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. 

Sprinkle the bergamot powder over anything you like. We use it to flavour our porridge, yogurt etc.

Step 3: Thicken the bergamot milk

Make a corn starch slurry: in the same bowl you used for the bergamot peels, put the corn starch (25 g; 1 oz) and roughly 3 tablespoons of the bergamot milk (45 g; 2 oz) to create a slurry. Whisk until smooth. Set aside, leaving the whisk in the bowl.

Bring the bergamot milk to a boil: place the saucepan with the milk over medium-high heat, often stirring.

As soon as it comes to a full boil (90° C / 194° F / when the milk’s surface is covered with bubbles which pop vigorously / if the milk starts to overflow), remove it from the heat.

Immediately pour all the boiling milk into the corn starch slurry and stir for one minute; notice that it will start to thicken as you stir. 

Just a tad. The difference in the thickness will be from that of milk to the thickness of heavy cream. That may seem too little, but it is enough for now, as the ice cream mixture will continue to thicken as it cools (step 4).

If the milk doesn’t thicken as described above, return it to the saucepan and onto medium-high heat, constantly stirring so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. When it starts to thicken (or when the first bubbles appear on its surface), immediately remove it from the heat and pour it back into the bowl.

Step 4: Chill the ice cream mixture

Add the heavy cream (355 g; 12.5) into the hot milk. Stir to combine.

Cool it down: prepare an ice bath by putting the bowl with the ice cream mixture into a larger bowl and filling the empty sides with ice cubes and cold water. How many ice cubes? A tray of ice cubes (200 g; 7 oz of ice) is enough to bring the ice cream mixture to room temperature. Let the ice cream mixture cool down for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Chill until completely cold: cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days.

If you have plenty of ice cubes, you can have the ice cream mixture ready for churning in less than one hour by cooling it in an ice bath. Note that the time and quantity of ice given below, are for an ice cream mixture that has been cooled down (it is not hot to the touch).

How to prepare an ice bath for fast chilling:

1. Put the ice cream mixture in a bowl made of heatproof glass or stainless steel; these materials help the mixture chill fast; and don’t break in sudden temperature changes. Avoid using a plastic bowl which will take longer to cool, or a regular glass bowl that may break upon contact with the ice bath.

2. Nest the bowl with the ice cream mixture into a large empty bowl (it should be large enough to fit ice cubes on the sides) and fill the sides of the large empty bowl with ice cubes. How many ice cubes? Well, the more ice you put in, the faster it will chill.

3. Pour cold water into the sides of the large bowl, taking care that no water slips into the ice cream mixture. Pour as much cold water as needed so that the level of the water bath in the large bowl is 2 cm / 1 inch above the ice cream mixture. Add more ice cubes to keep them plentiful in the water.

 For this quantity of ice cream mixture, we started with approx. 500 g; 17 oz ice cubes and less than 1 litre fridge-cold water.

4. Refresh the ice bath with new ice cubes as soon as the older ones start to melt. If you have a thermometer, add enough ice cubes to keep the water well below 10° C / 50° F – take care that you measure the temperature of the water itself, not the ice temperature. The colder the ice bath, the faster the ice cream mixture will chill. You may need to remove water from the ice bath if it starts to overflow; to do so, carefully remove the bowl with the ice cream mixture, pour out the excess water and put the bowl back in. We used approximately 250 g; 9 oz additional ice cubes.

5. Stir often, leaving the spatula in the bowl during the cooling process. The ice cream mixture is ready for churning when it is fridge-cold to the touch (anywhere between 4-12° C / 39-54° F is perfectly ok).

6. Remove the bowl with the ice cream mixture from the ice bath, and wipe its bottom with a kitchen towel. The ice cream mixture is now ready for churning.

When churning with a domestic ice cream maker, the ice cream mixture must be fridge-cold (4ºC–12ºC / 39ºF-54ºF / it feels fridge-cold when you place your index finger into it).

If the ice cream mixture is not cold enough, the ice cream maker may not be able to churn it to its fullest potential, resulting in a sloppy liquid vs. fluffy ice cream.

Step 5: Churn the ice cream

Check if the ice cream mixture is cold before churning it: it should feel fridge-cold when you place your finger into it (below 12ºC / 54ºF, if you have a thermometer).

Prepare the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Strain the ice cream mixture through a fine mesh sieve and give it a nice, thorough stir.

Churn: with the machine running, pour the ice cream mixture through the canister and into the ice cream makerLeave to churn until fluffed up and creamy; depending on your ice cream maker, this can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes.

This ice cream will expand and fluff up during churning. It is ready when it looks smooth and fluffy, with the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. The total churning time depends on your ice cream maker and could be anywhere from 30-70 minutes.

To evaluate if it is ready, lift a spoonful; it should be thick enough to stand on the spoon, but it will still be soft like soft-serve ice cream. If it looks watery or starts to melt the moment you spoon it, leave it to churn for longer.

In any case, if you feel doubts about the consistency, leave it to churn for ten minutes more. But beware: at this stage, do not expect it to be like store-bought carton ice cream; for now, it should be more like soft-serve ice cream. It will firm up and become like store-bought ice cream only after it sets in the freezer.

So, stop the ice cream maker when thick and creamy, as described above. If you leave to churn it for much longer, it will start turning grainy.

Warning: some ice cream makers are programmed to stop after a specific time, which doesn’t make sense because the ice cream may need to churn for more to reach its fullest potential. So, if you notice that your ice cream maker stops on its own and upon checking the ice cream, you find that it is sloppy instead of fluffy, try to turn the machine on again and leave it to churn until it reaches the desired texture.

Step 6: Put the ice cream in the freezer to set

Put in the freezer to set: before serving the ice cream or moving it to a container for storing, you have to put it in the freezer to set. To do so, turn off the ice cream maker and: 

· remove the removable freezer bowl (still filled with the ice cream) from the ice cream machine
· remove the paddle, scraping any ice cream attached to it back into the ice cream bowl 
· place it in the freezer, uncovered.
Setting time depends on many factors; see notes below for indicative times.

Serve or store: as soon as it sets, serve it directly from the removable freezer bowl or transfer it to an airtight container for longer storing.

Storing and serving

Storing: in the freezer for one month, covered well to protect it from absorbing the freezer’s smells. 

Scooping: this ice cream, like all artisanal ice cream, freezes hard in the long term. You can make it perfectly scoopable again by putting it in the refrigerator for 45-60 minuter until soft; or until its internal temperature reads -11°C / 12°F.

Instructions

The ice cream mixture needs to cool completely before churning, so prepare it in advance (approx. 8 hours before) to give it time to chill in the refrigerator. Alternatively, if you have plenty of ice cubes, you can have the ice cream mixture cold and ready for churning in less than one hour; to find out how, read A faster way to chill the ice cream mixture” in the questions & troubleshooting section below.

If your ice cream maker has a removable freezer bowl, put it in the freezer for the whole time indicated by the manufacturer before churning, usually 24 hours.

Remove the peel from the bergamots in wide strips using a vegetable peeler. Place them into a large heatproof bowl.

Add the sugar (230 g; 8.1 oz) and massage thoroughly with clean, dry hands for 1-2 minutes, rubbing the sugar against the peel. When you finish massaging, scrape your palms against the rim of the bowl to remove any excess sugar stuck on your hands and push it down to the peels with a rubber spatula.

Leave to sit at room temperature for at least 3 hours and up to 24. Keep a rubber spatula in the bowl during the whole process and occasionally stir.

Warm the milk: in a medium saucepan, pour the milk (650 g; 22.9 oz) and warm over medium heat, often stirring, until it is very hot and steamy (this is at 75° C / 167° F if you have a thermometer). Do not let it boil.

Pour the hot milk over the bergamot peels and set the timer to stir with the spatula for one minute; this is important for the sugar to fully dissolve.

Strain the milk: place a fine-mesh sieve over the saucepan and pour everything, milk and peels, over it. Stir with the rubber spatula, gently pressing the bergamot peels left on the sieve to release their oils.

Discard the peels, or read below how to turn them into bergamot powder.

Make a corn starch slurry: in the same bowl you used for the bergamots, put the corn starch (25 g; 1 oz) and roughly 3 tablespoons of the bergamot milk (45 g; 2 oz) to create a slurry. Whisk until smooth. Set aside, leaving the whisk in the bowl.

Bring the milk to a boil: place the saucepan with the milk over medium-high heat, often stirring.

As soon as it comes to a full boil (90° C / 194° F / when the milk’s surface is covered with bubbles which pop vigorously / if the milk starts to overflow), remove it from the heat.

Immediately pour all the boiling milk into the corn starch slurry and stir for one minute; notice that it will start to thicken as you stir. 

If it doesn’t thicken or you feel unsure, read Thickening the milk in the questions & troubleshooting section below.

Add the heavy cream (355 g; 12.5) into the hot milk. Stir to combine.

Cool it down: prepare an ice bath by putting the bowl with the ice cream mixture into a larger bowl and filling the empty sides with ice cubes and cold water. How many ice cubes? A tray of ice cubes (200 g; 7 oz of ice) is enough to bring the ice cream mixture to room temperature. Let the ice cream mixture cool down for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Chill until completely cold: cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days.

Alternatively, to speed up the chilling process, read A faster way to chill the ice cream mixture in the questions & troubleshooting section below.

Check if the ice cream mixture is cold before churning it: it should feel fridge-cold when you place your finger into it (below 12ºC / 54ºF, if you have a thermometer).

Prepare the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Strain the ice cream mixture through a fine mesh sieve and give it a nice, thorough stir.

Churn: with the machine running, pour the ice cream mixture through the canister and into the ice cream makerLeave to churn until fluffed up and creamy; depending on your ice cream maker, this can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes.

Put in the freezer to set: before serving the ice cream or moving it to a container for storing, you have to put it in the freezer to set. To do so, turn off the ice cream maker and: 

· remove the removable freezer bowl (still filled with the ice cream) from the ice cream machine
· remove the paddle, scraping any ice cream attached to it back into the ice cream bowl 
· place it in the freezer, uncovered.
Setting time depends on many factors; read How long does it take for the ice cream to set in questions & troubleshooting below.

If you are storing the ice cream in a container, put it in the freezer too.

Serve or store: as soon as it sets, you can either serve it directly from the removable freezer bowl or transfer it to an airtight container for longer storing. 

Storing: in the freezer for one month, covered well to protect it from absorbing the freezer’s smells. 

Scooping: this ice cream, like all artisanal ice cream, freezes hard in the long term. You can make it perfectly scoopable again by putting it in the refrigerator for 45-60 minuter until soft; or until its internal temperature reads -11° / 12°F.

If you have a spice grinder, you can use the leftover bergamot peels to make a bergamot powder. To do so:

  1. Leave the bergamot peels in the sieve and wash them under running water.
  2. Pat them dry with a kitchen towel.
  3. Place them on a baking tray and spread them onto a layer.
  4. Set the oven to a low temperature, 50° C – 90° C (122° F – 194° F), preferably with the fan on. 
  5. Place the baking tray in the middle rack of the oven and leave the bergamot peels until they feel dry to the touch. Stir once or twice during the process. This can take several hours. Check occasionally and lower the oven’s temperature if they appear to get brown on the edges.
  6. Let the bergamot peels cool completely.
  7. Ground the vegetable peels to a fine powder using a spice grinder.
  8. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. 

Sprinkle the bergamot powder over anything you like. We use it to flavour our porridge, yogurt etc.

How much should the milk thicken? Just a tad. The difference in the thickness will be from that of milk to the thickness of heavy cream. That may seem too little, but it is enough for now, as the ice cream mixture will continue to thicken as it cools (step 3).

Troubleshooting: if the milk doesn’t thicken as described above, return it to the saucepan and onto medium-high heat, constantly stirring so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. When it starts to thicken (or when the first bubbles appear on its surface), immediately remove it from the heat and pour it into the bowl.

If you have plenty of ice cubes, you can have the ice cream mixture ready for churning in less than one hour by cooling it in an ice bath. Note that the time and quantity of ice given below, are for an ice cream mixture that has been cooled down (it is not hot to the touch).

How to prepare an ice bath for fast chilling:

1. Put the ice cream mixture in a bowl made of heatproof glass or stainless steel; these materials help the mixture chill fast; and don’t break in sudden temperature changes. Avoid using a plastic bowl which will take longer to cool, or a regular glass bowl that may break upon contact with the ice bath.

2. Nest the bowl with the ice cream mixture into a large empty bowl (it should be large enough to fit ice cubes on the sides) and fill the sides of the large empty bowl with ice cubes. How many ice cubes? Well, the more ice you put in, the faster it will chill.

3. Pour cold water into the sides of the large bowl, taking care that no water slips into the ice cream mixture. Pour as much cold water as needed so that the level of the water bath in the large bowl is 2 cm / 1 inch above the ice cream mixture. Add more ice cubes to keep them plentiful in the water.

 For this quantity of ice cream mixture, we started with approx. 500 g; 17 oz ice cubes and less than 1 litre fridge-cold water.

4. Refresh the ice bath with new ice cubes as soon as the older ones start to melt. If you have a thermometer, add enough ice cubes to keep the water well below 10° C / 50° F – take care that you measure the temperature of the water itself, not the ice temperature. The colder the ice bath, the faster the ice cream mixture will chill. You may need to remove water from the ice bath if it starts to overflow; to do so, carefully remove the bowl with the ice cream mixture, pour out the excess water and put the bowl back in. We used approximately 250 g; 9 oz additional ice cubes.

5. Stir often, leaving the spatula in the bowl during the cooling process. The ice cream mixture is ready for churning when it is fridge-cold to the touch (anywhere between 4-12° C / 39-54° F is perfectly ok).

6. Remove the bowl with the ice cream mixture from the ice bath, and wipe its bottom with a kitchen towel. The ice cream mixture is now ready for churning.

When churning with a domestic ice cream maker, the ice cream mixture must be fridge-cold (4ºC–12ºC / 39ºF-54ºF / it feels fridge-cold when you place your index finger into it).

If the ice cream mixture is not cold enough, the ice cream maker may not be able to churn it to its fullest potential, resulting in a sloppy liquid vs. fluffy ice cream.

This ice cream will expand and fluff up during churning. It is ready when it looks smooth and fluffy, with the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. The total churning time depends on your ice cream maker and could be anywhere from 30-70 minutes.

To evaluate if it is ready, lift a spoonful; it should be thick enough to stand on the spoon, but it will still be soft like soft-serve ice cream. If it looks watery or starts to melt the moment you spoon it, leave it to churn for longer.

In any case, if you feel doubts about the consistency, leave it to churn for ten minutes more. But beware: at this stage, do not expect it to be like store-bought carton ice cream; for now, it should be more like soft-serve ice cream.

It will firm up and become like store-bought ice cream only after it sets in the freezer.

So, stop the ice cream maker when thick and creamy, as described above. If you leave to churn it for much longer, it will start turning grainy.

Warning: some ice cream makers are programmed to stop after a specific time, which doesn’t make sense because the ice cream may need to churn for more to reach its fullest potential. So, if you notice that your ice cream maker stops on its own and upon checking the ice cream, you find that it is sloppy instead of fluffy, try to turn the machine on again and leave it to churn until it reaches the desired texture.

The setting time for the ice cream largely depends on the type of ice cream maker you use.

It can take :

  • 3-5 hours for removable freezer bowls (these are the ice cream maker bowls which you should pre-freeze before churning)
  • 1-2 hours for aluminium bowls (these are the bowls from compressor ice cream makers)

Note: the times given are indicative. Setting time depends on many factors.

Check it occasionally (approx. every 2 hours; or as needed) while it is in the freezer. The ice cream is ready when it has an internal temperature of -11ºC / 12ºF. If you do not have a thermometer, to evaluate if the ice cream has set, insert a round tip knife into it, all the way to the bottom: 

  • when the ice cream is ready, it feels firm as you go down, but at the same time it is soft enough to insert the knife into it; it should have this same firm consistency from top to bottom.
  • not ready yet: it will feel hard on the top and softer as you go down
  • if left in the freezer for too long: it will be too hard for the knife to insert into it and too hard to scoop out of the ice cream bowl. Do not worry, though! Read right below how to soften it.

Straight after churning, the ice cream has a soft-serve ice cream consistency and melts immediately upon contact with anything. This makes it impossible to serve or transfer to another container.

Putting it in the freezer after churning sets it and brings it to the right consistency, similar to that of an ice cream parlour’s.

If the ice cream stays in the removable freezer bowl for too long, it will harden and be difficult to remove or serve.

To make it scoopable again, leave it in the refrigerator to soften. That can take:

  • anywhere from 4 to 10 hours for removable freezer bowls (the ones which need pre-freezing before churning)
  • 1-2 hours for aluminium bowls (these are the bowls from compressor ice cream makers)

(Note: the time given is indicative, time may vary depending on many factors, so do check it occasionally as it sits in the refrigerator.)

When the ice cream is easy to scoop (or it has an internal temperature of approx. -11°C / 12°F if you have a thermometer), you can transfer it to another container and store it in the freezer or serve it directly from the removable freezer bowl.

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