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Scoop of coffee ice cream seen from above

THE TAKE-IT-EASY ICE CREAM

Coffee Ice Cream
• Philadelphia - style •

With coffee beans, milk, cream, and sugar.

Philadelphia-style ice cream is our Take-It-Easy ice cream; it is what we make when we are short of time yet want to make something that everyone will love. Easy and superb, it is a delightful reminder of how great it is to make your own ice cream at home.

In this Coffee Ice Cream recipe we use coffee beans to flavour the ice cream mixture. The ice cream has a sweet and earthy coffee flavour, like a good cup of cappuccino. Use your favourite coffee beans (no grind is needed) or choose your coffee beans judging by the smell; they should smell divine.

3 more ways to make this coffee ice cream:

THE ITALIAN WAY. This is your hot weather ice cream: easy to make and resistant to melting. It is also the lightest in heavy cream. With coffee beans, milk, cream, sugar, and corn starch.

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 coffee beans, 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 coffee beans, milk, cream, sugar, and xanthan gum.

THE ITALIAN WAY. This is your hot weather ice cream: eggless, easy to make and resistant to melting. It is also the lightest in heavy cream. With coffee beans, milk, cream, sugar, and corn starch.

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 coffee beans, 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 coffee beans, milk, cream, sugar, and xanthan gum.

also available:

The ingredients

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

The ingredients for the recipe shown from left to right: milk, heavy cream, sugar, and coffee beans.

Coffee beans: the taste of the ice cream will be as good as the coffee beans you use. So pick your favourite coffee beans, or choose your coffee beans judging by the smell; they should smell divine. We tested the recipe with the easy-to-find Illy brand coffee beans (Classic Roast, 100% Arabica), and we absolutely loved it.

• 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.

Sugar: use regular sugar (white granulated sugar), or a good quality raw cane suar, such as Demerara or Turbinado, which enhances the coffee flavours.

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.

• Heavy cream (for double cream read below): use heavy cream with 35% to 38% fat content. It is ok to use cream suitable for whipping or ultra-pasteurised cream, again with 35-38% fat content. Do not use low-fat cream or non-dairy cream.

The ingredients for the recipe shown from left to right: milk, heavy cream, sugar, and coffee beans.

Coffee beans: the taste of the ice cream will be as good as the coffee beans you use. So pick your favourite coffee beans, or choose your coffee beans judging by the smell; they should smell divine. We tested the recipe with the easy-to-find Illy brand coffee beans (Classic Roast, 100% Arabica), and we absolutely loved it.

Sugar: use regular sugar (white granulated sugar), or a good quality raw cane suar, such as Demerara or Turbinado, which enhances the coffee flavours.

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% – 38% 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.

Overview

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

Warm the milk and sugar until hot.

 Remove from the heat and add the heavy cream. Pour into a bowl, add the coffee beans and stir to moisten.

Shows step 1 for making coffee ice cream, which is adding coffee beans into saucepan with warm milk, cream, and sugar

Cool down over an ice bath. Chill the ice cream mixture overnight or until completely cold.

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

Showing from above coffee ice cream churning in the ice cream machine

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

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.

The recipe

Coffee Ice Cream | Philadelphia - style

Coffee Ice Cream | Philadelphia - style

Ingredients:
Notes:

This is a Philadelphia-style ice cream; Philadelphia – style ice creams are easy because they do not require the extra step & ingredients of thickening the ice cream mixture., which is what gives body to the ice cream mixture to churn and fluff up. But it also means that Philadelphia-style ice creams rely on a lot of heavy cream to compensate for the lack of body. 

If you find that the heavy cream is too much, you can either:

1) make this ice cream thickened with corn starch instead; it has the least amount of heavy cream a homemade ice cream can have. The only additional ingredient you will need is corn starch.

Or

2) use gelatine to thicken this ice cream mixture. You can reduce the heavy cream by 300 g by replacing it with milk. For every 100 g of heavy cream you remove, replace it with 100 g of milk and add one gelatine sheet (or 1 teaspoon of gelatine powder). However, note that you can only reduce the heavy cream by 300 g (which means that you can use up to 3 sheets of gelatine) because if you use more gelatine, the ice cream suffers in texture.

How to use the gelatine: in step 1, before starting, put the gelatine in a large bowl and add a splash or two of the measured cold heavy cream to cover it, stirring to moisten the gelatine. Leave to soften as you proceed with the recipe. After you combine the warm milk with the rest of the heavy cream, gradually pour it into the softened gelatine, whisking it to dissolve. Before churning, if the ice cream mixture is too thick, give it a whisk to loosen it before straining it.

When making ice cream, prefer to weigh all the ingredients, even the liquid ones. We also recommend – whenever possible – to weigh the liquid ingredients 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 tablespoon = 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.

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:

Prepare the ice cream mixture in advance (overnight or at least 8 hours before) to give time for the coffee to infuse and the ice cream mixture to chill.

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: Dissolve the sugar

You do not need a thermometer to make this recipe; whenever temperatures are given, they are for the convenience of those who like to use a thermometer. Every temperature is accompanied with a description, so that you always know when you have reached this temperature, even without the thermometer.

Dissolve the sugar: in a medium saucepan add the milk (415 g; 14.6 oz) and the sugar (235 g; 8.3 oz). Place over medium heat and warm, often stirring until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot and steamy (this is at 65° C / 150° F if you have a thermometer). Do not let it boil.

Remove the saucepan from the heat. 

Add the heavy cream (680 g; 24 oz) and stir to combine. 

Pour everything into a large heatproof bowl. 

Step 2: Chill the ice cream mixture

Add the coffee beans (150 g; 5.3 oz) to the ice cream mixture and stir to moisten the coffee beans. 

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 cool down the ice cream mixture. This will take approx. 30 minutes; do stir occasionally.

Chill until completely cold: cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight or until completely cold (and up to one day).

When churning with a domestic ice cream maker, the ice cream mixture must be fridge-cold (below 12ºC / 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 3: 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 into a bowl. You may need to do it in two parts. With the sieve still placed on the bowl, stir the coffee beans inside it, then scrape the bottom beneath the sieve to release any liquid stuck there.

Stir: give a nice, thorough stir to the ice cream mixture.

Churn: with the machine running, pour the ice cream mixture through the canister and into the ice cream maker. Leave 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 4: 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.

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 1-2 hours: or as needed) while it is in the freezer. The ice cream is ready when it has an internal temperature of -11°C / 12°F. If you do not have a thermometer, to check 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 be firm and with the same consistency from top to bottom.
  • not ready yet: it may feel hard on the top and softer as you go down
  • if left in the freezer for too long: it will be too hard to insert the knife into it; and likely too hard to scoop out of the ice cream bowl. In this case, click on the next bulb to see how to make it scoopable again.

If the ice cream stays in the removable freezer bowl for too long, it will become too hard 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 (these are 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 soft enough 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 freezer bowl.

Straight after churning, the ice cream has a soft-serve ice cream consistency and melts immediately upon contact with anything. So it is too messy to serve or transfer to another container.

Putting it in the freezer after churning sets it and brings it to the right consistency: scoopable and easy to serve or transfer to another container to store it.

Storing and serving

Storing: Philadelphia-style ice cream is at its best when eaten the day it is made. If you want to keep it for longer, cover it well to protect it from the freezer’s smell and keep it in the freezer for up to one month.

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 minutes until soft; or until its internal temperature reads -11°C / 12°F.

Instructions

Prepare the ice cream mixture in advance (overnight or at least 8 hours before) to give time for the coffee to infuse and the ice cream mixture to chill.

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.

Dissolve the sugar: in a medium saucepan add the milk (415 g; 14.6 oz) and the sugar (235 g; 8.3 oz). Place over medium heat and warm, often stirring until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot and steamy (this is at 65° C / 150° F if you have a thermometer). Do not let it boil.

Remove the saucepan from the heat. 

Add the heavy cream (680 g; 24 oz) and stir to combine. 

Pour everything into a large heatproof bowl. 

Add the coffee beans (150 g; 5.3 oz) to the ice cream mixture and stir to moisten the coffee beans. 

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 cool down the ice cream mixture. This will take approx. 30 minutes; do stir occasionally.

Chill until completely cold: cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight or until completely cold (and up to one day).

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 into a bowl. You may need to do it in two parts. With the sieve still placed on the bowl, stir the coffee beans inside it, then scrape the bottom beneath the sieve to release any liquid stuck there.

Stir: give a nice, thorough stir to the ice cream mixture.

Churn: with the machine running, pour the ice cream mixture through the canister and into the ice cream maker. Leave 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; 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: Philadelphia-style ice cream is at its best when eaten the day it is made. If you want to keep it for longer, cover it well to protect it from the freezer’s smell and keep it in the freezer for up to one month.

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 minutes until soft; or until its internal temperature reads -11°C / 12°F.

When churning with a domestic ice cream maker, the ice cream mixture must be fridge-cold (below 12ºC / 54ºF / it feels fridge-cold when you place your 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.

Note that 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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