Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ice Cream Fail

Ok, I need some help from you ice cream experts out there.
Ice Cream Fail
You might remember two weeks ago Matt asked me to make some strawberry buttermilk ice cream with the fresh strawberries from the farmers market. As all our ice creams last year turned out really good I was pretty confident I could just adapted a recipe & make this one. I started with a recipe for vanilla ice cream them substituted some of the milk with buttermilk, the recipe still had cream & milk in it. I turned the milk mixture, sugar, eggs & strawberries into custard with a slow cook over the stove. I chilled it overnight & it tasted fabulous. The problem came with the churning. It never really got any firmer than a soft serve & melted really quickly. The worse thing was it was grainy with ice crystals, not smooth & creamy at all.

Any thoughts on what could have caused this? Could it be the reduced fat from using buttermilk? Could my custard not have been thick enough? Also I think I had slightly too much base for my mixer, could this be part of the issue?

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Peter M said...

I think it was the buttermilk, although thick, not too fattening. Possibile alternatives are plain yogurt and evaporated milk. Some corn starch in the custard can help too!

PikaPikaChick said...

Maybe some of these tips could help?

Stephanie said...

I put sweetened condensed milk & sour cream in mine (but I make "magic" ice cream that doesn't require an ice cream maker). The recipe looks like this:

1/2 c sweetened condensed milk
1 oz white chocolate (or white chocolate chips)
1 T Vanilla extract
1/4 c sour cream
1 1/4 c heavy cream

I think the sweetened condensed milk is what keeps it creamy & without crystals, but don't quote me on that!

bookworm88 said...

Generally more fat=more creamy. Ice crystals could definitely be a result of the lower fat buttermilk. Also, I've found if your freezer is set too cold pr you didn't churn it long enough it can impact the quality of the ice cream. Good luck! I'm off to churn some rhubarb ice cream for dessert tonight...

Tangled Noodle said...

I have no suggestion to offer but am interested in responses b/c buttermilk ice cream sounds delicious. Hope you'll try again - I'd love to read about results. (Honestly, even though this did not leave up to expectations, it still looks quite delicious).

Lo said...

Buttermilk ice cream is delicious -- but it definitely needs cream added, or something that contributes a higher fat content (which will prevent the graininess). Full fat yogurt is a great suggestion, since it would help to maintain that buttermilky tang.

That said -- the color of this ice cream is gorgeous!

Lisa Paul said...

Buttermilk not only doesn't have the fat content, it is much more acidic than cream (due to the bacterial action). So I'd say that would be the problem.

Lori said...

There are a lot of strawberry buttermilk recipes out there. Matter of fact after reading that you would be making it, I was checking out some recipes.(It just sounded so good) I seen one that had buttermilk and sweetened condensed milk. I recently had a failure with a strawberry sorbet from COoking Light. Honestly I think it was that there was too much in my KA ice cream maker. Interesting. Keep us posted if you make it again. I am curious.

grace said...

i'm an ice-cream-making igmoramus--sorry i can't be of help! i think that whether firm or soft, this'd be delicious.

vanillasugarblog said...

sounds like you needed a thickening agent in there like a couple egg yolks to help make it a custard, well not a custard but thicker. that should help. but then you need to find the right balance of buttermilk to half & half too.

Alicia Foodycat said...

The icecrystals were definitely from the buttermilk, but I am not sure about it not setting right. The last time I had an icecream not set, it was because I had boiled the syrup it was sweetened with for too long, but that doesn't sound like the problem with this!

Doug Ford said...

I agree with Lisa Paul, the b'milk is likely bringing too much acidity to the mix. As for the ice crystals, I agree that a little alcohol will hold down the size of the crystals, and a little bit of powdered milk will add some emulsifiers, to help bind water to the fats.

Laurie H said...

I also use the Kitchen Aid ice cream attachment. I love it (honestly, beyond reason), but have found that too much base, base that isn't ice cold enough, or freezing the bowl less than the full 36 hours (or in a freezer that isn't ice cold) can all make an ice cream behave like yours did. The buttermilk may not have helped, but I doubt it's the cause, particularly since you subbed it for milk in the recipe. Finishing up the freezing in the freezer probably also contributed to the icy-ness - if the freezing isn't mostly done in the ice cream maker it really can affect the texture.

I'm also not sure the buttermilk is the main cause of the icy-ness. The strawberries may have contributed as well. I am with the people who suggest more fat (never hurts as far as I'm concerned) plus macerating the berries in vodka or kirsch before whirling them in the food processor (a David Lebovitz trick).

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