Churn After Reading /
Master the basics of great homemade ice cream
hen you think about it, ice cream is a miracle. You start with milk, one of the most chemically complex foods we eat. Add sugars to reduce its freezing point, and egg proteins and emulsifiers to obstruct ice crystals. Then you stick this gloppy stuff in a portable freezer and pump it full of air until spinning butterfat globules coalesce to give it form. That’s bananas but somehow it works. Weirdest of all: Making it yourself is actually very easy.
Frozen dessert technology has come a long way since the days when Emperor Nero would send Roman slaves into the mountains to harvest blocks of ice, shave it down, and sweeten it with honey. In 1843, Nancy Johnson of Philadelphia patented the first ice cream freezer, but it required relentless hand-cranking and relied on rock salt to lower the temperature of the ice. Today, affordable entry-level ice cream makers can churn out a noticeably superior product compared with mass industrial brands, and are as simple to operate as a blender.
But you don’t just churn because it’s easy. When making ice cream at home, you can indulge your inner control freak and achieve your own perfect scoop: the sweetness, the texture, whether it’s light and fluffy or dense and rich. And, of course, the flavor. Ice cream is one of the few foods that’s truly a blank canvas, a base substance equally receptive to chocolate, saffron, or caramelized onion (if you’re into that kind of thing). Prepare to be obsessed.
The beauty of homemade ice cream: any flavor you can imagine texture and the of your dreams.