I learned the science of how different types of ingredients affect ice cream during Ice Cream 101. However, the professors stressed that most ice cream shop owners buy a pre-made mix and thus didn’t go into specifics about ice cream recipe development. Since I’m interested in making my own ice cream mix, I had to figure this out on my own.
Here is a shout out to the three books I found most useful when I started developing ice cream recipes.
Unless I’m trying out one of their recipes, I no longer follow the methods in any of these books exactly as written. I used their methods as a starting point–incorporating the aspects that made the most sense to me based on what I learned in class (see next paragraph) and seemed to produce the ice cream I liked best.
Since the U.S. regulates what can be called “ice cream” based on the composition of the mix, the first step for all of my flavors is plugging my proposed ingredient weights into a spreadsheet I created. Even though I’m not selling my ice cream, I still think it’s good to get in the habit of creating ice cream that the government would agree is ice cream. I’m a rule-follower like that.
Here are the books that inspired my entry into the world of homemade ice cream. Click on the pictures to go to each book’s Amazon link…go ahead and buy one…make some ice cream at home…it’s fun! You don’t need to have a spreadsheet like me (I’m crazy).
The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz — I love his Gianduja Gelato (hazelnut and chocolate) and use his method for steeping ingredients in warm dairy for my nut-flavored ice creams.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer — The methods in this book helped me translate what I learned at Ice Cream 101 into specific recipe proportions and I use her methods for incorporating corn syrup and cornstarch into ice cream. I love her chocolate ice creams.
The New Best Recipe from the Editors of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine — This was the last book I consulted, even though it had been on my bookshelf long before my first attempt to make ice cream. I appreciate their approach to recipe development and testing. So I was thrilled to find a section on ice cream while flipping through the book one day. While I use considerably fewer eggs than they do, I use their method for incorporating egg yolk in many of my recipes.
The Perfect Scoop is one of my favorite cookbooks in the pantry and I follow his blog.