Custard ice cream base
The custard base, also known as ice custard or French Ice base known, is one of the most common bases for making premium ice cream. This base is richer and creamier than other ice cream bases because it contains eggs, which provide a silkier texture and fuller flavor.
To make a custard base, follow these steps:
- Mix egg yolks and sugar: First, separate the yolks from the whites and mix them with sugar. The amount of sugar can vary depending on the desired sweetness of the ice cream. This mixture is often called "egg sugar mixture".
- Heat the milk and cream: In a separate saucepan, heat milk and/or cream over medium heat until just before boiling point. The ratios of milk to cream can vary depending on the desired fat content and taste.
- Tempering the egg sugar mixture: To prevent the egg sugar mixture from curdling, slowly pour the hot milk and cream mixture into the egg sugar mixture while stirring constantly. This process is called "tempering" because it slowly raises the temperature of the egg mixture without cooking the eggs.
- Heat and thicken: Return the mixed custard base to the pot and heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. The optimum temperature is about 170°F (77°C) to 185°F (85°C). The custard base should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon or spatula, but not so thick that it clumps or curdles.
- Cool and add flavors: After the custard base reaches the desired consistency, it is removed from the heat and cooled. At this stage, flavors such as vanilla extract, chocolate, coffee or fruit purees can be added. Once the base has cooled, it should be stored in the refrigerator for at least a few hours or overnight before freezing to intensify the flavors and achieve a better texture.
- Freezing and Stirring: The cooled custard base is placed in an ice cream machine, which handles the stirring and freezing process. This allows the formation of small ice crystals, giving the ice cream a smooth and creamy texture.
After the custard base is made into ice cream, it can be served directly from the ice cream maker or placed in the freezer to achieve a firmer consistency before serving.