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Is homemade better than store-bought?


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Is homemade better than store bought? I know that a lot of homemade baked goods are better than store bought, but how about ice cream? What makes home made ice cream better than store bought? I've never had homemade ice cream.

 

And what books would you recommend that are about homemade ice cream?

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6 minutes ago, BooBear said:

Is homemade better than store bought? I know that a lot of homemade baked goods are better than store bought, but how about ice cream? What makes home made ice cream better than store bought? I've never had homemade ice cream.

 

And what books would you recommend that are about homemade ice cream?

 

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/152508-home-made-ice-cream-2015–/#comment-2032015

 

As one place to start.  The thread I linked discusses books.

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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As usual you are asking a broad general question. The 2 responses above make a lot of sense, What is store bought? Shelf stable, mass marketed? Or local bakery/shop? What is a persons frame of reference for the item? So open ended as to defy a responsible response.

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It's easier to get great flavor in homemade ice cream. It's easier to get great texture in factory-made ice cream. 

 

If you have some skill (as gfweb says) and dedication, you can get whatever flavor and texture you want at home, making it the best of all worlds. But ice cream is a very technical product. You'll have to do your homework. 

 

Re: books ... I wrote a comparative review of several, biased strongly toward readers willing to jump through some hoops for quality. 

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Notes from the underbelly

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1 minute ago, paulraphael said:

Re: books ... I wrote a comparative review of several, biased strongly toward readers willing to jump through some hoops for quality. 

Great article, @paulraphael  ...who was my ice cream mentor many years ago.  We love homemade ice cream and I've been making it constantly for about      14 years now in my little second-hand ICE 100 machine.  

 

The David Lebovitz book is still one of my goto books although I don't use any of his basic mixes.  

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Darienne

 

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13 hours ago, farcego said:

Cooking skills are so relevant, but some products requires additional techniques or "hardware" not easily available at standard homes.

 

 

A factory's biggest hardware advantages are a homogenizer and a blast freezer (or the continuous process version of a blast freezer). And ice cream machines that freeze the mix quickly—typically under 5 minutes.

 

You'll never have anything as good as an industrial high-pressure homogenizer at home. But you can do a surprisingly good job with a vitamix. Some eGullet members have gone as far as getting a rotor-stator homogenizer, which is even better. Not as good as the industrial equivalent, but more than good enough.

 

You could get a blast freezer, or concoct the equivalent. I find that just by freezing ice cream in small batches, like takeout pint containers, and keeping my freezer very cold (around -20C) ice crystals stay small. 

 

When you don't have the advantages of industrial equipment, more of the burden falls on your formula. This includes having enough solids, the right freezing point depression, and effective stabilization and emulsification (which can come from eggs or a range of other ingredients). 

 

Your expectations are also important. If you eat homemade ice cream right out of the machine, like soft-serve, you can get away with just about anything. If you want to harden it and keep it around for a few days, you'll have more details to work out. 

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Notes from the underbelly

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There's also, as far as commercial mass-produced ice cream, the issue of how well the product is handled post-production.

 

To whit: the other day I bought two pints of ice cream at the grocery store downstairs. (Well, one of the pints was 14 oz., but why quibble?)

 

One was Haagen-Daaz, the other was a local, "artisinal" brand - they make some unique flavors and are well-liked.

 

We had some that night. The Haagen-Daaz was as expected - pretty good, no complaints, etc. etc. The "artisinal" brand had obviously been handled poorly, as it was loaded with ice crystals - even Sig Eater said what the heck is going on with this ice cream? Maybe when it was loaded onto the truck coming out of the factory? Maybe when it was unloaded at the grocery and spent a little too much time on the loading dock, or in an aisle before hitting the freezer?

 

So, while science may tell us the best way to produce the "best tasting" and "best textured" ice cream, many other factors might be involved. Something science often overlooks.

Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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22 hours ago, weinoo said:

There's also, as far as commercial mass-produced ice cream, the issue of how well the product is handled post-production.

 

When we get ice cream at our neighborhood grocery store, it's often scarred by neglect. That last stop in the retail chain seems to be especially brutal. We usually get better quality if we walk a few blocks to a store where they care more. I don't know if there's a consistent difference between brands and distributors around here, but the store makes a difference.

 

Re: 14oz. I'll quibble. And I know it's the Haagen Dazs. A cowardly act of shrinkflation.

 

 

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Notes from the underbelly

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2 hours ago, paulraphael said:

 

When we get ice cream at our neighborhood grocery store, it's often scarred by neglect. That last stop in the retail chain seems to be especially brutal. We usually get better quality if we walk a few blocks to a store where they care more. I don't know if there's a consistent difference between brands and distributors around here, but the store makes a difference.

 

Re: 14oz. I'll quibble. And I know it's the Haagen Dazs. A cowardly act of shrinkflation.

 

Don't forget the famous Seinfeld "shrinkage" episode!

 

I used to see (I say used to, because I rarely shop downstairs any more) the pallets sitting in the aisle waiting to be put into the freezer cases, or in the case of cream/milk etc., into the dairy cases. Never again wondered why my milk would go sour so fast.  But yes, that last stop is generally the worst stop for products needing to be kept cold or frozen.

 

I'm sad that our location of stoner ice cream shop Ice & Vice closed, but I'm still within good walking distance of the OG Il Laboratorio.  

 

Strangely (or maybe not so strange), the bodegas in this neighborhood often have ice cream in better condition; probably because they have no floor space, the stuff gets unloaded right into the freezer.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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When I was in middle Asia, I had lived in the small town with the locals. The neighbors of my houseowners had a little store. There was a homemade ice-cream with jam. OMG how tasty it was! I can't forgive myself that I didn't ask for the recipe! But I think the secret is that they use milk cream from their cows. Still remember that ice-cream sooo good

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