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Ice Cream Machines


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6 hours ago, paulraphael said:

I wrote a post on the different varieties of ice cream machines (and related tools and techniques) here.

 

I covet the Lello machines. Unfortunately the small one has a bit less capacity than I'd like, and the big one is ... big. And not cheap.

I use the small one and the turnaround time is zero.  I just leave the compressor on, pull out the finished batch and pop in the second batch (the advantage of having an extra can).  I prepare the mix usually the evening before, have it in a large plastic pitcher chilled in the fridge - which cuts down on freezer time.  I usually churn for 25 minutes then straight into the freezer while I start the next batch.

I have done 4 batches in two hours, no problem.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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On December 2, 2016 at 0:09 AM, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Maybe it's different with the Lello but I find if I churn over fifteen minutes I have quality problems.

 

 

Its not unique to the Lello.  There is a direct and declining relationship between batch time and ice cream quality due to ice crystal formation -- any batch time over 15 minutes will be less than perfect, and proceed to become worse and worse the longer the batch takes to freeze.

 

Fortunately for you, I think that you can greatly improve your batch time with the Lello, by following two rules;

 

1) Not processing a full 1 liter batch -- this machine is not powerful enough to make a full liter of ice cream at a time, but it can successfully process a sub-15 minute batch it if you split your recipe and process your mixture serially a half-liter at a time; and

2) keeping your bucket in the freezer, getting your mixture down as close to freezing as possible by keeping it in the freezer for an hour or so before processing (I keep it in a mason jar so I can shake it up and make sure no crystals begin to form), and letting the machine run for at least 30 minutes or more before starting a batch --  your machine will squander its limited power if it needs to cool these elements any more than absolutely necessary, and you can help it along by keeping things as cold as possible and limit the work it needs to do.

 

I find that I can get a sub-15 minute batch time with my Lello Gelato by following the above.  I have had my Lello for over a decade, and although I would love something better some day, it can work if you are willing to make up for its limited power.

 

 

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Ieatrio, do you find that if you make two batches in the Lello back-to-back the freezing time suffers?

 

Also, how does it do with 3/4 liter (of mix)? It's unclear to me if the company rates the capacity before or after overrun. My recipes are about 0.8L of mix, and at least in my current machine, freeze to make about 1L. If the machine could handle that in one batch that would be ideal; if it could handle it in two 15-minute batches that would be ok.

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11 hours ago, paulraphael said:

Ieatrio, do you find that if you make two batches in the Lello back-to-back the freezing time suffers?

 

Also, how does it do with 3/4 liter (of mix)? It's unclear to me if the company rates the capacity before or after overrun. My recipes are about 0.8L of mix, and at least in my current machine, freeze to make about 1L. If the machine could handle that in one batch that would be ideal; if it could handle it in two 15-minute batches that would be ok.

 

I don't think that batch time suffers too terribly -- on the second batch the container will need to get down to temp again, but that's the only added time.  I would just split any recipe up to a liter 50/50.  There isn't a heck of a lot of overrun in this machine, so I wouldn't worry about that too much, but I think they rate it for a liter pre-processing.  I don't think you'll have a problem processing .5L, so it shouldn't be an issue either way.  But don't think you are going to run an ice cream shop with the Lello -- it works (just) but its a pain in the ass to make it work properly, and a slower process than it should be.

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  • 3 years later...

2110918999_Lellomachine.jpeg.e2e05509417a49df68462e2df8696fbd.jpeg

 

This is my 16 year old Lello 4070 ice cream machine. When I schlepped it out of the pantry last week, I was worried it wasn't going to really work any more. But I plugged it in, and after a little bit of wheezing, it was like old times. The first batches I churned (and, like @andiesenji, I always turn the machine on with the canister inside for a good 15-20 minutes before adding the base) were a Sicilian-style gelato, using cornstarch in the base, and a melon sorbet. The gelato was delicious, the melon sorbet less so - I never have great luck using melons for sorbet (other than watermelon) - they're too fluffy or something. In any event, my ice creams and sorbets are very basic - I use just sugar, fruit, vanilla, milk, cream, salt and occasionally eggs - the cornstarch was my first attempt at anything other than those ingredients. Yesterday, I made two more.

 

1260593043_Phillystylevanilla07-26.jpeg.297b414484a7ef2af534a80028d64606.jpeg

 

A true Philadelphia-style (via David Lebovitz in Paris) Madagascar vanilla bourbon ice cream.  Cream, milk, vanilla beans, salt, bourbon. Into the fridge for 4 or 5 hours and spun.

 

2132821434_CherrysorbetvanillaicecreamPhiiystyle07-26.jpeg.484ee8d655c0d8ea92fbb05b9ff4cca9.jpeg

 

I also made a sorbet from local green market cherries; don't know the variety, but they were sweet, not sour.  The sorbet was, in my opinion, meh. Actually too sweet (even though I cut back on the sugar) and I may have overused kirsch. Gotta go back to my more successful citrus sorbets - I just have better luck with them. The ice cream, on the other hand, is great. Not an ice crystal in sight, just delicious. If my ice cream/sorbet base is properly chilled, nothing takes over 25 minutes of spinning...maybe I got a really cold machine!

 

I was all set to treat myself to a new ice cream machine (a Whynter), but this Lello is really a nice product, so I'll use it till it croaks.

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2 hours ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

Proper ice cream.  I have.never understood putting chemicals in homemade ice cream in an effort to duplicate “store bought” when the best/artisan ice creams contain only the simplest natural ingredients.

 

As many might say, they're not "chemicals" per se, just scientifically manipulated real stuff.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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3 hours ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

Proper ice cream.  I have.never understood putting chemicals in homemade ice cream in an effort to duplicate “store bought” when the best/artisan ice creams contain only the simplest natural ingredients.

 

I hate to break it to you, but every batch of ice cream you've ever made was 100% chemicals. 

 

And many of the ingredients with scary sounding names are every bit as natural as anything else you'd put in ice cream. Many of them aren't even processed as much as table sugar. 

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All in the eye of the beholder.     I prefer to have a Straus cow process Marin grass into cream, Petaluma hens process pasture grass into eggs and bees do what bees do.    I know it's all in my head, but my ice cream makes me happy.

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I don't want to speak for @Margaret Pilgrim but I think what she is trying to say, and I agree in a sense, is that you can make truly exceptional ice cream without ever having to add anything else. I'm not good at much in this life, but I have made ice cream countless times at this point and have never felt the need to introduce anything but the usual suspects as far as ingredients go. I do play with different qualities of ingredients, ie chocolates vanillas fruit flavors etc etc, or more or less or no eggs, that kind of thing, it is a balance always... But I've always felt like I have been able to manage the attributes of ice cream with a little less of this or a little more of that. Now I'm not particularly adventurous as far as flavors go, I can understand needing something exotic to balance out some peculiarities of an ingredient that might affect texture or intensity of flavor or whatever. But I feel like I have made some of the best ice cream I've ever had using nothing but milk cream eggs sugar etc.

 

1 hour ago, paulraphael said:

I hate to break it to you, but every batch of ice cream you've ever made was 100% chemicals.

 

I get this argument too, and you are right, but this applies to literally EVERYTHING on this planet... While there are many "chemicals" that may subjectively improve an ice cream, I can't imagine you want to just toss whatever into your food that makes it better just because deep down in its molecular structure somewhere it originated naturally on Earth, if that makes sense.

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@Yiannos Is much more eloquent than I, but, yes, my point was that I don't see the need to add other than fine quality basic ingredients in order to make superb ice cream.    My question is, to what end to you add other than dairy and flavors?  

 

 

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5 hours ago, Yiannos said:

I get this argument too, and you are right, but this applies to literally EVERYTHING on this planet... While there are many "chemicals" that may subjectively improve an ice cream, I can't imagine you want to just toss whatever into your food that makes it better just because deep down in its molecular structure somewhere it originated naturally on Earth, if that makes sense.

 

I'm not suggesting that all ingredients are equal, just that the "natural" vs. "chemical" distinction is almost always both meaningless and useless. 

 

For one thing, when I ask people what these chemicals are that they're worried about, it's usually gums (guar gum, carrageenan, locust bean gum). These are no less natural than anything in your kitchen. Guar gum is flour made from a legume. Locust bean gum is flour made from a tree seed. Carrageenan is rendered Irish moss seaweed. Table sugar is more processed than any of these ingredients. Chocolate is more processed than just about anything.

 

Many ingredients that sound "chemically" to people are just sugars. Dextrose is just glucose. It's flowing through your veins right now, keeping you alive. Fructose is another sugar, found in fruits and all over the natural world. Invert syrup is the primary component of honey. Atomized glucose is glucose syrup that's been dried into a powder. Trehalose is a less common, but naturally occurring sugar. Inulin is a large-molecule sugar extracted from chicory. 

 

So I end up thinking that by "chemical," people mean an unfamiliar ingredient. This is just closed-mindedness—although I get that "gum" isn't an appetizing word. This is a PR problem, not a culinary one.

 

There are some ingredients that can be helpful in ice cream that I can understand calling "unnatural," because they have been so significantly altered from their natural precursors. I don't know exactly where you might draw the line, but carboxymethyl cellulose (cellulose gum) and glycerol monostearate (a lipid used as an emulsifier) aren't things I'd call natural. But they're also harmless. And if they are chemicals, they are chemicals in the exact same sense that water is a chemical. 

 

For perspective, many natural things are not harmless. Consider hemlock. Radon. Shellfish toxin. Botulism. You're more likely to die from the saturated fat in the cream than you are from cellulose gum.

 

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3 hours ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

@Yiannos Is much more eloquent than I, but, yes, my point was that I don't see the need to add other than fine quality basic ingredients in order to make superb ice cream.    My question is, to what end to you add other than dairy and flavors?  

 

I do it to make the ice cream better. I can get smoother textures, better mouthfeel, better body, and better resistance to becoming icy in the freezer, if I go beyond the basic ingredients. Using sugars beyond table sugar lets me independently control the sweetness and hardness of the ice cream. I think most ice cream is too sweet—so sweet that it mutes the flavors I want to be highlighting. But just reducing the sugar turns ice cream into a brick. So I blend alternative sugars. 

 

I use gums. Because I believe you can make much better ice cream with them than without them. Every Michelin 3-star pastry chef whose ice cream techniques I've studied feels the same way. 

 

I use skim milk powder. Because milk and cream don't have enough milk solids to give the kind of body and other characteristics I want. I resisted it for years because it sounded gross. Now I think it's the single best thing you can add to ice cream. I've done blind triangle tests; if the milk powder is good, no one can taste it. But everyone appreciates the texture improvements. 

 

In sorbets I use a whole litany of unusual ingredients with unappealing names. Because every sorbet I've had from traditional recipes has been disastrously too sweet. And the texture has always been disappointing. My ingredients let me make sorbet with 75% fruit—double what I've seen anywhere else. And the sweetness is just enough to complement the fruit, and the texture is like silk. 

 

I made ice cream for years using nothing but old fashioned pantry ingredients. I pushed the quality as far as I could, but never got it as far as I wanted. Opening my mind to new ingredients and techniques made it possible to take things to a whole different level. 

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1 hour ago, paulraphael said:

 

I do it to make the ice cream better. I can get smoother textures, better mouthfeel, better body, and better resistance to becoming icy in the freezer, if I go beyond the basic ingredients. Using sugars beyond table sugar lets me independently control the sweetness and hardness of the ice cream. I think most ice cream is too sweet—so sweet that it mutes the flavors I want to be highlighting. But just reducing the sugar turns ice cream into a brick. So I blend alternative sugars. 

 

I use gums. Because I believe you can make much better ice cream with them than without them. Every Michelin 3-star pastry chef whose ice cream techniques I've studied feels the same way. 

 

I use skim milk powder. Because milk and cream don't have enough milk solids to give the kind of body and other characteristics I want. I resisted it for years because it sounded gross. Now I think it's the single best thing you can add to ice cream. I've done blind triangle tests; if the milk powder is good, no one can taste it. But everyone appreciates the texture improvements. 

 

In sorbets I use a whole litany of unusual ingredients with unappealing names. Because every sorbet I've had from traditional recipes has been disastrously too sweet. And the texture has always been disappointing. My ingredients let me make sorbet with 75% fruit—double what I've seen anywhere else. And the sweetness is just enough to complement the fruit, and the texture is like silk. 

 

I made ice cream for years using nothing but old fashioned pantry ingredients. I pushed the quality as far as I could, but never got it as far as I wanted. Opening my mind to new ingredients and techniques made it possible to take things to a whole different level. 

I agree here

 

i use dextrose because I don’t want to use a ton of sugar to make my ice cream scoopable. Not because sugar is bad but because I don’t like sweet ice cream.  For example I am about to reformulate my last ice cream to only have a pod of 10.5. 
 

for the gums, I wanted to see if I can make my ice creams better with some pastry chef items. I only used tapioca starch before so I wanted to see what would be the change if I used emulsifiers since I don’t use eggs.  It just makes it so that my Ice cream can survive more than 2 weeks in the freezer. If you get to eat everything in a few days you may skip the emulsifiers and added stabilizers I think. Enough milk proteins and enough cooking would probably get the job done along with more skim milk powder

 

its all about compromise in the end

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7 hours ago, ccp900 said:

If you get to eat everything in a few days you may skip the emulsifiers and added stabilizers I think. Enough milk proteins and enough cooking would probably get the job done along with more skim milk powder

 

its all about compromise in the end

 

I use the stabilizers and emulsifiers (either egg yolk or pure lecithin) even if the ice cream will get eaten in a day. They simply improve the texture and body. 

 

If you have a professional ice cream machine that can freeze a batch in a few minutes—or if you use a Paco-Jet—you won't need stabilizers to get tiny ice crystals. But you might appreciate the ability to tailor the texture to your exact preferences.

 

Emulsifiers about about getting a robust foam structure that has a nice texture and that doesn't collapse too quickly. Egg yolk is a great emulsifier, but you want something else for recipes where eggs aren't appropriate.

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1 hour ago, paulraphael said:

 

I use the stabilizers and emulsifiers (either egg yolk or pure lecithin) even if the ice cream will get eaten in a day. They simply improve the texture and body. 

 

If you have a professional ice cream machine that can freeze a batch in a few minutes—or if you use a Paco-Jet—you won't need stabilizers to get tiny ice crystals. But you might appreciate the ability to tailor the texture to your exact preferences.

 

Emulsifiers about about getting a robust foam structure that has a nice texture and that doesn't collapse too quickly. Egg yolk is a great emulsifier, but you want something else for recipes where eggs aren't appropriate.

Oh I agree with you but we do have other members who would rather not have them in their ice cream.  I understand their position but they are trading off some of the benefits for other benefits of a clean label and their peace of mind that they controlled what got put into their ice cream.

 

i am in the same camp as you though Paul.  I would use these items to help me make my product better, part of it is knowing I can share this with someone and it will act like a commercial ice cream so I don’t need to give them any warnings. Just stick it in your freezer and enjoy.  Maybe a small instruction to temper a few minutes if I formulate it harder so I can accommodate different freezer temps.

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You know, thinking about this (ingredients in ice cream) a little more, wouldn't the holy grail actually be creating a perfect vanilla ice cream (let's set aside how long it's going to sit in your freezer for - this isn't an Albert Brooks' movie) using only the "traditional" ingredients; i.e. milk, cream, sugar, vanilla bean?

 

I mean, that's how Straus does it, and if they can do it and be commercially successful...

 

Quote

Straus Family Creamery Organic Vanilla Bean Ice Cream begins with premium organic milk and organic cream. We don’t use any gums, thickeners, stabilizers, artificial ingredients, or coloring agents in our ice cream.

 

https://www.strausfamilycreamery.com/product-categories/organic-ice-cream/

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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42 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

What is important is that we each are creating the kind of ice cream that we enjoy.    For us it is McConnells or deviations from David Libovitz.    Different strokes.

 

Is your preference based on a fair comparison, or is it based on ideas? 

 

I made David Lebovitz's recipes for years. And gradually found ways to improve the texture and the purity / intensity of flavors. 

 

My proposition is this: if you tell me the qualities you like in an ice cream (sweetness, hardness at a certain serving temperature, flavor qualities, textural qualities) I believe that I could design a recipe, using a wider palette of ingredients, that you'd prefer in a blind taste taste test. 

 

Whether you or anyone likes the idea of these ingredients is a completely different conversation. 

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