Utah puts out some mighty fine ice cream. Some of the best Utah ice cream comes from the Brigham Young University Creamery. Any amens out there?
How about some amens for Nielsen’s Frozen Custard? Sooooo smooth and creamy. It definitely trumps BYU ice cream. Sorry about that.
Frozen custard is not a Utah phenomenon. There are frozen custard places all over the country and pretty much each of these places has a following. Typically there are lines of people waiting to indulge themselves in frozen custard concoctions referred to as ‘concretes’. This is simply frozen custard with added ingredients of your choice. Berries, chopped nuts, or chopped candy bars are particular favorites.
How about some amens for making your own frozen custard at home? Hang on, my lovlies; the recipe is on its way. But first, let’s talk about the difference between ice cream and frozen custard.
When my inquiring mind first asked the universally important question about what made frozen custard different than ice cream, the answer I was given was a mysterious “It has eggs in it”. I thought about what I knew about making ice cream and decided that maybe I must be misguided because I had made ice cream with and without eggs, so I didn’t say anything. There must be something more than just eggs to make it a frozen custard instead of an ice cream.
Ice cream comes in two varieties, Philadelphia style and French style. Philadelphia style ice cream is made with milk, sugar, and cream as the main ingredients. French style ice cream has all of those good things plus egg yolks and in short, the ice cream is made from a custard base.
Philadelphia style, a.k.a. American style, is delicious of course. However, an ice cream made from a custard base is outstanding. It is silky, smooth, and creamy with smaller and fewer ice crystals. So now the real question becomes ‘what is the difference between a custard based ice cream and frozen custard’? The real, true, honest-to-goodness answer is “not much”, especially if we are talking a high quality French-style ice cream.
By law, the weight of frozen custard must be a minimum of 1.4% egg yolk. 1.399999999999% = ice cream. 1.4% or more = frozen custard. Additionally, there is less air in frozen custard than there is in ice cream, which makes for a denser product. Frozen custard is also smoother than ice cream because it contains less or smaller ice crystals.
How Much Does Your Ice Cream Weigh?
I’m sorry, but I really must interject a personal observation here. Have you, by chance, ever noticed the difference in the weight of various ice creams? One day a few years ago while grocery shopping, I grabbed a carton of my favorite ice cream and started to put it in my grocery cart. I stopped dead in my tracks and balanced the carton in my hand. It didn’t feel right; as if it hadn’t been filled all the way. So, I put it back in the freezer case and picked up another carton. It, too, felt too light. Pretty soon I was comparing the ice creams’ weights brand by brand. That’s when I discovered that the ice cream industry had resorted to some pretty underhanded practices.
Just because the carton states that there are two quarts of ice cream by volume, the weight of those two quarts varies from carton to carton. Air can be added to ice cream, thereby giving it more volume. Volume and weight are not the same thing. As much as you’d like to think that the pricier ice creams have more weight, I have found that it is not so. I’d mention them by name, but I’d probably get in trouble. I will say, however, that Ben and Jerry’s is not on the cheater list. I give credit where credit is due.
With frozen custard, technique is also involved in the success of the end product. Frozen custard is richer in fat, but is served at a slightly higher temperature than ice cream, which makes the product softer. Frozen custard also has less air incorporated into it. It is slow churned. While the typical home ice cream freezer speed cannot be controlled, a beautiful end product can still be obtained.
So, ladies and gentlemen, make your own ice cream or frozen yogurt or frozen custard. Start out with something easy and work your way up from there. You can do it, I know you can. Below is a step by step tutorial. The beauty of making your own frozen custard, ice cream, etc. is that you get to choose the ingredients and the quality of the ingredients.
Whether you want to call it French style ice cream or frozen custard, it makes no difference to me. Personally, I’m going with the frozen custard theme.
At this point there are more choices to make: 1) eat it now; 2) put it in a container and allow it freeze for several hours in the freezer. I do both, but at my house I’m the only one who gets to do this because I’m the cook.
Photo shoot aftermath.