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Ice Cream Tips and Tricks

Everyday Food, June 2009

Making Custard 
Using a heavy-bottomed saucepan will help the custard cook evenly. As you stir, always scrape the bottom of the pan to prevent a layer of overcooked custard from forming. Once the custard is done, strain it to ensure a smooth texture.

Make sure to chill the custard before pouring it into the ice cream maker so that it churns properly. The ice cream is ready when it holds its shape but still sags slightly when the machine is stopped. It won't be as firm as store-bought ice cream until you freeze it.

For perfect scoops, freeze the ice cream in a loaf pan until firm. To serve, run an ice cream scoop down the length of the pan, heating the scoop briefly in warm water between scoops. You can use a scoop with liquid antifreeze inside the handle, which prevents the tool from getting cold -- find it in kitchen stores.

Affordable Indulgence
Making your own ice cream costs about 60 percent less than buying the same amount of gourmet ice cream.

Treats in an Instant
On a Cone
When it comes to summer's simple pleasures, there's nothing like a generous scoop on a sugar or waffle cone. Try dipping it into a bowl of sprinkles or chopped nuts.

In a Sandwich
Press scoops of softened ice cream onto homemade or store-bought cookies for a quick dessert or sweet snack.

In a Float
Make a fun, fizzy dessert in no time by pouring club soda into a glass filled with scoops of ice cream. Try using different flavors and adding a shot of instant espresso, if you like.

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