How to Store Homemade Ice Cream
It doesn’t matter whether your ice cream is store-bought or homemade. What is critical is how you store it in your freezer so you will get to enjoy its full flavors and creaminess a lot longer. There are different ways of storing homemade ice cream. Regardless of these so-called “techniques”, there are always key principles to observe when storing ice cream in your freezer.
Maintain the Consistency of the Temperature in the Freezer
The key to storing homemade ice cream is maintaining a consistent freezer temperature of no more than 0 degrees Fahrenheit. What you should know is that ice cream should be consumed in one sitting.
Whenever there is an increase in temperature, some of the ice crystals inside the ice cream begin to melt. If you eat the ice cream right away, then there is no problem. If you return it to the freezer, these melted ice crystals can recrystallize. Unfortunately, they form crunchier and bigger ice crystals. You no longer get to enjoy the creaminess of your ice cream.
Hence, it is important to check the temperature of your freezer so that it is well below 0°F. It will also help if you place the ice cream as far back into the freezer as you possibly can. This is that part of the freezer that has somewhat more consistent temperature. Do not place it near the freezer door. Every time you open the door, the temperature of the freezer increases, melting some of the ice crystals in the ice cream.
Use the Right Container
Making your very own ice cream requires using the right size and shape of container. Professional ice cream makers use blast chillers to create fresh and creamy ice cream. Unfortunately, blast chillers are so expensive that it is not practical for ordinary homes to get one.
What you can do, however, is to use a flat and wide container. Skip the boxy and compact types because they will not give you a ratio between surface area and volume that is high enough to allow for rapid cooling. As such, the ice cream pints that you buy from the store are not the best containers for storing ice cream you made at home. Moreover, always pick a plastic container over glass or ceramic. These two do not make the best containers for ice cream because they take a long time to freeze.
Use an Airtight Container
There are a few reasons why an airtight container is a must whenever storing ice cream. First, your freezer does not only store your creamy frozen delight. It can also house fish, delis, meats, and other stuff that you cram into the freezer. These can have their own flavors that can mix into the ice cream.
We know for a fact that ice cream contains a lot of fat. This has a very uncanny way of absorbing flavor molecules from the air. You might think that frozen fat will not be able to absorb these flavors. This is not true. It can still soak up that fishy odor or the distinct smell of frozen meat in the freezer. The next time you take a spoonful of ice cream, you will get very odd flavors consisting of milk, fish, meat, and what have you. It is not an enjoyable experience.
Another reason why you need an airtight container is the risk of freezer burn. Call it the frostbite on your ice cream. As the air thins out in the freezer, it dehydrates and crystalizes the ice cream surface. When you dig in for a scoop, you will have a hard layer of ice sheet right on top of the ice cream.
Using an airtight container can help address both issues. You get to prevent the mixing of other food flavors into your ice cream. You also get to prevent freezer burn.
To further improve your chances of retaining the freshness and creaminess of your homemade ice cream, it is best to layer the surface of the frozen delight with plastic wrap. Press the plastic wrap onto the surface of the ice cream so that air will not get trapped. With the plastic over the ice cream’s surface, you can now close the airtight lid.
As for the mixing of odors, you can place a box of baking soda in the freezer. Leave the box open for it to soak up the other freezer odors.
Storing your homemade ice cream is all about maintaining the right temperature and using the correct container. This way, you will get to enjoy your homemade ice cream a lot longer.
- 7 Essential Tips for Storing Homemade Ice Cream – The Kitchn