Your love is better than ice cream Better than anything else that I’ve tried….
Aaaaaah Sarah Mclachlan, truer words have never been spoken. It’s that season again, or is there a season for ice cream. Personally, I say negative….anytime is ice cream time! Nice easy read today, a little history, how its’ made, and how to make your own.
The origins of frozen desserts are obscure although several accounts exist about their history. Some sources describe ice cream-like foods as originating in Persia as far back as 550 BCE while others claim that the Roman Emperor Nero had ice collected from the Apennine Mountains to produce the first sorbet mixed with honey and wine, although sorbet is nowadays believed have been invented in Persia. Other accounts say ice cream originated in the Mongol Empire and first spread to China during its expansion.
Its spread throughout Europe is sometimes attributed to Arab traders, but more often to Marco Polo. Though it’s not mentioned in any of his writings, Polo is often credited with introducing sorbet-style desserts to Italy after learning of it during his travels to China. The Italian duchess Catherine de’ Medici is said to have introduced flavored sorbet ices to France when she brought some Italian chefs with her to France upon marrying the Duke of Orléans (Henry II of France) in 1533. One hundred years later, Charles I of England was reportedly so impressed by the “frozen snow” that he offered his own ice cream maker a lifetime pension in return for keeping the formula secret, so that ice cream could be a royal prerogative. There is no evidence to support any of these legends.
The first recipe in French for flavoured ices appears in 1674, in Nicholas Lemery‘s Recueil de curiositéz rares et nouvelles de plus admirables effets de la nature. Recipes for sorbetti saw publication in the 1694 edition of Antonio Latini’s Lo Scalco alla Moderna (The Modern Steward). Recipes for flavoured ices begin to appear in François Massialot’s Nouvelle Instruction pour les Confitures, les Liqueurs, et les Fruits, starting with the 1692 edition. Massialot’s recipes result in a coarse, pebbly texture. Latini claims that the results of his recipes should have the fine consistency of sugar and snow.
ICE CREAM COMPOSITION AND PRODUCTION
In the Canada, ice cream must contain 5 to 16 percent milk fat. Higher milk fat ice creams generally have a smoother texture because they contain a lower amount of water and, therefore, fewer ice crystals. Ice creams that contain less than 10% milk fat are referred to as “ice milk” or more popularly, “low fat” ice cream.
In addition to milk or cream, ice cream often contains stabilizers, like gluten, to help keep the mixture a consistent texture. Sugar or sugar substitutes are usually added to provide the sweet flavor that most people expect. No-sugar-added varieties of ice cream have become popular and rely on the addition of fruit and milk’s natural sugars for their subtle sweetness.
The variety of flavors and additives in ice cream has kept its popularity strong with consumers. From tropical fruits like mango or less common ones like pomegranate to unconventional flavors like coffee or basil, thousands of ice-cream flavors, both savory and sweet, have been created over the years.
If you place a container of milk or cream in the freezer, you’ll end up with a stiff block of frozen liquid, not the soft, creamy ice cream that we’re used to. Special techniques are employed to make ice cream that creates smaller ice crystals and incorporates air, which produces a soft texture.
Constantly churning ice cream, whether by hand or mechanically, ensures that large, stiff ice crystals do not form within the mixture. The churning process also serves to introduce air and create a foam-like texture, further softening the mixture. However, there are no-churn options to make ice cream.
Salt, which lowers the melting point of ice, is often used in the ice-cream making process. When the melting point of ice is lowered, it draws heat out from the ice-cream mixture faster, causing it to freeze at a quicker rate. Freezing the mixture quickly produces smaller ice crystals and a softer final product. The salt that is mixed with the ice never comes in contact with the ice cream and therefore does not affect the sodium content. The salt-filled ice is packed around an inner ice-cream chamber that keeps the ice cream in and salt out. Liquid nitrogen and dry ice can also be used to make ice cream as they also produce a quick freezing action.
CONCLUSION & OLD WORLD RECIPE
There is a ton of content on frozen desserts and there variations in my year 2 Advanced Culinary & Pastry Arts Program. Remember, I have a promotion on for pre Fall registration at $249 for the year. Here is a little archived recipe from the old world.
Take Tin Ice-Pots, fill them with any Sort of Cream you like, either plain or sweeten’d, or Fruit in it; shut your Pots very close; to six Pots you must allow eighteen or twenty Pound of Ice, breaking the Ice very small; there will be some great Pieces, which lay at the Bottom and Top: You must have a Pail, and lay some Straw at the Bottom; then lay in your Ice, and put in amongst it a Pound of Bay-Salt; set in your Pots of Cream, and lay Ice and Salt between every Pot, that they may not touch; but the Ice must lie round them on every Side; lay a good deal of Ice on the Top, cover the Pail with Straw, set it in a Cellar where no Sun or Light comes, it will be froze in four Hours, but it may stand longer; then take it out just as you use it; hold it in your Hand and it will slip out. When you wou’d freeze any Sort of Fruit, either Cherries, Raspberries, Currants, or Strawberries, fill your Tin-Pots with the Fruit, but as hollow as you can; put to them Lemmonade, made with Spring-Water and Lemmon-Juice sweeten’d; put enough in the Pots to make the Fruit hang together, and put them in Ice as you do Cream.
Cheers, and happy Saturday!