When Ice Cream Doesn’t Freeze

When Ice Cream Doesn’t Freeze

The first attempts at my Vanilla Ice Cream recipe wouldn’t freeze in the maker. I would put it in the fridge’s freezer anyway, hoping the ice cream fairies would fix it up and make it perfectly textured for me overnight.

The fairies were apparently perplexed too because the texture was still lacking the next day…it was more like ‘iced’ cream instead of fluffy frozen.

It wasn’t lack of butterfat. It wasn’t too much cream. And everything was thoroughly chilled.

Too Few Eggs In The Custard

Through the process of elimination (which doesn’t take long with so few ingredients) there was only one thing it could be…it was too few egg yolks! I had been attempting this with four which simply didn’t work to my satisfaction

When you use fruits, chocolates, coconut, and other additional materials, you often don’t need as many as five or six yolks. With the addition of thickening ingredients like bananas you don’t need any egg at all. But if you’re trying to make a custard ice cream and it doesn’t freeze, consider adding more egg yolk.

Not only did the egg yolks aid in the freezing process, the texture…honestly…couldn’t be more perfect! (Happy dance!)

Ingredients And/Or Freezer Bowl Isn’t Chilled Enough

When we want ice cream, we want it now! But patience will save you frustration if you make sure everything that needs chilling is as cold as it can be before using. Your ice cream may fail to freeze because your mix of ingredients or your freezer bowl are still too warm.

If I’m using additional ingredients that are typical stored outside of the fridge and are room temperature (except vanilla extract since I don’t need much) I find it helps to chill it all again after these ingredients are added. Think marshmallows, nuts, flaked coconut, and some fruits. Of course, sometimes the process takes extra time when working with fresh fruit. In that case, when I’m using an egg custard base, I still chill the final mix for an hour before making the ice cream.

Too Much Water In The Bucket

When using an ice and salt maker, sometimes the ice can melt quickly leaving too much water in the bucket. The water, created from the ice melting with the salt, absorbs the heat from the ice cream mixture inside the canister…helping to freeze it. Too much water sitting there can become warmer, keeping the mix from completely freezing.

When this happens, I’ve found it can leave the ice cream at the top nice and frothy while the bottom remains mostly liquid. To fix this, while the maker is running, check the water level beneath the top layers of ice. If you find water about 4 inches below the rim of the bucket, use a baster in the bucket to remove some water but not all of it. Add more ice and salt afterwards since the ice has been floating on the water. You’ll be much happier with the consistency when the machine is done.

Worn Equipment

If this still doesn’t work then, as I found with an old second-hand ice and salt freezer, it may have something to do with the motor of your machine. I think the old maker I tried had a worn motor that no longer churned at the speed needed.

It also helps to have enough mix to fill your ice cream maker container. Making a couple quarts in a four-quart maker may reduce proper freezing. If this is the case and the recipe is for a smaller amount, chill one batch while you make another and then mix them together.

You might also find other tips helpful here.

You’ll find easy recipes here. Have fun!