Making Ice Cream the Italian or the French Way

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58 Responses

  1. Fernando says:

    When a recipe about Spanish ice cream?

    • Anders says:

      Dear Fernando – While the “usual” base recipes here normally would apply also to Spanish ice cream-making, the one for Sicilian gelato (check that post!) is probably the historically most “Spanish-influenced”. There are also some very nice flavours particularly connected to Spanish cuisine (Arroz con leche and Turrón, just to mention two). Strawberry and Sangria would probably also be a combination worth trying. On this blog, you may also check out the Crème Brulée ice cream – As you probably know, this is a dessert also known as Crema Catalana. And do not miss the Bienmesabe (Spanish almond cream), a speciality from the Canary island typically paired with vanilla ice cream.

      Stay tuned for more, and do let me know if you have any country-specific suggestions yourself;-)

  2. Tarzan says:

    Loved it

  3. KimmY says:

    I’m looking for information about the French style to write in my academic essay and this helps me a lot, so thank you

  4. osama says:

    Please I want to make real ice cream. I got a restaurant and cafe in Jordan in Irbid city. In my city there is no-one producing ice cream. I got an ice cream maker called Tritico from Bravo. I try to make some and its good but not excellent. I try to use 3 liter milk and about one liter whipped cream and the flavor, adding 3 tablespoons of gelatin and the flavor and sugar from 700 to 900 gr. I try to use butter but there is no difference. I don’t know if I can use egg: I want to sell ice cream to some shops but am afraid of using egg even though my machine can heat the mix to 99 C or 85 C to kill bacteria. Can anyone help me? It is a dream for me to make ice cream and I know the ice cream I produce is Philadelphia. I want the French or Italian ice cream. It looks heavy and more solid to me. Please help me.

    • Anders says:

      Dear Osama,

      If I correctly understand your question, you want to make French or Italian ice cream-types, and not the Philadelphia-type you currently have tried. As far as I can tell from what you write, it seems that your base mix so far has contained too little fat. While it is a bit difficult to tell without knowing what flavour you have been adding (and how much of it), 3 parts cream and 1 part milk and so little stabilisation (3 tablespoons of gelatin) would make for a rather “thin” ice cream. And while Philadelphia-style ice cream has its charm and advantages, it seems a bit of a shame not to make use of your ice cream machine’s obvious capacity to deal with cooked bases: after all, they do add a certain solid, refined touch to most ice creams 🙂 .

      If you take a look at the two base recipes on this very page, you will see that you need to – generally – add more fat by way of more cream and eggs. As you write, your ice cream machine looks perfectly capable of pasteurising the mix (85 C should normally do very fine) so using eggs should probably not be a cause for health-concerns. You could also experiment with using both eggs and some gelatin, such as in this (rather French-style) ice cream base.
      If you still want to avoid using eggs, you would need to add more fat in some other way. Or use more gelatin. Or some other type of stabilisation. Perhaps you should give Sicilian gelato-base a try: there, you would use starch instead of eggs.
      Best of luck!

      • osama says:

        Thank you very much. Another question – I want to know if the cream I must use must be a heavy cream or whipped cream? Because I used whipped cream. Another question: what is heavy cream? Is it liquid or the liquid of which we make whipped cream? And thank you again.

        • Anders says:

          The classifications of “cream/whipping cream/heavy cream” may differ around the world – go here for a quick overview.

          The recipes on this site (unless otherwise stated) typically assume that your “normal” cream would hold a fat-content of about 30-35 %.

  5. Sue says:

    At last I have found someone who explains the ice cream process and reasoning very clearly. Thank you for sharing your knowledge! I have just made some ice cream using your recipe! Thank you!

  6. Thomas says:

    Italians make the best Gelato (ice cream). I swear you feel as if heaven came down upon you.

  7. Yiannis says:

    I really like your recipes. I need your help. I’m originally from Greece and over there we really like the French style ice cream – parfait. Do you know where can I find recipes?

  8. Chris M says:

    Your recipe for Italian ice cream is the first ice cream recipe I’ve tried, and let me say that it is the best ice cream my wife and I have ever tasted.

  9. Rose says:

    Hello Anders

    What would be the fastest way to cool the custard mix after it’s been heated? Also whats the best way to lower the melting point of ice cream?

    • Anders says:

      Hi Rose,

      Since most of us lack access to liquid nitrogen at home, the fastest “household friendly” way that I know of is probably to prepare a bowl (or the sink) with cold water and ice cubes and let the container with custard cool down there. In the winter, if you happen to be living somewhere cold and snowy, you may of course also chill the custard in the snow of your backyard.

      As soon as the custard is cool, you could transfer it to the refrigerator for further chilling OR even put it in the freezer if you want to chill even quicker (just make sure that it does not begin to freeze, in case you did not plan on eventually still-freezing the ice cream anyway 😉 )

      I’m not really sure that I get your second question: do you want to know how to make the ice cream melt/soften more quickly? If so, reducing fats and solids while increasing sugars (and, possibly alcohol) would help (If, on the other hand, your question is about how to lower the freezing point of ice [i e, going back to the scientific breakthrough when mankind learned how to freeze ice cream long before the era of freezers], I recommend a visit to the science page 🙂 )

  10. Sam says:

    Would you say that most Italian gelato shops use pre made mixes for their gelato or is everything made from scratch. If made from scratch do they use variations of your recipes or do they also still add stabilizers (other than eggs)?

    • Anders says:

      It would be kind of difficult to make such sweeping generalisations but pre-made mixtures are certainly much more widespread today than many gelaterias like their customers to believe. So, support the ones who try to stick to more ‘natural’ gelato!
      As to stabilisers/emulsifiers, there are other ones than eggs which (IMHO) still could be acceptable to lovers of good, wholesome gelato. Best is if the gelateria clearly indicates the ingredients used – then, everyone can make his or her own choice 🙂

  11. francesco says:

    Hi Anders,

    very good site with a lot of information thank You.

    one question how long you can keep the italian base mix in the fridge ,not as ice cream as liquid base.

    Thank You

    • Anders says:

      Hi Francesco,
      Glad to hear that you like the site 🙂
      Provided that you start out with good, fresh (enough) ingredients, you could probably store an Italian base mix in the fridge for at least a couple of days (and probably even a bit longer).

  12. Rodney Worman says:

    If substituting tapioca starch for corn starch, is it identical in quantity? Also, is a tsp. of corn syrup the same as a tsp. of sugar? Thank you.

    • Anders says:

      Dear Rodney,
      From what I have gathered, you would typically need to double the amount of tapiocha (= for the equivalence of 1 tablespoon corn starch, use 2 tablespoons of tapiocha). If you try it, do let me know how it worked out!

      And no, a tsp of corn syrup is not the same as a tsp of sugar: corn syrup is a type of inverted sugar and therefore much sweeter per quantity than ‘ordinary’ caster sugar. The main reason for using inverted sugar in ice cream is typically to improve the consistency (through the anti-freezing/softening effects of sugar) without adding the amount of extra sweetness to the flavour that ordinary sugar would bring.

  13. Simon says:

    Hi Anders
    Do you think it would work using a home pasteurizer when adding eggs for the base ?
    I am setting up in a very small area so wanting to keep the process as simple as possible and really like the french style


    • Anders says:

      Hi Simon,
      If you are about to take up commercial ice cream-production, you would probably do well to check with the appropriate local authorities dealing with food health and safety standards where you are.
      Otherwise and generally, I would assume that it probably could work fine (compare the “modern method” of making custard, where all ingredients including the egg yolks are put together from the very start), as long as the pasteurizer in question actually can handle eggs too: this may differ between different types of machines, so check with your seller!

  14. Marty Martin says:

    Hey there Anders…can one use egg yolk solids to replace the egg yolk component in those recipes that use eggs? Also, I try to use nothing but pure maple syrup to sweeten the base. Do you know of any good recipes that will help me in the conversion and what the drawbacks of using liquid-based sweeteners might be?

    • Anders says:

      Hey Marty,

      On the egg yolk solids: there are many commercial powder-based ice cream mixtures for ‘genuine’ Italian gelato flavours out there, and I bet that they don’t contain any fresh eggs so yes – you could do it 😉

      On the maple syrup: you can certainly use maple syrup as your sweetener, bearing in mind that already a quite small quantity is likely to add the maple syrup’s quite particular flavour to the ice cream. While this can be great and even desirable in certain combinations (maple walnut comes to mind 😉 ), the resulting flavour-clash might be less fortunate in other cases …
      For conversion, go with 3/4 cup of maple syrup for 1 cup of white sugar. Since maple syrup contains quite a lot of liquid (a bit over 40 %, in fact), it won’t really add much body to the ice cream. In other words, the extra liquid needs to be balanced somehow, for example by using more cream and less, or even no milk at all, in the base. While maple syrup does contain a (quite small) amount of inverted sugar, the rest of its sweetness actually comes from good ol’ sucrose: the typical anti-freeze effect caused by inverted sugars will therefore be quite mild. Still, if you only use maple syrup it still adds up and might be something to at least bear in mind. Best of luck!

  15. hind says:

    Amazing site.. helpful! Thanks

  16. Hey Anders, today I made my first ice cream ever.
    I used your Italian style recipe for the custard and the easy method mix all together and than heating up in a water bath. And I worked very well!
    I made a Stracciatella ice cream with this base and it was absolutely unbelievable! It was gorgeous.
    Unfortunately I used only half the amount of your recipe so everything is already eaten! 😉
    My husband loved it, too. Although he is not so in Stracciatella, he directly asked for more after a first try.
    So thank you very much for this wonderful recipes and your beautiful blog!
    Grettings Jeannette

    • Anders says:

      Hey Jeannette,
      So glad to hear about your successful stracciatella, and thanks a lot for your kind words 🙂

  17. salwa says:

    Can’t thank you enough for all the valuable information on your website, just made some olive oil and cracked black pepper Italian gelato, and it is wonderful, just need to go the gym more often now :)))))

    • Anders says:

      Thanks a lot for your kind words! Your gelato sounds really interesting – I am sure it is worth the extra trips to the gym 😉

  18. Carlie says:

    Hey there! I’m looking to recreate a childhood favorite of mine. Would this Italian base be a good version for making Spaghettieis? I’ve yet to find a vanilla ice cream in the states that even compares to that in Europe. Heck yogurt is the same way!

    Thanks a bunch 🙂

    • Anders says:

      Hey Carlie,

      While I can’t really know what your childhood’s Spaghetti-ice cream tasted like, I definitively think that you could be successful with either of the Italian or the French base!
      Both should give you the ‘nice and refined’ custard-based flavour and texture which I believe many associate with high-quality [European] ice cream.
      But there are also other base recipes which might be of interest to you: check out the ones prepared on the stove (custard based and others) here, under “base recipes”.).

      Best of luck in re-creating your Spaghetti ice cream 🙂

  19. Carol says:

    Hello. I’m looking to make frozen custard that we’ve enjoyed at Drew’s in St. Louis. Do you have any recommendations or a recipe to try?

    • Anders says:

      Sorry Carol – I’m not familiar with Drew’s ice cream. But why don’t you try making the Italian or French recipe above (both being custard-based) and see if that might be to your liking? 🙂

    • Marty Martin says:

      Carol…I have been successful at making frozen custard. What is necessary is dehydrated egg yolk solids and lots of cream and half and half…no milk. Additionally, I sweeten my base with pure maple syrup. That seems to form smoother crystals and a creamier texture.

  20. Marty Martin says:

    Oh, and Ted Drew’s is the absolute mostest-bestest-deliciousest substance on the planet…but I finish a close second – even without cocaine…which must be Ted’s secret ingredient. Just sayin’

  21. Tania says:

    Hi Anders! How do I use your base recipes at the top to make other types of ice cream, for instance chocolate or strawberry or mint or salted caramel? I want to specifically use your good base recipe here to make them, seeing that it is a great base recipe to use. Thx so much!

    • Anders says:

      Hi Tania!
      Glad you liked the base recipe(s)! The short reply is that you basically just add the flavour of your choice (strawberries, chocolate, caramel sauce or what have you) to the base.
      But you already knew that, right 😉 ? The problem with giving a more detailed reply is that the proportions of ‘flavour ingredients’ differ since the ingredients themselves can be so different – if you for instance would like to create a “spice” ice cream (like, with cinnamon or saffron), you’d only have to add a little of the spice itself to the base. If you’d like to add fruit puree, on the other hand, you might be looking at adding perhaps about 200 gram or more of mashed fruit. Obviously, if you add “too little” flavouring, the ice cream may turn out too weak-flavoured. If you add “too much”, the flavour might turn out too strong. Worse, however, could be if you add so much that you harm the overall consistency of the ice cream (like if you overdose on alcohol, or bring a lot of extra water to the mix through the use of ‘water-rich’ ingredients).

      I would suggest that you look around for recipes of the specific flavour-type you want to make and let yourself be inspired of the proportions suggested! In many of the recipes on this site, you will also find some words of caution (like on the risk of overdosing on alcohol, if using that as a flavouring agent). Still – experimenting a little can bring you very far, since flavour ultimately is a matter of personal preferences. Best of luck!

      • Tania says:

        Thanks so much. I made the base and added some espresso powder dissolved into some cream and milk, and also another batch using some milo also dissolved the same way, and added some milo at the end for the crunch as well. It was great. I just adjusted according to taste as I mixed them in.

  22. Max and Maria says:

    We’ve loved ice cream all our lives; there was a particularly wonderful shop called ‘Regent’ in Sutton, Surrey which we both remember and lament in equal measure (it closed some years ago, sadly). They sold legendary vanilla ice cream, like nothing else you can buy – like nothing else on Earth!

    Having now bought our first ice cream maker, we’re to try emulating the beautiful taste and consistency of Regent’s vanilla wonder. It was a closely guarded family secret, but we’ve managed to gain at least some insight into how they did it thanks to an exposé written by a (then) milk delivery boy who saw how the owner made it (mixed in a BATHTUB!!!) and has since blabbed on the internet – bless him!

    Armed with his knowledge, the combination of the fantastic tuition/advice offered above AND a specific recipe from your site which sounds similar to what exposé boy reported ( we should be able to achieve something quite similar. The delivery boy reckoned that Regent only used gold top milk, so we’ll use that instead of normal in the recipe and we’ll try to forget how much fat/sugar/calories are going to be involved.

    We’ll give it a go and if it’s good, we’ll try it again in about a year’s time. Any more often than that and we’ll need to visit the local cardiac ward for a heart colesterol scrape!!!! :-))

    • Anders says:

      Dear Max and Maria,
      Thanks for sharing the story about the marvelous ice cream from Regent, and best of luck with recreating that glorious vanilla (while keeping your own cholesterol levels at sustainable levels ;-))! I’d love to hear more about your exploits so please feel welcome to share if you feel your experiments turn out to be successful :-).

      • Max and Maria says:

        Hi Anders,

        Thanks so much for your reply and even more so for your extraordinary site! To say that the Butter Queen Vanilla was a success is putting it mildly. I’ve never followed a recipe and technique more closely; combined the temperatures and some of the method – including tempering – mentioned on this page with the ingredients AND method on the Butter Queen page. The resultant taste and texture was in fact better than we remember of our beloved Regent – both my wife and younger son (@18 years of age, too young to recall Regent but old enough to know a damn fine ice cream!) stated that it was the best ice cream they’d ever tasted.

        I had to make 2 batches in the end, to avoid over-filling the ice cream maker. Second batch was refrigerated overnight and, when I churned it this afternoon, was “enhanced” with 10ml of Cointreau. Unnecessary perhaps, but I couldn’t resist. Initial results for the 2nd batch are of a slightly orange hinted softer scoop version of the first batch.

        Stuff the cholesterol levels, this is just the best ever ice cream!!!!

        Thank-you thank-you and thank-you again!!!!

        Kindest regards,

        Max and Maria

        • Anders says:

          Dear Max and Maria,

          That`s great to hear! Thank you so much for your kind words, and all the best with any future ice cream experiments 😀 !

  23. Arturo gonzales says:

    Hello! I loved ur post. I would like to make a lemon ice cream and a mojito ice cream. Could you help me with the recipe. Thanks a lot

    • Anders says:

      Hello Arturo,

      Glad to hear that you like the post! You can search for some inspirational recipes here on the site, but I assume that you perhaps would like to use a custard (Italian-French style) base? If so, you can basically use the base recipe here, exclude the vanilla and instead add the other flavours you want.

      For a lemon version, you could simply add the juice and zest of a couple of lemons or so to the base before churning (the amount of lemon depending on how lemony you want the ice cream to be). I have not yet made any mojito ice cream myself, but the principle remains the same: once you take off the base from the heat, add some roughly chopped mint leaves and leave to soak for a few hours while the base cools down. Then add some lime juice and lime zest. If you like, you could also include a little rhum (about 1-2 tablespoons should be enough).

      Do some experimenting so that you get the proportions of taste that appeal to you the most! Best of luck!

  24. Eugena says:

    Dear Anders,
    Good day to you. I am Eugena from Singapore.
    May I know that if I would like to add flavour to the ice cream (e.g: Pistachios ice cream), I just need to add the pistachios paste to the ice cream base?

    Thank You.

  25. Mark says:

    Hi Anders, love your site! I am a new ice cream maker and I had a quick question about sugar content. Should the total amount of sugar (including the base and flavoring) equal to around 1cup? For instance, the base i use calls for 1cup of sugar. If the flavoring recipe calls for a half cup of sugar, should i then reduce the sugar content of the base down to half cup as well?

    • Anders says:

      Hi Mark,and happy that you love the site!
      The short reply to your question is that this depends on what the rest of your recipe is like, as well as your personal preferences 🙂. In many cases, the base recipe only “takes care” of itself, and things like added fruit will need additional sugar for the overall ice cream to work. One rule of thumb is that the total sugar content should be around 15 %, but you will find recipes that deviate from that and still work well. Check some of the other recipes on the site that may be similar to your intended recipe and compare!

  1. 05/02/2015

    […] De auteur van dit artikel begint met de basis (voor een Franse bereiding): een custard waaraan je smaken toevoegt. Voor de geeks: de Franse staat tegenover de Italiaanse bereiding: meer/minder room vs meer/minder melk. […]

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  3. 02/09/2020

    […] is basically Italian ice cream. Agitated at a more slow rate, it will in general have more milk and less cream than ice cream. At […]

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