Orange blossom ice cream (or “In praise of Arrowroot”)

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38 Responses

  1. Katerina says:

    I really like your experimental spirit!

  2. Anders says:

    Thank you Katerina! Coming from you, that means a lot to me 🙂

  3. Barry Ward says:

    Anders

    This is very similar to your Italian Gelato style using cornstarch – just wondering what you think about any differences between the two. I have made the Gelato using cornstarch with a 50/50 mix of heavy cream (35%) and milk (4%) and been pleased with the result — but I also have made one using only milk (at 4% fat) and was disappointed with it. IT was “OK” — but needed some more fat.

    • Anders says:

      Barry,

      As you probably have noted, I am generally very happy with the results one achieves with the Sicilian gelato base. The base is versatile, does not “stand in the way” of the flavours used and typically provides excellent shape-retention and smoothness. If no ice cream machine is at hand, this type of base is also my clear favourite. The differences between different types of starch basically come down to the ‘peculiarities’ of those starch-types: a lot is already covered in the post but generally speaking, corn starch demands a little bit more attention, since there is a possibility that ‘under-cooked’ corn starch adds a floury taste to the ice cream (not so for Arrowroot). Corn starch also gives a matte shade to the colours of the ice cream, whereas Arrowroot adds a shine. The consistency difference has been covered in the post 🙂 .

      And I am very happy that you have found proportions of milk/cream that you like! In terms of the ‘structure’ of the ice cream, the starch (whichever type one uses) will generally take good care of the consistency regardless of the exact proportions of milk and cream. In other words, choosing the proper level of cream should largely be a matter of personal preferences, possibly also taking into account what kind of flavour one is about to create.

  4. Jessica says:

    Hello Anders,

    Thank you for this great recipe! As a complete noob with eggs, the Sicilian style was perfect for me 🙂 And this version truly was better, as it doesn’t have that flour flavor of the cornstarch.

    I tried the Scandinavian Vanilla recipe but with this base instead, and it was wonderful. I used tapioca starch instead of arrowroot, and it worked quite well.

    Thanks again!

    • Anders says:

      Jessica, I’m very happy to hear that you liked the recipe (it is one of my own clear favourites too 😉 ). As you’ve already noted, it is really versatile and can be used with good results for a lot of different flavours. Fun to hear about you using tapioca too – did you notice any particular differences compared to when you used the other starches?

      • Jessica says:

        Hello Anders,

        Truly, it’s very versatile. I decided to try with tapioca mainly because I’m not familiar with arrowroot, but I’d heard they could be used interchangeably.

        Tapioca starch was very similar, if not the same, as to what you’ve described with arrowroot. I used the same quantity as well, and it thickened very quickly. Once heated, the mixture reminded me of thick condensed milk. Maybe it’s not as slimy? The ice cream was also a just a little chewy.

        By the way, I thought about suggesting a flavour 🙂 Have you ever heard of sweet corn ice cream?

        • Anders says:

          Jessica, thanks for sharing your tapioca experience!
          I’ve heard about, but never made any, sweet corn ice cream -so, all the more reason for keeping your suggestion in mind when contemplating future experiments 🙂

          • Jessica says:

            Hello Anders,

            I thought I’d try a recipe, and had good results with it 🙂

            In my home country, Brazil, this flavor is very common due to the winter festivities, the “Festa Junina”, in which most delicacies are made of corn. However, it’s used the young corn (“milho verde”), which isn’t very sweet at all.

            Now living in the United States, I used canned corn kernels instead. The corn here tastes much sweeter. As such, I made an ice cream in the style of one of those delicacies instead, the Pamonha. One possibility is to add a bit of cinnamon on top, it will taste like the Curau instead.

            This is the amateurish experimental recipe I used:

            My “Pamonha Ice Cream” 🙂
            – about 300g sweet corn kernels (one can)
            – 350ml whole milk
            – about 200g sweetened condensed milk
            – 1 leveled tablespoon of tapioca starch, maybe even less
            – a pinch of salt (for a salty-sweet flavor)

            It’s very simple. The corn will thicken on its own. The tapioca here is for that chewy consistency.

            Put the corn, condensed milk and most of the whole milk into the blender. Once blended, you must cook it for some time, about 5 minutes, for the flavor to stand out.

            Here I let it stop boiling first then added the tapioca.

            Once cooled, I tried putting it in my ice cream maker, but the machine couldn’t churn it. I put the whole thing in the freezer instead. After about one hour, it had a good consistency.

            In my second experiment with this recipe, I used 500ml of milk instead, to see if it would churn. It did, but it didn’t taste as good.

            I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to change or improve it! ^^

  5. Anna says:

    Thank you for sharing the arrowroot technique Anders! I used the base in a bit of an experiment today: goat milk ice cream. I used honey instead of sugar, and no orange essence. I wasn’t sure how the honey would substitute and it is a bit sweet at 1:1. If I make it again I would use 1/4-1/3 cup. That said, the flavor and texture are excellent! It’s a great use of goat milk if you happen to have it.

    • Anders says:

      Dear Anna, happy to hear about your successful goat milk-version!

      As to honey-sugar conversion, a conventional rule of thumb recommendation is to use about 3/4 of the sugar amount (i e 1 cup of sugar translates into 3/4 cup of honey). Given the special flavour of honey, and its inverted sugar characteristics (relatively more powerful anti-freeze per amount, compared to ‘ordinary’ sugar), some also prefer to only replace a part (like, 1/5-1/4) of the ice cream’s sugar with honey. But then again, this depends on the particular flavour and one’s personal preferences (as your excellent honey-goat milk ice cream well proves 😉 ).

      • Anna says:

        Ah, thank you for the honey guidelines! I appreciate you going into the science behind the different ingredients. It’s not only interesting, but helpful for experimenting and improvising as well. 🙂

  6. richard says:

    Hi. I am brand new to icecream making. I’d like to add gelato to my chocolate shop. I made a batch of vanilla using half cream and half milk and arrowroot. I am very happy with the result. I heated mixture to 85 degrees. What do you think the shelf life of gelato is using this method?

    • Anders says:

      Hi Richard,
      While good preparations certainly can contribute to the shelf life of ice cream (and the starch based recipes are good in this respect), the main thing that typically shortens shelf life is storage! And it is usually quite visual too – the cue that an ice cream is past its prime tends to be the frost-like iciness which develops over time (we have probably all found some old, previously forgotten, ice cream now seemingly covered in ice crystals in the freezer …). To keep down this unwanted growth of unpleasant ice crystals good preparations/recipe is important. But what might be the most important issue is probably the amount of temperature fluctuations during storage and distribution (so-called heat shock). This is also the big reason for why one never should attempt to re-freeze served, almost melted ice cream … it will re-freeze, but in a coarse, off-putting way. Anyway: if you do your best to avoid the heat shocks, your ice cream could possibly last in the freezer for quite a long time without any problems.

  7. Daiv says:

    Hi

    I have question :

    I have my own recipe for the ice cream , and I don’t use the heat .

    Can I just add the arrowroot to the recipe without heating it ?

    • Anders says:

      Daiv,

      You may well try, but as far as I know you would normally need the heat in order to properly trigger the “thickening qualities” of the starch. If you normally don’t use heat, I suggest that you give it a try: you are likely to notice quite a big difference 🙂

  8. Per Benckert says:

    I am very thankful today for the information about arrowroot. I have now tested a recipe for my soft serve ice cream. WOW it worked great, what an ice cream. Nice texture, shiny, creamy.

    The arrowroot also solve a big problem for me. When we have few customers and the machine turn on, turn off, turn on to keep the soft ice cream frozen the ice cream gets icy and waterlike. With the arrowroot, wow , it gives perfect ice cream all time 🙂

    The only thing we have to do time to time is to whisk the ice cream material in the hopper. If not, it will stay in the hopper.

    We have a little ice cream shop in Phuket Town, Thailand where we make liqueur ice cream for restaurants.

    Thanks
    Per Benckert

    • Anders says:

      Dear Per,
      Thanks for the kind words, and I’m very happy to hear about your successful use of arrowroot! Best of luck with the ice cream-making 🙂

  9. Peter says:

    Thanks for this wonderful recipe. I substituted the orange blossom water with rose water and made a wonderful rose gelato. I also did 3/4 cup of cream. I also found that 5 TB of arrowroot starch made the mixture a bit too gelatin like after I refrigerated it. After churning, it was better, but I think next time I’ll use 3 to 4 TB and see if I can get a smoother texture. It is still very yummy though. Thanks!

    • Anders says:

      Dear Peter,

      Thanks for the kind words. It really is one of my personal favourite recipes too, and using rose water instead of orange blossom water will, indeed, give a very nice rose gelato. Good luck with finding a “personal favourite”-ratio of arrowroot too 🙂

  10. kenny says:

    Dear Anders,
    I wanted to try this recipe but couldn’t be sure about the amount of arrowroot, do you know how many grams of arrowroot for the recipe?

    Thank you

    • Anders says:

      Dear Kenny,

      According to conventional wisdom 1 tablespoon of arrowroot = about 8 grams. Hope that helps in your calculations!

  11. Tania says:

    Hi there, thank you for all your wonderful recipes. I would like to make a gelato ice cream like the orange blossom but with strawberries. Please could you advise how many strawberries you would use with 700ml of milk and how much arrowroot I would need if adding the extra liquid of the strawberries?
    Many thanks
    Tania

    • Anders says:

      Dear Tania,
      Thank you for your kind words!
      I would suggest that you try with about 300 ml of mashed strawberries (at least). Kind of difficult to say exactly exactly how much more arrowroot you would need to add but perhaps you could try with one extra spoon and see if that works for you.
      All the best, and good luck!

  12. Isaac says:

    Hi, Lovely idea to use orange blossom water – will definitely give that a try.

    I have a question about consistency when using arrowroot: does it stay soft and sort of amorphous, or does it freeze hard enough to form a distinct scoop? As much as I love soft serve ice cream, there are times when I want to be able to shape it into a quenelle for presentation purposes.

    • Anders says:

      Dear Isaac,
      The consistency depends on the temperature, but even though the arrowroot lends a soft and somewhat stretchy/slimy character to the ice cream (in a yummy and nice sense!) when freshly churned, it will freeze hard enough to form distinctive scopes.
      Actually, even when ‘softened up’, you should be able to scope it quite well: do give it a try – it is quite a fun treat 🙂

  13. Khadija says:

    Hi Anders – I am a complete novice at gelato making but have been reading your blog for the last several days as well as a number of other sites. I just bought a Breville ice cream maker and put it to test with an egg based vanilla/cinnamon recipe (& stevia powder instead of sugar due to a diabetic father). It did not come out as smooth/creamy as I had expected and wondering if it has anything to do with not refrigerating the hot mixture before churning it? I used 2″1 milk to heavy cream ratio and cooled it down in an ice bucket instead as we wanted to make the gelato the same evening. Basically, I need to ensure I am using stevia and prefer to do a milk only recipe. I am going to try arrowroot but wanted to see if you had any guidance as to why my prior recipe did not work out as well. Also – if you have any suggestions for a stevia or diabetic friendly recipe – would really appreciate it. thanks!

    • Anders says:

      Hi Khadija,

      The site actually has a dedicated post on ice cream for diabetics and other with special sensitivies: Go here and check it out!

      In short summary (you can read more about the “whys” via the link above), your consistency problem is likely caused by the (relative) lack of fat and sugar in your recipe: both ingredients typically contribute not only to the flavour, but also to the stucture/texture of the ice cream. Starches (like arrowroot) are great for countering the lack of fat, providing the necessary stabilisation. Sugar-replacement can be a bit trickier, as Stevia simply does not have any of the “structural” benefits brought by sugar. As suggested in the link, you may try adding a little alcohol to get a softer finish, or use xylitol instead of stevia.

      Best of luck!

  14. Mahmoud says:

    Hi Anders,

    I have been looking all around the web for an intensive course to learn how to do a Dondurma but i cannot find any. I want to start an ice cream bossiness which serves Dondurma,

    As i can see you are an expert in the field, would really appreciate if you could help me or guide me

    Thanks Ander :),

    Thanks a lot,

    • Anders says:

      Hi Mahmoud,

      Unfortunately, genuine Dondurma requires salep, a flour derived from a special orchid which happens to be on the international CITES list of endangered plant species.
      Outside Turkey, it is therefore difficult and most likely illegal to get hold of it. There has been attempts to re-create Dondurma using other ingredients, however. Read more about that, and about Dondurma in the post on Oriental ice cream. Best of luck!

  15. Carole E. Audette says:

    I have to make this recipe 🙂 ( orange blossom ice cream)
    sounds too delicious.
    could I use full fat coconut milk instead of milk?
    I guess the same base would be allright?
    what about sugar, I would like to avoid sugar as much as possible but I do not want to use stevia or anything that would
    alter the taste of the ice cream.
    thank you.

    • Anders says:

      Hi Carole,

      Sure, I think you could use coconut milk instead of milk/cream (although this, of course, inevitably will affect the overall flavour in a coconut-direction 😉 ).
      It is tricky to avoid sugar, but have you tried xylitol (“birch sugar”)? In my opinion, this is the most “sugar-like” non-sugar sweetener I have come across, and works very well in ice creams too (yes – I do aim to make a post about it someday …). Just avoid over-eating (may cause gas-problems) and don’t feed it to your dog 🙂

  16. Cody Hilton says:

    I really wanted this recipe to turn out especially given I’ve never used Orange Blossom water in cooking. But, the taste was terrible. Me and the kids could barely get down a spoonful. My guess is the Orange Blossom water cast some very bitter flavors. Not sure what went wrong. The only substitution I made was 1 tsp. of vanilla extract added at the time of churning instead of the called-for vanilla power.

    On the bright side using the arrowroot starch was very intriguing and this recipe inspired me to keep experimenting with this technique.

    • Anders says:

      Hi Cody,
      Sorry to hear about your negative experience. I’m not sure about what might have gone wrong either. Possibly, it might be a quality issue with the orange blossom water: while the flavour might not be to everyone’s liking (and which flavour ever is?), it should definitely not taste bitterly.
      Good to hear, though, that you feel inspired to keep experimenting with the base – it is one of my own personal favourites 🙂

  17. sarah says:

    hi, i know its been ages since you posted this recipe- but i just wanted to update my findings. unfortunately i didnt have vanilla extract on hand and decided to make mint ice cream (i hated the mint extract even with other food, idk why i made this bad decision).
    so, i used glucomannan which is available easily nowadays as supplement. i reduced the amount to 2 tbsp, since i am using pure glucomannan instead of the starch itself. ( there is a study that suggested about 0.3% gluccie is good enough). 1 replaced one cup of milk for cream.
    result? still too much gluccie, it tastes plasticky. maybe i will reduce it to 1/2 or 1 tbsp next time. my mistake to also use mint extract, perhaps if using chocolate, it will cover the plasticky taste. otherwise, i am glad i tested this recipe becuase i wanted to find a good less sugar recipe and your recipe is the only.one i found. thanks and i hope my comment will help!

    • Anders says:

      Hi Sarah,
      Glad you liked the recipe, and interesting to hear about your experiments with glucomannan (which I’ve not yet used myself). Best of luck with future batches, which I hope will get you your desired consistency (hopefully also with a flavour you like;-) .

      • sarah says:

        hi again! so i finally got to make the ice cream according to recipe 🙂 only 1/4+1/8 teaspoon pure gluccie needed.. its actually not as finnicky as normal ice cream…tastes delicious…thank you for the recipe . i hope my input will encourage you to try gluccie coz i am an amateur and would love to read your experiments with gluccomannan..

        • Anders says:

          Thanks for the feedback and happy to hear that it worked out well for you! I’ll be sure to keep gluccomannan in mind for the future.

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