In my culinary infancy, long before I even had the thought of adding a hydrocolloid/stabilizer/gum to ice cream. There was one ingredient you could add to an ice cream to help prevent crystals. That one ingredient was EGG. Adding egg to your ice cream base was the most common way to make ice creams feel smooth on the palate. Let me preface this by saying these ice creams were made in a small churn and not in an industrial ice cream maker. Small home style ice cream churns freeze the ice cream slowly. The slower the ice cream freezes the larger the ice crystals will be. So what if you wanted the benefits of both an ice cream made with egg and an ice cream made with a stabilizer. Or what if you remove the eggs all together. How does replacing stabilizing ingredients affect the ice cream?
“How does replacing stabilizing ingredients affect an ice cream?”
As the world churns
Anytime you alter a recipe it will change, that seems simple enough. But any time you remove a functional ingredient you will need to replace that function. If you want to replace eggs altogether you will need to increase another ingredient to compensate.
Now it does get tricky in the sense that there are many stabilizers. There are also many different styles of ice cream makers which can be the wild card when making a frozen treat. Every recipe will need to be tested until it is to your liking. When doing this myself I always start at the low end of the ratio given per ingredient. This way you will not immediately ruin the recipe by adding too much of a certain stabilizer.
One thing you must note is what kind of ice cream are you making? While eggs and stabilizers do change the texture of an ice cream, that is not the only factor we must pay attention to. Milk fat content, sugar, and water content all play a factor in what makes your recipe tick. So if you want the best advice for this situation you can base your stabilizing ratio off of the one factor that causes the crystallization issue, water. The reason why is that stabilizers (hydrocolloids) for the most part are not fat soluble so they are really only affecting the water in a recipe. The fat in the egg plays a part in adding richness but the proteins are what change the texture of an ice cream. The proteins solubilize into the water in the recipe. Once the base is heated the mixture becomes a custard and will have a better texture.
So then adding a hydrocolloid to a recipe it is best to focus on how much water is in said recipe. A French style custard ice cream can contain between 50-70% water, gelatos are between 55-60%, and frozen custards are the lowest around 35-45% water. If you have the ability to figure out the amount of water in your recipe then you will be able to hone in your perfect stabilizer amount. Once you know how much water your recipe has then you can do a bit of math and add the correct amount of stabilizer either to enhance the current recipe or to replace another stabilizer. I understand we don’t all have the time for this, that is why we generally provide a ratio range, so when all else fails start on the low end of the ratio and do a few small tests to see what works best for your setup. Testing is always your best friend when attempting something new with your recipe.
Check out these recipes to get inspired:
Raspberry Vanilla Ripple Ice Cream. Devotees of ice cream and sorbet have long been at odds over which frozen confection reigns supreme. We added secret ingredient tara gum to harmonize ice cream and sorbet into one smooth and creamy bite.
Tiramisu Gelato Push Pop. We layered the ageless whimsy of a push pop with the complex and delicious flavors of tiramisu into one unforgettable dessert. Enjoy this classic Italian dessert reimagined as your new favorite summer treat.
Triple Berry Pavlova with Raspberry Sorbet. Celebrate the red, white and blue with a special concoction of meringue, fresh summer berries, whipped cream, and the creamiest raspberry sorbet under the sun. The secret to go saying farewell forever to rock hard, grainy, icy sorbet is adding a touch of Perfect Sorbet. Embrace the great summer weather with an amazing summer dessert