The Secret of Ice Cream Styles

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WTF Ice Cream Primer: Breaking Down the Perfect Scoop

If you thought vanilla ice cream was a simple affair, think again. We take a deep dive on everything ice cream, covering American, French, and frozen custard style ice cream. We look at everything from cook method, to stabilizers, to churn method, and even scoop-ability. Follow Scott and Janie on this ice cream journey on this week’s episode of WTF.

We Transform Food is a weekly series from Modernist Pantry exploring cool ingredients and gadgets that can help any chef transform food into more memorable experiences.


  • 1. Many heavy creams have stabilizers already added in (ie Carrageenan). Do I need to adjust the amount of Perfect Ice Cream to compensate?
    2. With American Style, if I heat the cream/milk/sugar/vanilla to 180, can I use Perfect Ice Cream instead of Perfect Sorbet? If so, will there be any difference in texture?
    3. Perfect Ice Cream Range is .2-.4% by weight. Looks like with 1.5g in the above recipes you are hitting ~ .3%. What happens when you add more (for example .4%)? Will it get denser or maybe more gummy? Just want to save myself a few test batches :). This probably also relates to question 1 above.

    Thanks for your help. Great products. Just happened to be working with both a sorbet and ice cream with your products this week so the video was perfect timing!

    • Scott Guerin
      July 5, 2022 4:37 pm

      1. We tested with a few different heavy creams. We did not see any interference with the stabilizers currently in the cream.
      2. Yes, you can.
      3. At 0.4 it will be ever so slightly more dense.

  • John Sheffield
    June 29, 2022 7:15 pm

    Can I use more cream and less milk (or maybe just Half and Half or cream) to make American Style Ice Cream without it being icy?

  • Two questions… I add egg yolks without cooking them. I’ve eaten raw egg products without any issues without any issues… still helps with crystallization. does cooking help more than raw? And Alcohol… I often add a liquor to my American style ice cream to help with scoop-ability and ice crystals.

    • Scott Guerin
      July 5, 2022 4:39 pm

      Cooking the eggs will thicken the proteins and create a smoother texture. We didnt want to venture into alcohol in this episode as too many topics can become confusing and rushed. We have a few more ice cream episodes coming in the next few months so keep your eyes out for those.

  • Tamara Pease
    June 30, 2022 10:37 am

    Can you please describe the differences between Locust Bean Gum, Salep, Mastic, and other thickeners/stabilizers? I would like to know about Turkish/Syrian ice creams (sloop), etc.

  • How would the use of artificial sweeteners affect the recipe?

  • Bridget Curry
    June 30, 2022 3:06 pm

    Will adding vodka really make ice cream scoop easier?

  • is there any way to get creamy ice cream with non dairy items

    • Scott Guerin
      July 5, 2022 4:40 pm

      Stay tuned, we have a special episode about dairy free ice creams coming soon!

  • Nancy Hoekman
    July 1, 2022 7:26 am

    What is the formula when using stabilizer when a recipe doesn’t call for it?

    • Scott Guerin
      July 5, 2022 4:42 pm

      We suggest using the usage ratio that is located on the back of the package. But a good starting point for all of them is 0.3% of the total weight of the recipe.

  • jeffrey silman
    July 1, 2022 10:14 am

    this was a very good video tutorial, I’ve been making ice cream for many years using the frozen insert cooling, by everything down, letting it age overnight, and having a very cold insert gives me a really nice not icy French ice cream.

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