I'm hoping to serve homemade buttermilk rum raisin ice cream with my homemade apple pie for Thanksgiving - but I'm worried about presentation and serving because my test ice cream is still soft even after a night in the freezer. Is the alcohol content the only thing keeping it from hardening? Would cooking off the alcohol help?



likestocooklovestoeat November 26, 2010
Just reporting in; after some research, we guessed that the higher than average fat content might be keeping it soft (20 percent, when high-end ice creams are 16) so we dropped that down, lowered the alcohol content slightly (sigh) and used the turbo-boost button on our chest freezer. Voila! It was delicious. Thanks everyone!
amysarah November 22, 2010
Definitely the alcohol keeping it soft. It may firm up a bit in a day or two, but I wouldn't worry about it - just call it Rum Raisin Semifreddo and pretend it was intentional. (Sounds delicious with the buttermilk, btw.)
Sadassa_Ulna November 22, 2010
Hi likestocook, I keep posting because coincidentally I just made delicious homemade ice cream. Your ratio sounds so low that I really [really really] think it will firm up if left in there a couple more days, of course assuming your freezer is functioning normally. It does sound divine! Nearly all ice cream has sugar as a main ingredient so even that is probably OK! Happy Thanksgiving!
likestocooklovestoeat November 22, 2010
The ratio is about 1 part alcohol to 27 parts other liquids (cream, milk, etc.) - so, pretty small! Reducing the sugar and giving it a hard freeze sound like good options. Thanks!
betteirene November 22, 2010
This is sorta like the moral of Toy Story: You can't play with your Woody when you've got a Buzz. It's okay. It happens to everyone sometimes. (TWSS)

Sugar also prevents ice cream from becoming rock hard, so you might tweak that down a little.
Sadassa_Ulna November 22, 2010
I made a still-freeze (ie no churn) delmonico-style ice cream a week or so ago with a ratio of 2 cups cream (+ 2 whipped egg whites) to 1/8 cup Grand Marnier; a day later it was not as hard as I wanted [T.W.S.S.] but a week later it was SUBLIME. I also made a pear sorbet that was probably a volume of 2 cups liquid (pureed cooked pears with maple syrup) with 1/8 cup cognac, which also took more than a day to get to the right degree of hardness. Too much alcohol can make it too soft but the right amount will make it perfect and not too ice-hard. I say keep it in the freezer, it might be on the softer side but probably still delicious, or it might be perfect . . .
drbabs November 22, 2010
yum yum yum
Serve it soft.
Savorykitchen November 22, 2010
Adding to the consensus that it's the booze keeping it from hardening fully (that's what she said - sorry, couldn't help it). Seriously though, two thoughts: take half the rum called for and boil it down by half. Use the reduced rum & more straight rum in the recipe. You'll still get the rum flavor, but less alcohol. Second, don't worry about it and serve a soft, boozy ice cream. A super-fancy ice cream place in San Francisco (Humphrey Slocombe) serves a bourbon-rich ice cream called Secret Breakfast. It's never hard and they make no apologies for it - it's just deliciously boozy.
innoabrd November 22, 2010
The alcohol will keep it soft. You could try cooking the alcohol off, but I think you'd loose a lot of the tang that it adds to the ice cream. You might try using a bit less? I remember an ice cream shop in Northampton (Bart's) that experimented with a tequila sunrise ice cream. tasty, but they never could get it totally hard.
Sadassa_Ulna November 22, 2010
I think a few more nights in the freezer will get it harder than it is. I just served homemade sorbet and ice cream for dessert and it was definitely harder than it was after one night. How much alcohol is in there -the ratio of alcohol to other liquid ingredients?
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