Ice Cream: when to add simple syrup to a standard custard base

I have a question for the ice cream scientists out there! I made a standard sweet cream custard base (cream, milk, egg yolks, sugar), and a simple syrup (the syrup from Jeni's Splendid recipe, but not the same base). Both are chilling now. Should I mix together before churning/freezing in the ice cream maker, or should I churn the custard, and add the syrup toward the end? Will the simple syrup change the creaminess and texture of a standard custard base?

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Karen July 9, 2013
Hi Suzanne. How much sugar did you use in the end? Thanks!
sdebrango July 9, 2013
I used 1/4 cup of sugar, cut the amount in half.
Loves F. May 10, 2013
Suzanne, I'd love to hear how it turns out!
sdebrango May 10, 2013
I am making tomorrow will let you know, following your method.
sdebrango May 12, 2013
It turned out fantastic!! I used David Lebovitz base recipe for vanilla ice cream, added a half a cup of very intense rhubarb syrup while the ice cream churned, also because the syrup was sweet I decreased the sugar and added 2 tbs of cream cheese to the base. When it was done I added roasted strawberries and rhubarb to the ice cream. It is so creamy and delicious, thanks for posting this question I now know I can add simple syrup to my base.
sdebrango May 12, 2013
Here is what it looked like.
Loves F. May 9, 2013
Success! Added the lemon simple syrup toward the end of the freezing/churning, gave it a quick mix in with a spatula, churned for a few more minutes, and it turned out perfect. Exactly the combo of creamy rich ice cream + tart tangy lemon that I was hoping for.
sdebrango May 9, 2013
I am really glad to hear that, I will be doing the same this weekend with the rhubarb syrup.
boulangere May 8, 2013
I've never added simple syrup to a custard base at any point, either, and I can't imagine a reason for doing so. On the other hand, I've often swirled in a variety of curds (lemon, lime, orange, raspberry) with a spatula at the end of the churning period.
Loves F. May 9, 2013
Cynthia, I'm trying to make an intense lemon flavored ice cream, and I thought a simple syrup might be the best way to really get it really lemony, versus just steeping the lemon peel, which makes it tart, but not overly lemony. Aside from curd, do you have recommendations for making a super lemony ice cream? Thanks!
boulangere May 10, 2013
OK, that makes perfect sense. If you added straight lemon to your custard base, you run the risk of it freezing too hard; if too sweet, it may not freeze well at all. You've obviously discovered the perfect balance, and it's great to hear that you are so happy with the results!
Loves F. May 8, 2013
Thanks Suzanne! I have about 1/4-1/2 cup of syrup. I'll give it a try and report back! :)
sdebrango May 8, 2013
Yes please do, I was just thinking about this yesterday. I made a rhubarb simple syrup and wanted to incorporate into ice cream along with some fresh rhubarb. I would love to know how it turns out.
Loves F. May 8, 2013
Suzanne, yes... but I used a different base, so I'm wondering if anyone has tried adding simple syrup to a standard eggyolk custard base (versus the eggless cream cheese base in that lemon ice cream recipe).
sdebrango May 8, 2013
I would do it the same way, I have added macerated fruit that is somewhat syrupy to ice cream while it churns and it turns out great. I don't know the answer to this definitively but if I were making it I would add the syrup through the hole in the top while it's churning. Maybe someone who has done this will weigh in. How much syrup are you planning on adding?
sdebrango May 8, 2013
In the recipe she say's this: Freeze: Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister and turn on the machine. Pour the lemon syrup through the opening in the top of the machine, and continue to spin the ice cream until thick and creamy.
Is this what you mean?
ChefJune May 8, 2013
What an interesting question y ou've posed. I say taht because altho I've been making ice cream for more than 30 years, I've never yet combined a syrup with the custard. I just churn the custard. I use the syrups when I'm making sorbet.
Loves F. May 8, 2013
I guess I'll find out! :) I also heard that bi-rite uses lemon curd in their lemon ice cream... I thought/hope a lemon syrup (or curd) would pack a bigger lemon punch than just steeped zest & juice...
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