Why does homemade icecream only keep one week?

Or, at least that's what it always says when I look at recipes: "use within a week". I don't get it, it's frozen after all! (More specifically, my dad is visiting in a month and I promised chocolate ice cream and I'd theoretically like to get ahead of the game).

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SKK
SKK September 7, 2011

I have friends who have kept it frozen for two months. But after one week, in my opinion, it looses its texture and flavor. The joy of homemade ice cream is in its freshness.

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There'sAlwaysPie
There'sAlwaysPie September 7, 2011

I have made several batches of ice cream and have to agree with SKK in that the joy of homemade is in the freshness. However, it is still edible after one-week. Another thing to remember is that each time you expose the ice cream to air, it affects the texture and consistency. Less is more - so if you make it and then freeze it in an airtight container and don't touch it for a week - you will probably be ok. Better than if you were to open it up every night for a scoop or two. But, how anyone could make a batch of homemade chocolate ice cream and resist eating it for a week is beyond me!

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ChefJune
ChefJune September 7, 2011

It will definitely keep longer than a week, although it does lose that "fersh" feeling and taste; That doesn't mean it won't still be delicious.

As well, home churned ice cream doesn't usually have as much air churned into it, so more ice crystals form as the ice cream "ages." TAPie's suggestion of not opening the container for a week is one good idea for keeping it fresh. Another might be to put part of your batch into a separate container and kind of "bury" it in the freezer until your dad gets there.

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wssmom
wssmom September 7, 2011

The higher the fat content, the longer it will keep without developing ice crystals.

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boulangere
boulangere September 7, 2011

wssmom is spot on, as usual. I use half milk, half cream in ice cream, and it lasts way longer than a week. That said, commercial ice creams typically have all sorts of stabilizers such as carageenan and guar gum to keep all that nice, expensive air locked in : )

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