THE LIKE-A-PRO ICE CREAM

Ice Cream
• with xanthan gum •

With milk, cream, sugar, and xanthan gum.

This simple ice cream is just milk, cream, and sugar, thickened with xanthan; in ice cream parlours, you may find it as Fior di Latte Ice Cream. Its flavour is outstanding in its simplicity; after tasting a spoonful, you will wonder why people even put vanilla in ice cream when milk, cream and sugar alone can taste THAT good.

Xanthan gum makes for ice cream with a perfect, full-bodied mouthfeel, which churns beautifully, melts uniformly during serving, and keeps well in the freezer.

No xanthan gum? Here are 3 more ways to make this ice cream:

THE EASY! Crowd-pleasing and easy to make. Eat now, thank us later. With milk, cream, sugar.

THE ITALIAN WAY. This is your hot weather ice cream: easy to make, and resistant to melting. With milk, cream, sugar, corn starch.

THE FRENCH-STYLE ICE CREAM. Rich and velvety, this is a custard-based ice cream; a tad bit tricky to make, but so much worth it. With milk, cream, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla extract.

THE EASY! Crowd-pleasing and easy to make. Eat now, thank us later. With milk, cream, sugar.

THE ITALIAN WAY. This is your hot weather ice cream: easy to make, and resistant to melting. With milk, cream, sugar, corn starch.

THE FRENCH-STYLE ICE CREAM. Rich and velvety, this is a custard-based ice cream; a tad bit tricky to make, but so much worth it. With milk, cream, sugar, vanilla extract, egg yolks.

or see:

The ingredients

Do not reduce or replace anything; everything is there for a reason.

• Milk: use whole milk, with around 3,5% fat. Do not substitute with skimmed milk (lower fat) or non-dairy milk. You need both the fat and the milk proteins for this ice cream recipe.

• Cream (heavy cream – for double cream scroll to the right): for this recipe you can use heavy cream with 35% to 40% fat content. It is ok to use cream suitable for whipping or ultra-pasteurised cream with 35-40% fat content. Do not use low-fat cream or non-dairy cream.

Sugar: use regular sugar (white granulated sugar). Another option is raw cane sugar such as Demerara or Turbinado, which enhances the ice cream’s flavours. Do not use any other sugar or sweetener, natural or artificial, liquid or powder, like honey, stevia, golden syrup, table sweeteners, confectioner’s sugar, etc.

🇬🇧 For UK readers: if you want to use double cream -which has a higher fat content (50%) than heavy cream (35-40% fat)- stir some milk into the double cream to bring it to the right fat content. Instructions in double cream – how to use” notes in the recipe.

• Xanthan gum can be found in speciality shops, health food stores and online. Read more about it here.

• Xanthan gum can be found in speciality shops, health food stores and online. Read more about it here.

• Heavy cream (for double cream scroll right): for this recipe you can use heavy cream with 35% – 40% fat. It is ok to use cream suitable for whipping or ultra-pasteurised cream with 35-40% fat content.

Do not use low-fat cream or non-dairy cream.

🇬🇧 For UK readers: if you want to use double cream -which has a higher fat content (50%) than heavy cream (35-40% fat)- stir some milk into the double cream to bring it to the right fat content. Instructions in Double cream: how to use” notes in the recipe.

• Milk: use whole milk, with around 3,5% fat. Do not substitute with skimmed milk (lower fat) or non-dairy milk. You need both the fat and the milk proteins for this ice cream recipe.

Sugar: use regular sugar (white granulated sugar). Another option is raw cane sugar such as Demerara or Turbinado, which enhances the ice cream’s flavours. Do not use any other sugar or sweetener, natural or artificial, liquid or powder, like honey, stevia, golden syrup, table sweeteners, confectioner’s sugar, etc.

Overview

This is a quick overview of the recipe. If you are new to ice cream making, do read the recipe before proceeding. 

In a medium saucepan bring to a rolling boil 2/3 of the milk & all the sugar.

Pour the boiling milk into a blender jug with the cold cream and the rest 1/3 of the cold milk.

With the blender on, sprinkle the xanthan gum.

Blend for 2 minutes to fully hydrate it.

Strain the ice cream mixture and cool it down over an ice bath.

Put the ice cream mixture in the refrigerator overnight; or until completely cold.

Churn in your ice cream maker until fluffed up and creamy.

Put it in the freezer for a few hours to set. 

As soon as it sets, you can either serve it from the ice cream maker bowl or transfer to a container and store it in the freezer.

The recipe
Ice Cream | with xanthan gum
Ice Cream | with xanthan gum
Ingredients:
Notes:

When making ice cream prefer to weigh all the ingredients by weight. We also recommend weighing the liquids directly into the bowl/pan as you proceed with the recipe instead of transferring them from one bowl to another because this transfer causes a small -but unwanted- loss of quantity.

If you do not have a kitchen scale, follow these guidelines:
• 1 cup (US) = 237 ml | 1 Tbs. = 15 ml

• sugar: measuring sugar in tablespoons is more accurate than measuring it in cups. Use a 15 ml measuring tablespoon (not a regular one); this is 13 gr of sugar. To measure correctly, each time you scoop the sugar, level it with the flat side of a knife.

• liquid ingredients: thoroughly scrape with a rubber spatula any residues left on the sides and bottom of the cup every time you measure something and empty it.

Note that the quantities in each measuring system (grams, ounces, and cups) in our recipes may not be accurate conversions, while any deviations you may notice do not affect the outcome.

This recipe makes a 1.2 litre/quart ice cream mixture (before churning), perfect for ice cream makers with a capacity of 1.5 and up to 2 litres/quarts (like Cuisinart ice cream makers).

If you need to scale the ice cream mixture up or down, use this ratio of the ingredients (in weight only):

milk 50% | cream 35% | sugar 14.88% | xanthan gum 0.12%

in desired total weight of ice cream mixture.

The fat content from the milk and cream in this recipe make for ice cream with approx. 14% fat, which is the lowest in fat we can go in ice cream with xanthan gum before the ice cream texture and mouthfeel start to suffer.

Other than that, we prefer our ice cream richer in butterfat; if you like it this way too, use 425 gr milk (15 oz ) & 575 g cream (20.3 oz); this makes ice cream with approx. 18% fat, with a creamier body and mouthfeel.

You can adjust the quantity of the xanthan gum in the recipe to your liking, depending on the texture you want to achieve:

  • To slightly stabilise the ice cream without affecting its texture and mouthfeel much, use 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum and decrease the sugar by 10 g (0.35 oz)
  • To create a firmer texture, which has a fuller body and mouthfeel, use 1/2 teaspoon as per the recipe (this is 0.12%)
  • For a stretchy texture similar to Booza/salep ice cream, use 1 teaspoon xanthan gum and increase the sugar in the recipe by 15 g (0.5 oz)

You can combine double cream with whole milk to make heavy cream for this recipe. To make 415 g (14.6 oz) heavy cream, you need:

  • 290 g double cream (10.2 oz) (with approx. 50% fat)
  • 125 g/ml whole milk (4.4 oz) (with approx. 3.5% fat) *

To make the heavy cream, put the double cream in a medium bowl and pour in the milk, a little at a time, stirring smoothly with a rubber spatula until smooth. Avoid whisking, as it may turn into whipped cream.

The resulting heavy cream has 36% fat, perfect for this ice cream. Proceed with the recipe, just as if you had the 415 g (14.6 oz) heavy cream needed. 

*this 125 g (4.4 oz) milk is extra to the 590 g milk (20.8 oz) asked in the recipe. So, if using double cream, you will need in total 715 g milk (25.2 oz), from which:

  • 590 g (20.8 oz) are for the recipe; and
  • 125 g (4.4 oz) are mixed with the double cream to make heavy cream

A flexible rubber spatula is good for:
-wiping the bottom of the saucepan when you cook dairy on the stovetop.
-scraping residues from bowls, saucepans etc.

If you do not have one, we strongly encourage you to buy one, preferably a flexible one. 

Instructions
Plan ahead:

The ice cream mixture needs to cool completely before churning, so prepare it in advance (approx. 8 hours) to give it time to chill in the refrigerator.

If your ice cream maker has a removable freezer bowl, put it in the freezer for the whole time indicated by the manufacturer before churning, usually 24 hours.

Step 1: Make the ice cream mixture

If you do not have a thermometer, following the instructions in this step is a foolproof way to bring the ingredients to 52°C/ 125°F before sprinkling the xanthan gum. To sum it up, all we do is combine half of the blend at fridge-cold temperature and the other half at boiling-hot temperature. And that’s it. The blend instantly reaches approx. 52°C/ 125°F  (minor fluctuations in temperature are perfectly fine), which is our target temperature for the xanthan gum to dissolve efficiently.

If you have an instant-read/infrared thermometer, you can skip the instructions in this step and  do this instead: warm the milk, cream and sugar to 60°C/ 140°F, stirring to dissolve the sugar. With the blender on, sprinkle the xanthan gum over the surface and blend for 2 minutes to hydrate the gum.

In this step, we add the xanthan gum to the blender while the blender is running. But some blenders run aggressively, splitting out their content when you remove the lid, so you may want to check beforehand how smoothly your blender runs with 1200 ml of water; you should be able to remove the blender lid without any water split out.
Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender, keeping it submerged at all times to avoid the formation of foam on the surface.

Combine the cream with 1/3 of the milk: pour the cold heavy cream (415 g; 14.6 oz) and 1/3 of the cold milk (200 g; 7 oz; 200 ml) into the blender jug (or a large bow, if using an immersion blender). If you do not proceed with the recipe immediately, put it in the refrigerator to keep cold.

Bring the rest of the milk and the sugar to a boil: pour the rest of the milk (390 g; 13.8 oz) and all the sugar (200 g; 7 oz) into a medium saucepan.

Warm over medium-high heat, often stirring; when it comes to a rolling boil (95°C; 203°F; or when large bubbles which pop vigorously appear on the surface; or if it starts to overflow), immediately remove it from the heat and pour it into the blender jug with the cold cream & milk.

Do not let the milk come to a boil before all the sugar has dissolved, or the milk may curdle. Stirring often helps the sugar dissolve efficiently.

Turn the blender on (medium speed). Note: by blending that much boiling hot milk with that much fridge-cold cream, the blend instantly reaches approx. 52°C; 131°F; this is a good temperature for the xanthan gum to dissolve efficiently. 

Sprinkle in the xanthan gum: with the blender on, slowly sprinkle the xanthan gum (½ tsp.) over the surface and blend for 2 minutes to fully hydrate the xanthan gum. Do not expect the blend to thicken; it will thicken as it cools.

Step 2: Chill the ice cream mixture

Strain the ice cream mixture over a fine-mesh sieve and into a bowl.

Cool it down: prepare an ice bath by putting the bowl with the ice cream mixture into a larger bowl and filling the empty sides with ice cubes and cold water. How many ice cubes? A tray of ice cubes (200 g; 7 oz of ice) is enough to cool down the ice cream mixture: we just need to cool it down until it is no longer warm to the touch so that you can safely put it in the refrigerator. This will take approx. 30 minutes; do stir occasionally.

Chill until completely cold: cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. Xanthan gum needs 6-8 hours in the refrigerator to fully develop, so do not rush the cooling process.

Step 3: Churn the ice cream

Check if the ice cream mixture is cold before churning it: 4ºC–12ºC / 39ºF-54ºF / it feels fridge-cold when you place your index finger into it.

Prepare the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Stir: the ice cream will have slightly thickened after chilling (consistency of heavy cream); give it a nice and thorough stir with a rubber spatula.

This ice cream mixture thickens slightly as it cools, but should still be of pourable consistency. If the ice cream mixture is too thick (like yoghurt), blend it briefly with an immersion/regular blender to loosen it before churning it.

This extra step is well worth the effort because a thick ice cream mixture makes it harder for air pockets to create into it. Not enough air pockets mean the ice cream will be sloppy instead of fluffy after churning; and hard to scoop after freezing.
So if you are after fluffy ice cream, take the time to bring the ice cream mixture to a pourable consistency before churning it.

If you feel unsure about how thick the ice cream mixture should be, prefer to err on the side of fluid and give the ice cream mixture a blend anyway before churning it.

Churn: with the machine running, pour the ice cream mixture through the canister and into the ice cream makerLeave to churn until fluffed up and creamy; depending on your ice cream maker, this can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes.

This ice cream is ready when it is creamy and wavy. The total churning time depends on your ice cream maker and could be anywhere from 30-70 minutes.

To evaluate if it is ready, lift a spoonful; it should be thick enough to stand on the spoon, but it will still be soft like soft-serve ice cream. If it looks watery or starts to melt the moment you spoon it, leave it to churn for longer.

In any case, if you feel doubts about the consistency, leave it to churn for ten minutes more. But beware: at this stage, do not expect it to be like store-bought carton ice cream; for now, it should be more like soft-serve ice cream. It will firm up and become like store-bought ice cream only after it sets in the freezer.

So, stop the ice cream maker when the ice cream is smooth and pliable. If you leave to churn it for much longer, it will start turning grainy.

Warning: some ice cream makers are programmed to stop after a specific time, which doesn’t make sense because the ice cream may need to churn for more to reach its fullest potential. So, if you notice that your ice cream maker stops on its own and upon checking the ice cream, you find that it is sloppy instead of fluffy, try to turn the machine on again and leave it to churn until it reaches the desired texture.

Step 4: Put the ice cream in the freezer to set
Put in the freezer to set: before serving the ice cream or moving it to a container for storing, you have to put it in the freezer to set. To do so, turn off the ice cream maker and: 
· remove the removable freezer bowl (still filled with the ice cream) from the ice cream machine
· remove the paddle, scraping any ice cream attached to it back into the ice cream bowl 
· cover the ice cream bowl and place it in the freezer 
Setting time depends on many factors; see notes below for indicative times.

Serve or store: when it sets, you can serve it directly from the removable freezer bowl or transfer it to an airtight container for longer storage.

The setting time for the ice cream largely depends on the type of ice cream maker you use.

It can take :

  • 1-5 hours for removable freezer bowls (these are the ice cream maker bowls which you should pre-freeze before churning)
  • 1-2 hours for aluminium bowls (these are the bowls from compressor ice cream makers)

Note: the times given are indicative. Setting time depends on many factors.

Check it occasionally (approx. every 2 hours; or as needed) while it is in the freezer. The ice cream is ready when it has an internal temperature of -11ºC / 12ºF. If you do not have a thermometer, to evaluate if the ice cream has set, insert a round tip knife into it, all the way to the bottom: 

  • when the ice cream is ready, it feels firm as you go down, but at the same time it is soft enough to insert the knife into it; it should have this same firm consistency from top to bottom.
  • not ready yet: it will feel hard on the top and softer as you go down
  • if left in the freezer for too long: it will be too hard for the knife to insert into it and too hard to scoop out of the ice cream bowl. Do not worry, though! Read right below how to soften it.

If the ice cream stays in the removable freezer bowl for too long, it will harden and be difficult to remove or serve.

To make it scoopable again, leave it in the refrigerator to soften. That can take:

  • anywhere from 4 to 10 hours for removable freezer bowls (the ones which need pre-freezing before churning)
  • 1-2 hours for aluminium bowls (these are the bowls from compressor ice cream makers)

(Note: the time given is indicative, time may vary depending on many factors, so do check it occasionally as it sits in the refrigerator.)

When the ice cream is easy to scoop (or it has an internal temperature of approx. -11°C / 12°F if you have a thermometer), you can transfer it to another container and store it in the freezer or serve it directly from the removable freezer bowl.

Straight after churning, the ice cream has a soft-serve consistency and melts immediately upon contact with anything. This makes it impossible to serve or transfer to another container.

Putting it in the freezer after churning sets it and brings it to the right consistency, similar to that of an ice cream parlour’s.

Storing and serving

Storing: in the freezer for one month, covered well to protect it from absorbing the freezer’s smells. 

Scooping: this ice cream, like all artisanal ice cream, freezes hard in the long term. You can make it perfectly scoopable again by putting it in the refrigerator for 45-60 minuter until soft; or until its internal temperature reads -10°C / 14°F.

Instructions

The ice cream mixture needs to cool completely before churning, so prepare it in advance (approx. 8 hours before) to give it time to chill in the refrigerator.

If your ice cream maker has a removable freezer bowl, put it in the freezer for the whole time indicated by the manufacturer before churning, usually 24 hours.

Combine the cream with 1/3 of the milk: pour the cold heavy cream (415 g; 14.6 oz) and 1/3 of the cold milk (200 g; 7 oz; 200 ml) into the blender jug (or a large bow, if using an immersion blender). If you do not proceed with the recipe immediately, put it in the refrigerator to keep cold.

Bring the rest of the milk and the sugar to a boil: pour the rest of the milk (390 g; 13.8 oz) and all the sugar (200 g; 7 oz) into a medium saucepan.

Warm over medium-high heat, often stirring; when it comes to a rolling boil (95°C; 203°F; or when large bubbles which pop vigorously appear on the surface; or if it starts to overflow), immediately remove it from the heat and pour it into the blender jug with the cold cream & milk.

Do not let the milk come to a boil before all the sugar has dissolved, or the milk may curdle. Stirring often helps the sugar dissolve efficiently.

Turn the blender on (medium speed). Note: by blending that much boiling hot milk with that much fridge-cold cream, the blend instantly reaches approx. 52°C; 131°F; this is a good temperature for the xanthan gum to dissolve efficiently. 

Sprinkle in the xanthan gum: with the blender on, slowly sprinkle the xanthan gum (½ tsp.) over the surface and blend for 2 minutes to fully hydrate the xanthan gum. Do not expect the blend to thicken; it will thicken as it cools.

Strain the ice cream mixture over a fine-mesh sieve and into a bowl.

Cool it down: prepare an ice bath by putting the bowl with the ice cream mixture into a larger bowl and filling the empty sides with ice cubes and cold water. How many ice cubes? A tray of ice cubes (200 g; 7 oz of ice) is enough to cool down the ice cream mixture: we just need to cool it down until it is no longer warm to the touch so that you can safely put it in the refrigerator. This will take approx. 30 minutes; do stir occasionally.

Chill until completely cold: cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. Xanthan gum needs 6-8 hours in the refrigerator to fully develop, so do not rush the cooling process.

Check if the ice cream mixture is cold before churning it: 4ºC–12ºC / 39ºF-54ºF / it feels fridge-cold when you place your index finger into it.

Prepare the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Stir: the ice cream may thicken slightly after chilling; give it a vigorous and thorough stirring to loosen it (or a quick blitz with an immersion blender if it is too thick); this will allow it to churn for longer and fluff up.

Churn: with the machine running, pour the ice cream mixture through the canister and into the ice cream makerLeave to churn until fluffed up and creamy; depending on your ice cream maker, this can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes; read more in How do I know when the ice cream is ready in questions & troubleshooting below.

Put in the freezer to set: before serving the ice cream or moving it to a container for storing, you have to put it in the freezer to set. To do so, turn off the ice cream maker and: 

· remove the removable freezer bowl (still filled with the ice cream) from the ice cream machine

· remove the paddle, scraping any ice cream attached to it back into the ice cream bowl 

· cover the ice cream bowl and place it in the freezer 

Setting time depends on many factors; read How long does it take for the ice cream to set in questions & troubleshooting below.

Serve or store: as soon as it sets, you can either serve it directly from the removable freezer bowl or transfer it to an airtight container for longer storing. 

Storing: in the freezer for one month, covered well to protect it from absorbing the freezer’s smells. 

Scooping: this ice cream, like all artisanal ice cream, freezes hard in the long term. You can make it perfectly scoopable again by putting it in the refrigerator for 45-60 minuter until soft; or until its internal temperature reads -10° / 14°F.

If you have an instant-read thermometer, you can skip the instructions in step 1 and do this instead: warm the milk, cream and sugar to 60°C/ 140°F, stirring to dissolve the sugar. With the blender on, sprinkle the xanthan gum over the surface and blend for 2 minutes to hydrate the gum.

If you do not have a thermometer, following the instructions in step 1 is a foolproof way which brings the ingredients to a good temperature (here 52°C/ 125°F) before sprinkling the xanthan gum. To sum it up, all we do is combine half of the blend at fridge-cold temperature and the other half at boiling-hot temperature. And that’s it. The blend instantly reaches approx. 52°C/ 125°F  (minor fluctuations in temperature are perfectly fine).

This ice cream is ready when it is creamy and wavy. The total churning atime depends on your ice cream maker and could be anywhere from 30-70 minutes.

To evaluate if it is ready, lift a spoonful; it should be thick enough to stand on the spoon, but it will still be soft like soft-serve ice cream. If it looks watery or starts to melt the moment you spoon it, leave it to churn for longer.

In any case, if you feel doubts about the consistency, leave it to churn for ten minutes more. But beware: at this stage, do not expect it to be like store-bought carton ice cream; for now, it should be more like soft-serve ice cream. It will firm up and become like store-bought ice cream only after it sets in the freezer.

So, stop the ice cream maker when the ice cream is smooth and pliable. If you leave to churn it for much longer, it will start turning grainy.

Warning: some ice cream makers are programmed to stop after a specific time, which doesn’t make sense because the ice cream may need to churn for more to reach its fullest potential. So, if you notice that your ice cream maker stops on its own and upon checking the ice cream, you find that it is sloppy instead of fluffy, try to turn the machine on again and leave it to churn until it reaches the desired texture.

The setting time for the ice cream largely depends on the type of ice cream maker you use.

It can take :

  • 1-5 hours for removable freezer bowls (these are the ice cream maker bowls which you should pre-freeze before churning)
  • 1-2 hours for aluminium bowls (these are the bowls from compressor ice cream makers)

Note: the times given are indicative. Setting time depends on many factors.

Check it occasionally (approx. every 2 hours; or as needed) while it is in the freezer. The ice cream is ready when it has an internal temperature of -11ºC / 12ºF. If you do not have a thermometer, to evaluate if the ice cream has set, insert a round tip knife into it, all the way to the bottom: 

  • when the ice cream is ready, it feels firm as you go down, but at the same time it is soft enough to insert the knife into it; it should have this same firm consistency from top to bottom.
  • not ready yet: it will feel hard on the top and softer as you go down
  • if left in the freezer for too long: it will be too hard for the knife to insert into it and too hard to scoop out of the ice cream bowl. Do not worry, though! Read right below how to soften it.

If the ice cream stays in the removable freezer bowl for too long, it will harden and be difficult to remove or serve.

To make it scoopable again, leave it in the refrigerator to soften. That can take:

  • anywhere from 4 to 10 hours for removable freezer bowls (the ones which need pre-freezing before churning)
  • 1-2 hours for aluminium bowls (these are the bowls from compressor ice cream makers)

(Note: the time given is indicative, time may vary depending on many factors, so do check it occasionally as it sits in the refrigerator.)

When the ice cream is easy to scoop (or it has an internal temperature of approx. -10°C / 14°F if you have a thermometer), you can transfer it to another container and store it in the freezer or serve it directly from the removable freezer bowl.

4 Responses

  1. Thank you for posting this recipe. I’ve looked high and low for a recipe with these ingredients. You would think that would be easy to find . . . but not so. Do you have a similar recipe using xanthan AND guar?

    1. Thank you for your feedback! I haven’t got to work with guar gum yet to provide you with trustworthy instructions. It is in my plans to create a collection of ice cream recipes using a range of stabilisers, so do check occasionally for new arrivals, which may fit your liking. Until then, you can rest assured that the texture of this ice cream made with just xanthan gum is divine, so I strongly encourage you to give it a try.

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