Making Ice Cream: Raw vs. Cooked Eggs

Having made about ten batches of ice cream and gelato since I recently got my ice cream maker, I want to share an observation. The basic, crème anglaise method involves combining the equal parts heavy cream and whole milk in a saucepan with sugar and beaten egg yolks, gently cooking it to 170°F., and then cooling it down completely before churning. This yields a rich, dense ice cream. Most of the Ben & Jerry's cookbook recipes use raw, whole beaten eggs, plus two parts heavy cream to one part milk. This yields an airy, light, almost mousse-like ice cream. Regardless of how you do it, you still have to "age" the ice cream in your freezer for 12-24 hrs. before you get a good finished product. Beating egg whites into the mix works a heck of a lot more air in the ice cream, which, to me, defines the difference between cheap, supermarket "box" ice cream, and so-called "premium" ice creams, even more so than the butterfat content. I think Ben & Jerry are dumbing it down, for the sake of ease and instant gratification, rather than producing the best possible result. On the other hand, maybe this rant just reflects my personal taste regarding how dense I like my ice cream. Comments?


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