Ice Cream and Gelato - Definition - How to Make

ICES, with their accompanying “petits fours,” bring the dinner to a close—at least as far as Cookery is concerned; and, when they are well prepared and daintily dished, they are the consummation of all that is delicate and good. In no other department of the work has the culinary artist so freely indulged his fancy, or created such delectable kickshaws; and, though Italy be the cradle of the ice-worker's art, though the Neapolitans have deservedly maintained their reputation as authorities in this matter, to French workmen, certainly, is due the credit of those innovations which have perfected this important branch of dietetic science.
p 19  Freezer

Whatever be the kind of ices required, they should always be prepared in advance; for none of these preparations can be made ready at a moment's notice.
There are two distinct operations in the confection of ices: (1) The making of the preparation and (2) the freezing and the molding of the preparation. The second operation, which remains the same for all ices, and is the essential part of the procedure.
To freeze an ice preparation is to surround it with broken ice, mixed with sodium chloride (sea-salt or freezing salt) and saltpeter.
The action of these two salts upon the ice causes a considerable drop in the temperature, which speedily congeals any contiguous liquid. Subject to their nature, ices are either molded and frozen directly in their molds, like the light ices: iced biscuits, iced soufflés, puddings, mousses, parfaits, bombes, etc.; or first frozen in a special utensil called a freezer, and then molded and frozen afresh.
Cream and syrup ices are prepared by another method. The freezers, in which the freezing takes place, are generally wielded by hand, either directly or by means of some mechanism. They should be of pure tin, and fitted, at their base on to a central pivot which turns in a socket, fixed in the wooden case which holds the freezer.
P87 - Marshall’s Patent Ice Cave

Having hermetically closed the latter, surround it with broken ice containing three lbs. of salt and eight oz. of saltpetre per twenty five lbs. The freezer should be one-third of its height out of the ice, in order that no particle of salted ice may accidentally fall into
the preparation while it is being frozen. The ice should be snugly massed, by means of a special pestle, round the freezer. This operation constitutes the packing, and should be effected at least ten minutes in advance if possible.
Having thus prepared the freezer, pour into it the preparation to be frozen and then either keep it in motion by rocking the utensil to and from, by grasping the handle on the cover (if the apparatus is worked by hand), or by turning the handle if the utensil is on a central axle, fitted with the usual mechanism. In either case, the rotary movement of the utensil causes the preparation to splash continually against the sides of the freezer, where it rapidly congeals, and the congealed portions are removed by means of a special spatula, as quickly as they form, until the whole becomes a smooth and homogeneous mass.

The delicacy and creaminess of the ice depend a great deal upon the care with which
this freezing operation is effected; hence the preference which is now given to freezers fitted with a mechanism whereby two fans revolve inside in a direction opposite to that of the body of the machine, and thus not only detach the congealed portions of the
preparation under treatment from the sides of the receptacle, but also work it with a regularity impossible to human motion.


Having thus frozen the preparation, it may now be set in rock form on a napkin, as it used sometimes to be served in the past, or in glasses. But as a rule, it is put into special molds, having closely-fitting covers. These molds should be carefully filled, and
banged on a folded napkin, that the ice may settle and drive out any air which might be the cause of holes being found in the preparation.

When it is filled, place the mold in a receptacle of a suitable size, and surround it with broken ice, prepared as for the packing. The mold should remain at least an hour in the ice, in the case of an ordinary ice, and an extra two hours if the ice be light and not previously frozen as are the Bombes.

When about to serve, take the mold out of the ice; wash it to rid it of the taint of salt; dip it in tepid water for an instant, that the surface of the preparation inside may melt and separate easily from the mold. Overturn the mold; and turn out the ice upon a folded napkin lying on a dish.


Preparations for simple ices are of two kinds: those made from cream, and those made from syrup; the latter being principally used for fruit ices.

As the quantities of sugar and eggs used for these preparations vary exceedingly, the following recipes have been based upon a working average. If creamier ices be required, all that is needed is an increase in the sugar and egg-yolks per quart of milk; while, if the ices be required harder but less creamy, the two ingredients above
mentioned should be proportionately reduced.

As an example of the difference that may exist between cream preparations, I might instance the case of ice-cream, which may be made from seven to sixteen egg-yolks, and six oz. to one lb. of sugar per quart of milk. In regard to ices made from syrups and
fruit, their preparations may measure from 15° to 30° or 32". (saccharometer) respectively.

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