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Old 04-06-2019, 01:35 AM   #1
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Why temper eggs in ice cream?

All of the ice cream recipes I read say to heat the cream separately then slowly add it to the egg mixture to temper the eggs, then heat the whole thing up to 170 degrees. I don't understand the point of the tempering step. Why can't you just heat the whole mixture to 170 together? If that's the end result then why the extra step? Can someone explain the science behind this?

I get that you don't want to scramble the eggs, but if you're not going past 170 either way, then what difference does it make?

TIA

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Old 04-06-2019, 04:03 AM   #2
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I guess I'm not much of a rebel, I just follow the recipe.

I think that if you mixed all of the cold/room temperature ingredients thoroughly with a whisk, blender or immersion blender then heated the mixture slowly it would be fine as long as you continue stirring the mixture until it thickens.

My thought is that it would be similar to baked egg custard, custard pie, quiche, etc...

Eggs aren't expensive, give it a try!
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Old 04-06-2019, 09:45 AM   #3
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Good question. I don't know the answer, but every recipe that calls for eggs as part of a heated recipe calls for tempering first. I can only assume it's necessary.

Wanna be the first to give it a try and report back to us?
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Old 04-06-2019, 02:05 PM   #4
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Actually I did give it a try. I mixed all of the ingredients together and slowly brought them up to 170. My cooked egg ice cream turned out a fair bit icier than my raw egg ice cream, which was a result I wasn't expecting. I also came out with a bigger post-churning yield. The freezing process caused it to expand a lot more than when the eggs were raw. I thought heating the eggs would make it smoother. I tried to keep everything else the same, but it's possible I made a mistake elsewhere. So I was wondering if anyone understood why this happened.

In the future I'll try the tempering process and see if there's a difference.
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Old 04-06-2019, 04:34 PM   #5
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I haven't made ice cream in years but the ice crystals may be due to freezing too slowly or not stirring/cranking the mixture enough during the freezing process.

I remember that being a problem with some of the old recipes that were made by freezing the mixture in ice cube trays and then beating it with a handheld mixer.

Practice, practice, practice!!!

Good luck and welcome to DC!
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Old 05-22-2019, 03:14 AM   #6
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I finally did the full tempering process with my egg mixture, and I compared the result to ice cream made with raw eggs. Both I and my friend found the batch with raw eggs to be superior. The tempered batch wasn't as rich; it didn't leave that sweet aftertaste on my tongue that makes me want another bite. I understand some people may be concerned about salmonella, and if you feel the need to pasteurize your eggs then so be it, but if you're just looking for the best flavor, skip it.
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