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Why Are There So Many Eggs In The Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe?

Asked by AlexStenning. Answered on 5th September 2023

Full question

Why so many eggs in the Strawberry Ice Cream recipe? As I peruse the various recipes it seems that even the most generous ice creams with custard use 4 or 6 egg yolks?

Strawberry Ice Cream
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
Strawberry Ice Cream
By Nigella
  • 14
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Our answer

Nigella's Strawberry Ice Cream (from NIGELLA SUMMER) is made from a custard base that has a homemade strawberry puree added. The recipe starts by making 1 litre (4 cups) of egg custard. The egg yolks are the only thing that thicken the custard and normally you would use 1 egg yolk to thicken 100-150ml (7 tbsp-2/3 cup) of liquid. So 10 egg yolks for 1 litre of liquid is not unusually high. Some recipes will add other thickeners such as cornflour (cornstarch) or xanthan gum, which can lower the number of egg yolks required.

The chilled custard is then mixed with approximately 500ml (2 cups) of strawberry puree. The high number of egg yolks makes sure that the ice cream retains a rich and creamy taste and texture, which can be lost if the recipe skimps on the egg yolks. Leftover egg whites freeze well in an airtight container for up to 3 months and can be thawed and used for meringues or pavlovas, such as Nigella's Rose And Pepper Pavlova With Passionfruit And Strawberries.

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