Ice Cream Equipment / June 22, 2018 / Gwendolyn Shin
Custard, ice cream and custard are only differentiated in the commercial world by the addition of egg yolk for a smoother, thicker texture. Only 1.4% of egg yolk by weight legally needs to be added for a genuine custard, but many vendors add more than the legal requirement. Lecithin in the egg yolk is what gives custard their richer, creamier textures! If you choose to add more air to the mixture (also known as overrun), the resulting texture is more like a mousse and can be used in different gourmet desserts. Because of its susceptibility to defrosting due to its more sensitive makeup, custards are not able to be mass-produced and sold in grocers, making it a desired option at restaurants.
Cuisinart makes another model, the Flavor Duo, with two 1-quart freezer bowls, which enables you to make two different kinds of ice cream simultaneously. These countertop units are very affordable (both well under $100) and produce excellent ice cream and a variety of other frozen desserts. By the way, the difference in these units and the Italian gelato makers costing $600-$700 is the mechanism involved. These more expensive makers do not require pre-frozen freezer bowls, but contain little compressors that actually chill and eventually freeze the ice cream - a much more complex piece of equipment.