Can Adding Fruits Help Homemade Ice Cream Stay Frozen For Long?

Homemade ice creams are the best! They are made with natural ingredients and don’t typically have stabilisers or toxic chemicals. Ice cream is a complex blend of water, fat, sugar, air, and solids such as proteins and minerals. Achieving the right balance between these components is crucial for the texture and stability of the ice cream. 

Water forms the ice crystals, fat contributes to creaminess and reduces ice crystal size, sugar lowers the freezing point making the ice cream scoopable at lower temperatures, and air, incorporated during churning, makes the ice cream light and fluffy. However, homemade ice creams melt faster than store-bought ones since they don’t have stabilisers. But did you know adding certain fruits to your homemade ice cream can help them stay frozen for a longer period of time?

The high water content in fruits can lead to ice crystals and the natural sugars in fruits, such as fructose and glucose, lower the freezing point of the mixture, similar to added sugars.

How Fruits Affect Freezing

Adding fruits to ice cream increases its water content, which can dilute the fat and sugar concentration. This dilution can cause the ice cream to become harder and icier. On the positive side, the natural sugars in fruit can help keep the ice cream soft by lowering the freezing point. However, this also means that the ice cream might melt faster when exposed to room temperature.

Some fruits contain pectin and other fibres, which can help stabilize the ice cream and prevent large ice crystals from forming. This can improve the texture by making it smoother. Fruits like berries and apples are particularly good at this due to their high pectin content. Nonetheless, managing the balance between water, sugars, and fibres is crucial to achieve the desired texture and stability.

The best way to go about it is using non-toxic stabilisers like gelatin or cornstarch to prevent large ice crystals and improve texture. Churn the ice cream adequately to incorporate enough air, contributing to a lighter texture and better-freezing properties.