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February 2007

Pastry Chef Kriss Harvey of Butter in Chicago on StarChefs.com Pastry Chef Kriss Harvey

Butter
130 S. Green St.
Chicago, Illinois
(312) 666-9813

Technique: Making Perfect Ice Cream in a Pacojet
Pastry Chef Kriss Harvey of Butter – Chicago, IL
Adapted by StarChefs
.com

The Pacojet is found in an increasing number of restaurant kitchens each year – it’s versatile, powerful, and chefs tend to agree that it is unsurpassed in convenience. But all too often, chefs who use the Pacojet serve ice cream that doesn’t hold – in fact, this is the biggest complaint that we hear from those who don’t like the machine: that something is lost in translation from convenience to plate, resulting in ice creams that melt significantly before they reach the table. As with everything in the kitchen, there are subtle tricks and nuances that can elevate a good product to the sublime and all it takes is a bit of knowledge to do so. Our palates tell us that Kriss Harvey is a master of ice cream, and so we listen when he credits the impeccable weight, texture, mouthfeel and hold of his product to first, the base, and second, his perfected Pacojet technique.

Elementally speaking, ice cream is water and sugar – wet and dry – and you need a balance of ingredients for balanced results. For the dry components of a simple base, Harvey uses sugar, atomized glucose (glucose powder) and nonfat milk solids. For a base with added saturated fats (chocolate, nuts, etc), he uses sugar and Trimoline, which is more hygroscopic than sugar, less prone to crystallization, and has a high freeze-suppressant quality that softens the fats.

Where the base is about quality, the machine is about quantity – the trick to coaxing creamy ice cream from a Pacojet that doesn’t melt too fast is simply filling the canister with exactly 1 pint of base (Harvey’s tip: freeze in a 1-pint deli cup), and running the ice cream 1½ hours before service. 1 pint allows for the correct proportion of base to air, and running the ice cream well before service gives it time to revert to the proper temperature, making for a perfectly creamy quenelle that doesn’t melt as soon as it hits the plate.

Ice Cream Base Tips:

  • Use an ice cream stabilizer (rather than an all purpose stabilizer) that includes monostearate, a fat emulsifier – this will emulsify the fats in the milk and any added fats (chocolate, nuts), making for a creamier mouthfeel. Kriss uses Cremodan 36 (available from Dairyland).
  • Never heat ice cream base over 85°C or evaporation will occur, and throw off the balance of ingredients.
  • Malt powder, particularly amber malt powder, is a great substitution for flavorless atomized glucose, and it adds a warm, malt flavor to the ice cream. Malt powder is available at beer brewing stores and online.
  • Strain base through a chinois after cooling, not before – this allows the flavors to continue to infuse. Beat with an immersion blender while straining to break up any gumminess and further release the flavor of whatever you’ve infused.
  • Let all bases mature for at least 4 hours in the fridge before freezing. Like crepe batter, the dry ingredients need time to go to work or the texture will be off.

Pacojet Tips:

  • Fill the canister with 1 pint of base – this allows for the proper overrun in the canister and proper mouthfeel in the end result. Anything over 1 pint prevents the ice cream from getting enough air, making the result too heavy on the tongue.
  • Pint-sized deli cups are perfect for this. Freeze the base in one-pint cups (instead of freezing right in the Pacojet container) then simply run the cup under hot water, pop out the base and put in the Pacojet canister.
  • Run ice cream 1½ hours before service – this gives it time to re-freeze to the optimal temperature for serving.


Vanilla Ice Cream
Pastry Chef Kriss Harvey of Butter – Chicago, IL
Adapted by StarChefs.com

Yield: Approximately 90 1.5-ounce servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 Liters milk
  • 700 grams cream (at 35%)
  • 5 Bourbon vanilla beans
  • 560 grams sugar
  • 140 grams atomized glucose or amber malt powder
  • 200 grams nonfat milk solids
  • 12 grams ice cream stabilizer
  • 360 grams egg yolks

Method:
Heat milk, cream and vanilla beans to 65°C. Combine sugar, glucose, nonfat milk solids and stabilizer and whisk well to prevent lumps. Add sugar mixture and egg yolks to milk and blend with an immersion blender. Continue to emulsify while using a digital thermometer to check the heat. Bring the mixture to 85°C for three seconds, then immediately chill in ice bath. When mixture is cool, strain through a chinois while blending with an immersion blender to break up gumminess and further release the flavor of the vanilla beans. Let base mature for 4 hours in the fridge then blend with an immersion blender once again and freeze in one-pint deli cups. The base will be ready to go in the Pacojet the next day.

 

Chocolate Ice Cream
Pastry Chef Kriss Harvey of Butter – Chicago, IL
Adapted by StarChefs.com

Yield: Approximately 70 1.5-ounce servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 Liters milk
  • 150 grams sugar
  • 12 grams ice cream stabilizer
  • 180 grams Trimoline
  • 570 grams Valrhona Caraibe

Method:
Heat milk to 65°C. Measure sugar and stabilizer together, then zero scale and add inverted sugar. Add to milk, whisking in or using immersion blender. When mixture reaches 75°C, add chocolate and whisk/blend nonstop. Bring mixture to 85°C for three seconds, then immediately chill in ice bath. When mixture is cool, strain through a chinois while blending with an immersion blender. Let base mature for 4 hours in the fridge then blend with an immersion blender once again and freeze in one-pint deli cups. The base will be ready to go in the Pacojet the next day.

 



   
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