The Origin Of Ice Cream

The origins of ice cream can be traced back to at least the 4th century B.C. Early references include the Roman emperor Nero (A.D. 37-68) who ordered ice to be brought from the mountains and combined with fruit toppings, and King Tang (A.D. 618-97) of Shang, China who had a method of creating ice and milk concoctions. Ice cream was likely brought from China back to Europe. Over time, recipes for ices, sherbets, and milk ices evolved and served in the fashionable Italian and French royal courts.

After the dessert was imported to the United States, it was served by several famous Americans. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson served it to their guests. In 1700, Governor Bladen of Maryland was recorded as having served it to his guests. In 1774, a London caterer named Philip Lenzi announced in a New York newspaper that he would be offering for sale various confections, including ice cream. Dolly Madison served it in 1812.

First Ice Cream Parlor In America – Origins Of English Name

The first ice cream parlor in America opened in New York City in 1776. American colonists were the first to use the term “ice cream”. The name came from the phrase “iced cream” that was similar to “iced tea”. The name was later abbreviated to “ice cream” the name we know today.

Methods and Technology

Whoever invented the method of using ice mixed with salt to lower and control the temperature of ice cream ingredients during its making provided a major breakthrough in ice cream technology. Also important was the invention of the wooden bucket freezer with rotary paddles improved ice cream’s manufacture.

Nancy Johnson and William Young – Hand-Cranked Freezers

In 1846, Nancy Johnson patented a hand-cranked freezer that established the basic method of making ice cream still used today. William Young patented the similar “Johnson Patent Ice-Cream Freezer” in 1848.

2 cups heavy cream, well chilled
1 cup whole milk, well chilled
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Note: Most ice cream makers produce soft-serve ice cream which you can firm, if desired, by placing it in your refrigerator’s freezer in an airtight container for about 2 hours.

Cook ingredients. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine flour, salt, sugar, eggs and milk. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the sugar is completely dissolved. Chill for an hour.

Combine additional ingredients. After removing the chilled liquid from the refrigerator, add vanilla or almond extract, cream and any additional ingredients you wish to add.

Pour the mixture into the ice cream freezer bin and insert the ice cream dasher. Cover it with the lid.

Secure the ice cream bin into its proper position in the bucket. The bin should lock into place.

Using your hands, surround the bin with alternating layers of ice and rock salt. Layers should be stacked to the lid of the bin.

Making ice cream Grandma’s old-fashioned way calls for a quantity of ice and rock salt. The rock salt will melt the ice surrounding the canister creating a brine solution which absorbs the heat from the mixture allowing it to begin to freeze. Without the ice and salt present, you would not be able to make frozen desserts.

Here’s why: If there were no salt added to the ice, it would melt at 32°F (0°C), the melting point for freshwater ice, which is not cold enough to make ice cream. Salt speeds the melting of the ice and lowers the temperature to the melting point of saltwater ice, approximately 29°F (-2°C), depending on the saltiness. The lower melting temperature is necessary for the ice cream to freeze.

Secure the motor. The end of the dasher should be inserted into the center of the motor. Position the motor in its proper place on top of the bucket and lock it into place.

Plug in the motor and allow it to churn the ice cream for at least 45 minutes. When the motor begins to strain, the ice cream is thickened.

Remove the motor and dasher. Replace the lid and allow the ice cream to set for an hour or until it has solidified. The rock salt and ice will work to freeze the ice cream quickly.