The answer to the question, Why is ice cream not hard when frozen, lies in the composition of the ingredients. Most home ice cream makers cannot produce hard-serve consistency ice cream. Instead, most domestic ice cream makers produce soft-serve ice cream. These two variations are quite similar in their ingredients. However, some differences between the two methods exist. Here is a quick guide to the ingredients used in making ice cream.
To make sure your ice cream is ripe and frozen to perfection, store it properly. Generally, ice cream is best enjoyed within a month from purchase, so keep it in the freezer at all times. If it becomes soft or starts to melt, take it to the store manager immediately. Also, store ice cream separately from other groceries. Remember, it’s easier to buy ice cream if it’s in a freezer case than in the refrigerator. Make sure the case has the ice cream below the line where the freezer is.
When making homemade ice cream, be sure to use dairy products with solid fat content. Fats give ice cream a rich flavor and smooth texture. Skim milk lacks fat, but does not freeze as well as full-fat milk. Skim milk has a lower freezing point, which causes ice crystals to form. Heavy cream will have a smoother consistency and is better for the appearance. You can substitute half-and-half or whole milk.