Milkshakes with Custard
If you have the time and willingness to put a little more effort into making a milkshake without ice cream, you can make your milkshake taste just like the traditional milkshake. For that you need to make your own ice cream. Almost. We are going to make ice cream base, or custard, but will not be freezing it in an ice cream machine. We just need the taste and the body of the custard. After all, once you blend ice cream with milk in a blender all that freezing work that the ice cream machine has done will be undone. Essentially you will be going back from ice cream to the custard. By the way, custard-based ice creams tend to be richer and smoother, due to the emulsifying properties of egg yolks. As such, adding custard to the milkshake will really benefit its texture.
Before starting, prepare an ice bath to expedite the chilling of the custard. Fill a larger bowl with ice an some water so the cubes are barely floating. Place a smaller bowl inside the larger bowl. Then put a strainer over the smaller bowl.
Heat the milk with the sugar in a medium-sized saucepan on the stove. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks.
When the milk gets hot and steamy, remove the sauce pan from heat. Using a ladle, very slowly pour the hot milk over the egg yolks while constantly whisking.
If you pour too fast you will scramble the eggs. Now, scrape the mixture back into the sauce pan. Cook stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula or until the internal temperature reaches 170F-175F.
Don’t let the temperature rise over 185F. If you do, the eggs yolks will curdle and you will end up with a grainy texture. In some cases you may be able to save it by using a hand blender, but it’s better not to have to do that. Pour the mixture through the strainer into the chilled bowl sitting over the ice bath. Keep stirring until the mixture is cool, about 5-7 minutes.
Most custard-based ice cream recipes call for pouring the warm custard right into the cold cream. Doing so will not cause any ill effect and will help stop the cooking and expedite cooling.
- 1 cup whole milk
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- A pinch of salt
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 4 large egg yolks
- 10 ice cubes
- Place the egg yolks in a medium size bowl and whisk together.
- Warm the milk, the sugar, vanilla seeds and vanilla bean (or vanilla extract), and salt in a medium saucepan. The mixture should reach about 180-190F, just before it begins to boil.
- Slowly pour the milk over the egg yolks while constantly stirring.
- Pour the egg mixture back into the sauce pan and heat over medium low heat until it reaches 175F, thickens and coats the spatula.
- Pour the custard through the strainer into the chilled bowl sitting over the ice bath. Keep stirring until the mixture is cool, about 5-7 minutes.
- Blend the custard with heavy cream and the ice. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.
Milkshakes with Corn Starch as Thickener
This milkshake recipe makes use of egg-less Philadelphia style-like ice cream base. Philadelphia ice cream is made of heavy cream, milk, sugar and vanilla as described in David Lebovitz’s awesome The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments book. The difference is that in this recipe I also add corn starch and powdered milk for thicker body and creamier texture.
- 1¼ cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 heaping Tbsp powdered milk (instant skim milk powder)
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar (plus more to taste)
- ¾ Tbsp corn starch
- 1 vanilla bean, seeded (substitute with two teaspoons vanilla extract)
- 10 ice cubes
- Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean with a pairing knife. Combine sugar, vanilla bean seeds and powdered milk in a medium size pot. Slowly add 1 cups of milk while constantly stirring. Add the bean pod to the milk.
- Prepare the corn starch by combining it with the remaining ¼ cup of milk. Whisk until corn starch and milk are blended and no lumps remain. Set aside.
- Slowly bring the milk to a gentle boil, add cornstarch and keep stirring constantly, scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the mix thickens enough to coat the spatula, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the stove.
- Set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the mix into the bowl. Keep stirring for 5-7 minutes until the mixture is cool.
- Slowly add heavy cream, constantly stirring.
- Blend the mixture with 10 ice cubes. Serve immediately.
Milkshakes with Oil
Finally, here is another interesting way to make a milkshake without ice cream that I found on Hillbilly Housewife. The recipe uses milk, sugar, ice, vanilla extract and…. corn oil with non-stick oil spray for emulsification purposes. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical about the recipe at first, but after trying it’s actually quite good. It has a nice texture and body which is lighter than that of milkshakes made with egg yolks or custard. My children liked it too. I made a few changes to the original recipe, such as reducing the amount of sugar as the original milkshake was too sweet for my taste. I also dropped unsweetened cocoa powder and substituted water and powdered milk for real milk.
- 1 cup of ice
- 1 cup of milk
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp corn oil plus a 5-second squirt of non-stick spray
- Blend ice, milk, sugar, vanilla extract, non-stick spray and corn oil until well blended. Pour into milkshake glasses and serve immediately.