The Baking Staple That Can Give Ice Cream A Huge Texture Upgrade

Certain foods come with certain expectations. For example, french fries should be hot and crispy, chicken shouldn't be medium rare, and ice cream is expected to be thick and creamy. It's a major disappointment to dig into a luscious-looking ice cream scoop only to find it gritty and full of noticeable ice crystals. It's doubly disappointing when you've made the ice cream yourself and followed the recipe precisely. To avoid this, ditch the whole or 2% milk and reach into the back of your pantry for a can of evaporated milk.

Evaporated milk is milk that's been heated to the point where most of the natural water in it evaporates. When you get rid of the water, you get rid of the prominent ice crystals, resulting in that dense, almost chewy texture that ice cream dreams are made of. It's an ingredient used in the style of ice cream known as New England style, which combines the canned milk with a few other unconventional ingredients to create an ice cream with a texture that can't be beaten.

For fudgy, thick ice cream, use evaporated milk

Evaporated milk is high in protein which aids in creating superior texture and limits the ice crystals that often form on ice cream once it's stored in the freezer. Milk powder can certainly achieve the same result, but it's also not as smooth as using evaporated milk. When combined with lots of egg yolks, corn syrup (as opposed to granulated sugar), and arrowroot starch, the result is grit-free ice cream that creates a richer, thicker, and creamier mouthfeel and can be described as similar to taffy (via Serious Eats).

With the super-heavy texture, you might even find that your cone drips less and that biting into the ice cream is easier than licking it (if your teeth can stand it). Unlike sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk does not contain any sugar, so the flavor is pretty neutral, like milk. Therefore, you can create any flavor of ice cream you'd like when you use evaporated milk in your recipe, such as swirly vanilla dulce de leche or the flavorful and chunky rainbow cookie.