Food - Drink
The Reason You Need Salt To Make Ice Cream At Home
By HALDAN KIRSCH
When it comes to ice cream, you wouldn't think of salt as a must-need ingredient, unless it's being used to make a salted caramel swirl. While salt isn't necessarily added for its salty taste in most ice creams, it plays another important role when making any kind of frozen treat at home, and it all has to do with the freezing step.
Churning an ice cream base when it's thoroughly frozen is crucial, since this allows water molecules to freeze into tiny, unnoticeable ice crystals that won't ruin the texture. However, cream freezes at lower temperatures than water, and adding salt to ice cream assists in freezing cream and butterfat faster, leading to a cohesive and even texture.
You can even use salt to make fast-freezing ice cream without an ice cream maker. In one Delish recipe, a small plastic bag with half-and-half, sugar, and vanilla extract is placed inside a larger bag that contains the salt and ice; then the bags are shaken up continuously until the ingredients have frozen.