Everyone is familiar with ice cream, but what is frozen custard? As this delicious treat moves from places like Wisconsin to the rest of the country, some people may not know much about frozen custard.

Ice cream and frozen custard have more in common than they don’t, but those differences make a big difference. There are a couple of extra ingredients and the production process is a little different.

Difference in Ingredients

What is custard?A custard must have a butterfat content of 10% or higher and must also contain 1.4% pasteurized egg yolks, per the US Food and Drug Administration (USDA). The egg yolks are really the big difference, as they are what provides the velvety, rich texture associated with custard. Without the egg yolks, you basically have regular ice cream. 

Difference in Processes

The process in which the frozen treats are made is another area that leads to some distinction between custard and ice cream. Most ice cream machines pump air into the product as part of the process. This is called overrun and most machines run at 100% overrun, meaning that half of the ice cream delivered to the customer consists of air. Frozen custard machines use less air and churn the dessert. Most machines run at 15-30% overrun, causing the custard to be more dense, creamy, and free of ice crystals. The feel of the custard is different than ice cream, it’s described by many as a silky texture.

In addition to the air differences between ice cream and custard, temperature also plays a role. Ice cream is created with a temperature between 22 and 24° F, which can allow ice crystals to form. The ice cream is stored at 10° F, allowing it to harden. Frozen custard is made between 16-20° F, allowing it to freeze faster and making the product much smoother than ice cream. The custard is stored at 18° F, which lets the custard stay soft and creamy.

Difference in Presentation

Frozen custard is at its best when it is eaten fresh, the moment it comes out of the machine. Ice cream can be enjoyed even months after it is produced. This is why you rarely see frozen custard in grocery stores. 

The Similarities

Both ice cream and custard can be decadent treats. Extra flavors and ingredients can be added to the frozen concoctions, allowing customers to have exactly what they want to satisfy their sweet tooth. 

Electro Freeze custard machines allow you to serve this creamy dessert consistently and reliably. Contact us today to learn more about all of our frozen treat machines.