A few lackluster trips to the ice cream shops in my new hometown have made me remember a fantastic shop back in my old hometown of DC. In Alexandria, Virginia, to be precise, in the part of town called Del Ray, there is a place where I always had a great scoop – called The Dairy Godmother. They serve frozen custard, which is not exactly, “ice cream,” per se. They define it as the following:
“Genuine frozen custard has at least 1.4% egg yolk (pasteurized) and at least 10% milkfat, and is made in a special machine created for producing frozen custard only.
In our custard machine, the custard travels from a refrigerated hopper through a valve into a freezing chamber lined with beaters. As you watch, the frozen custard is pushed through (extruded) out the front of the machine and into a waiting bucket, ready to be served. Because it is not held in the chamber, there is very little air beaten into the custard, referred to as ‘overrun.’ This low overrun (20-25%) is what gives frozen custard its wonderfully dense and creamy texture, or ‘mouthfeel.’
By comparison, soft-serve custards, yogurts, and ice creams are made using what is known as a batch freezer, where the mixture remains in the machine and the overrun is as much as 100%.
Since it is freshly made, our custard is served at a temperature of 17-20 degrees, and is neither flash-frozen nor held at sub-zero temperatures. This allows the custard taste to really come through.”
No matter how you slice it, they have fantastic stuff, and their sorbets are wonderful too. How I miss them (and their Maple Walnut) on these hot summer days with otherwise so-so ice cream.