A few months back, we wrote a blog post on how we make our butter. We know you’ve all been on the edge of your seats waiting for the ice cream edition. Well, we like making dreams come true over here at Foothills Creamery, so here it is!
If you’re not familiar with food science, some of the terms can get a little confusing and bring you back to those dreaded school days. Therefore, we’ve tried to make it easy as possible to understand!
The ice cream process actually starts when we make butter. A key ingredient for ice cream is buttermilk, which we collect and store in a silo for ice cream use.
To begin, we make the ice cream mix. Bart, our ice cream maker, pumps pasteurized cream and the buttermilk into a 6500kg vat in the blend room. He checks the fat ratio – our ice cream is 12 per cent fat – and if it’s accurate, he begins adding the powder ingredients, such as sugar, skim milk, and stabilizer.
The mix is then heat treated in another vat and run through a homogenizer. From there, the mix is sent to the cooling press where it is cooled down and pumped to a storage tank.
The mix is stored overnight in a storage tank until next morning, and then pumped into our flavour vats (1800L). From there, it goes into the ice cream machine where it is frozen. At this stage, the texture will be like soft serve. While being frozen, the machine pumps air into the mixture, making it 50 per cent ice cream and 50 per cent air. This is how we achieve our fluffy texture!
The machine then adds in any additional ingredients required by the flavour. Today, we added a chocolate ribbon which is fed through a variegator and cookie dough pieces which is added through a fruit feeder. Can you guess which flavour we’re making? From there, the mix is pumped into an 11.4L tub, weighed, and sent to the freezer for the hardening process.
Each tub is loaded onto a pallet and transported to the blast freezer, which is around negative 35 to negative 40 degrees Fahrenheit. We use a blast freezer because the faster we harden our ice cream, the better the quality is. If the ice cream takes too long to freeze, ice crystals will start to form.
Finally, once the ice cream has been frozen completely, it’s shipped out to our lovely customers!
And that’s all of it! If you want to know more about our ice cream making process, please let us know.