Welcome to the inaugural posting of the Abbott’s Frozen Custard Blog. We want this blog to be your source of knowledge on all things related to Abbott’s Frozen Custard, our franchise business, and our industry. We’ll be covering a number of topics within each one of these categories, all in an effort to keep you informed.
Today’s topic is all about Frozen Custard. We will explore what makes frozen custard different from traditional hard ice cream. Then, we will dive into how Abbott’s sets itself apart by dedicating ourselves to our frozen custard.
Smooth, rich, creamy, velvety, gourmet, dense, these are just some of the words used to describe frozen custard. However, do you know the actual difference between frozen custard and traditional ice cream? It comes down to a few ingredients, the production process and finally, the way it is enjoyed.
By definition, a dairy product is not considered custard unless it has a butterfat content of at least 10%. As a point of reference, super premium ice cream has between 15% - 20% butterfat content. However, that is not the only distinction. Frozen Custard must also contain 1.4% pasteurized egg yolks as stipulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The addition of egg yolks make frozen custard, frozen custard and provides the dense, rich texture you enjoy in every cone. Without the egg yolks, all you have is plain old ice cream. These two ingredient level characteristics are the baseline difference between frozen custard and ice cream, however the next step in the process truly separates the cream from the crop (no pun intended).
A traditional ice cream machine will pump air into the product as an added “ingredient”, inflating the physical end product. The industry term for this air is Overrun and ice cream is traditionally produced at 100% Overrun. What does this mean for the consumer? It means that half of every scoop of ice cream is comprised of nothing but air. What about Frozen Custard? Frozen custard is churned in machines specifically designed to minimize the amount of air mixed with the custard, providing a deep, dense, creamy, ice crystal free, ribbon of dessert at 15% - 30% Overrun. You can actually feel this difference on your tongue when you taste frozen custard which adds to the overall experience of the product.
It may seem obvious, but temperature plays a crucial role in the production of ice cream and frozen custard and also presents another differentiator. Ice cream is produced at a temperature between 22°F to 24°F leading to the formation of gritty ice crystals during the slow freezing process. Ice cream is then stored at 10°F to harden before being served. Conversely, frozen custard is frozen at 16°F to 20°F as it churns through the barrel freezing faster and creating a much smoother product. It is then stored at 18°F maintaining the soft, dense and creamy texture until it is served.
The final difference between frozen custard and ice cream is how it is meant to be enjoyed. Ice cream can be served days, weeks or months after it is produced, many times in a different location. True frozen custard fans will tell you the best way to enjoy frozen custard, like many gourmet foods is fresh, the minute it pours out of the machine (and we couldn’t agree more).
At Abbott’s, everything we do is dedicated to ensuring our frozen custard is the very best. This starts with our secret family recipe, churned fresh every day in each one of our stands, using machines specifically designed for Abbott’s. Each Abbott’s Stand creates a number of flavors every day, from black raspberry to pumpkin, pistachio to salty carmel, we always recommend starting with our vanilla and exploring the menu from there. These recipes are all built on the most wholesome ingredients straight from our dairy farms. Our dairy farmers are committed to taking care of their cows like they are family, providing them with the best veterinary care and diet in the industry. How to describe frozen custard is a common challenge within the industry. People use words like; creamy, rich, dense, smooth, gourmet, super premium ice cream, velvety, etc. At Abbott’s Frozen Custard, we like to say “our frozen custard is the way ice cream was meant to be” and leave it at that.
The end result of this attention to detail is an exceptional product for exceptional customers, hand scooped by a team who lives for your frozen custard.