Why You Absolutely Have To Make Ice Cream With Eggs

Eggs are an integral part of cooking; they're one of the most versatile ingredients in that they can be cooked on their own in plenty of ways, or they can be incorporated into a dish to enhance its texture and feel.

Eggs are much more than just the yellow and white breakfast dish you might know them to be — and how they're prepared can play a major role in the cooking or baking process. According to Joy the Baker, eggs are prepared differently depending on how they're enhancing a recipe. Whipped egg whites can be folded in to help a cake rise, while egg yolks are perfect for thickening a custard.

Eggs are often used as binders, which is why they're usually the second step between the flour and the breadcrumbs in a dish made for frying, according to Fine Dining Lovers. The bottom line is that eggs are an incredibly important step in preparing everything from entrées to desserts — including playing a key role in ice cream.

You should always make ice cream with eggs

Many dishes that incorporate eggs are dishes that get cooked; as the eggs cook within a dish, they help bind, leaven, or enhance the flavor. Despite that ice cream does not get cooked, eggs are an ingredient that should not be overlooked. If you're making homemade ice cream, you'll want to add egg yolks (don't add the whites, per Stack Exchange, or the consistency and texture won't be the same) to create the perfect scoop.

According to Foods Guy, when eggs freeze, the fat in the eggs helps to create the smooth texture we know and love — especially when taking that first scoop. Eggs also have protein, and when the protein freezes, it forms into fibers that help prevent the formation of chunky ice crystals. The yolks add richness, too, and altogether, the egg yolks help with flavor, texture, and creaminess. If you're comfortable with adding eggs to the dish, it's a step you shouldn't forego.

Is it safe to add eggs to ice cream?

When you think raw eggs, your mind might immediately travel to one caveat: salmonella. With that said, is it safe to add eggs to your ice cream? Ultimately, it's complicated. The risk of salmonella (a bacterial infection causing diarrhea, fever, and cramping) from raw eggs is extremely low. According to the University of Minnesota Extension, only about 1 in 20,000 eggs is contaminated with the bacteria, which most would agree are low odds of getting sick.

With that said, the FDA still does not recommend consuming raw or undercooked eggs — even in ice cream. The administration suggests adding pasteurized egg products to your ice cream, which are egg products that have been heated to kill any bacteria. Doing so would allow you to get a similar texture and flavor from the eggs without having the added worry of contracting food poisoning.