In Brooklyn, a Chance to Enjoy Factory-Fresh Ice Cream
When the Brooklyn-based Ample Hills Creamery opens a 15,000-square-foot factory in Red Hook next month, its owners, Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna, will be able to churn a million gallons of ice cream a year to keep up with their shops and pint production. The offbeat, candy-packed ice creams will get a tweak in texture, becoming creamier and smoother.
Best of all, fans will get a chance to sample them at the source in October, when a scoop shop opens, with windows offering a clear view into the plant. By next spring, Mr. Smith said, visitors will be able to go on self-guided tours of the factory, and walk through various ice cream-themed installations.
Ample Hills, which opened its first shop is 2011, currently makes its ice cream in Gowanus, using a batch-freezing method. But the new dairy plant, beside Erie Basin, will use a continuous freezing method: Milk will run steadily through a gleaming network of tanks and pipes — pasteurized, pumped through homogenizers and swirled through a hopper with flavorings — before it is uniformly aerated and frozen in the tireless spin of industrial dasher blades.
Mix-ins are now folded into semi-frozen ice cream by hand, but the new plant will mechanically add brownies and honeycomb candies, ensuring that the crunch and sweetness are more evenly distributed. Most of the confections will be produced at a bakery in the factory.
Another Brooklyn producer, OddFellows Ice Cream Co., plans next year to open a factory, along with a soda fountain in Bushwick. Sam Mason, Mohan Kumar and Holiday Kumar will start with a series of batch freezers, then add a continuous freezer, and the churning process will be on full view when the factory opens for tours.
Ample Hills Creamery 421 Van Brunt Street (Beard Street), Red Hook, Brooklyn, September.
OddFellows Ice Cream Co. 379 Suydam Street (Wyckoff Avenue), Bushwick, Brooklyn, 2018.
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