Ice Cream

One of the main activities and joys of Baitcon (and the original purpose, even) is making ICE CREAM!

We started with just a few flavors hand-cranked and here we are 25 years later with two 200L dewers of liquid nitrogen and a ridiculous amount of cream!  You can view a (mostly) complete list of past flavors.

Above all, making ice cream is fun! We promise that no matter how disorganized things may seem, ice cream will get mixed, frozen, served, and eaten. If any of these steps is stressing you out, remember the new motto of the Baitcon Ice Cream Crew: Chill.

Making Ice Cream!

We promise large batches of many favorites/standards, and everyone else makes whatever other flavors leap in to their creative, warped, and endlessly innovative little minds. We encourage creativity and variety and we welcome alternative sweeteners and bases. In the past, we’ve done splenda flavors, soy versions, rice versions, as well as goat milk and coconut milk. We almost always have savory options in addition to sweet. Hot and spicy is pretty much mainstream but there are plenty of mild flavors too. We encourage everyone to bring recipes and ideas. We supply the cream, sugar, milk (including a small amount of soy and coconut milk for vegan flavors), and vanilla but you must bring the flavor ingredients if you wish to make a flavor. We also provide some seltzer for sorbets. We request that you view Julia’s Incredibly Helpful Guide to making Baitcon Ice Cream BEFORE coming to Baitcon.

We have had a lot of questions about how much of the flavor ingredients to bring. Unfortunately, this depends a lot on exactly what you are making. If you are starting with an existing recipe, bring enough flavor ingredients to make a 1 quart batch. If you don’t already have a recipe, you can try to find a similar recipe and scale similarly, or ask us for a recommendation by sending mail to ice-cream at baitcon dot org*.

With a few notable exceptions, all flavors are limited to small batches. We have amply demonstrated that we can easily make more ice cream than we can consume, but we don’t want to stifle anyone’s creativity! We want everyone (who wants to) to be able to make at least one, if not more than one flavor. If you are planning on making more than 3 flavors, PLEASE talk to us in advance.

Special note: per Abode rules and our contract, no pork can be cooked onsite. If you plan to use a pork product as a flavor ingredient, it must be cooked prior to your arrival.

For specific advice on making ice cream, sherbet or sorbet, you can contact the Ice Cream Crew by sending email to icecream at baitcon dot org*. If your flavor involves swirls, mix-ins, alcohol, etc., you may want to get info on how make those come out well using the LN2. Feel free to talk to the Ice Cream Crew about it now (via email) or once you’re at Baitcon. Any of the ice cream folks (Marc D., Phil, Anne and other attendees like Jude, Scott, LizO, Laurie, etc.) and/or LN2 folks (seph, Katherine, corwin, Phil, Hobbit) can help you.

Use of the Kitchen

Use of the kitchen for making ice cream is limited to those times when the chefs and other cooking staff are not using it. We will post those times at the con once we have finalized the cooking schedule. There will be a large cooler near the ice cream making area for storing dairy waiting to be turned into ice cream mixes. There will be a refrigerator near the freezers for chilling mixes prior to freezing. When making ice cream, please use this cooler for supplies, and this refrigerator for storing your mix instead of going into the kitchen. If the cooler is empty, or the refrigerator is full, please inform the ice cream staff, and we will shuffle things around as necessary.

Except during meal and ice cream serving times, there will be an area of the Dining Pavilion stocked with supplies and tools for making ice cream mixes. Just because the kitchen is off limits much of the time doesn’t mean you can’t make flavors!

Freezing Your Flavor

We want everyone to be able to make ice cream *and* we want the Ice Cream Crew (both those helping folks make flavors and freeze them) to stay sane. As ever, our process is evolving. There will be a sign up at the freezing station listing approximate times when the freeze crew will be available for freezing. If the sign says 3:00 p.m., and no one is there by 3:00 p.m. on the dot, remember our motto, and enjoy the day. Someone will be along shortly to help you.  You may not pour/operate the LN2 yourself – only BCC and a few designated-by-seph/katherine/corwin folks are authorized to do that.

If you do not wish to be present for the freezing of your flavor, you must clearly indicate this fact on the label or container in which you store your mix. Mixes which are not so labeled will only be frozen when the maker is present.  We are NOT responsible for making sure your mix gets frozen.  

Once frozen with the LN2, ice cream which is not being eaten immediately should be left to set up in the freezer for at least 4 and preferably 6 hours. In order to facilitate this, only ice cream which has been frozen prior to about 4:00 p.m. on Saturday will be served Saturday night. Similarly, ice cream to be served Sunday night should be frozen before 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. Anything frozen later than that will still be available for sampling on Monday.

Dealing with Allergens

seph & katherine put a good plan in place a couple of years ago that will help folks avoid allergic reactions to ice cream ingredients. For those making flavors, you will be given a label that will be affixed to the container for your mix. On this label, you’ll need to list the ingredients for your flavor and check off any relevant boxes about whether your flavor contains particular items (seafood, meat, nuts, etc.) that may be allergens for others.

Eating Ice Cream

Since BCXXVI will be a three night event, there will be servings both Saturday night and Sunday night, and open self service starting Monday morning through the end of the con. We will aim to start running flavors by 9:30 p. m. In order to help get the servings going on time, please help clean up from dinner, as that is the largest factor in determining when the serving may begin.

Kids Ice Cream

This year, we will have only be offering a dedicated kids-only serving on Sunday.  You can find more information about that and the changes to Kids Ice Cream here