For those of you who are late to this story, I picked ten pounds of strawberries over the weekend and I’ve been trying to think of ways to use them up. Cue: This strawberry ice cream.
I made jam and shortcakes and then, I still had about five pounds of strawberries left. I hadn’t used my ice cream maker since last summer so I thought I’d break it out and make a batch of strawberry ice cream.
A lot of strawberry ice cream recipes will tell you how difficult it is to make relative to other ice creams. I guess it has to do with the fruit. There’s a lot going on in ice cream already without adding more liquid, and strawberries can get pretty juicy.
However, I didn’t find that making strawberry ice cream was any harder or easier than other types I’ve made before. Honestly, it was about the same. It was easier than making mint chip ice cream, which requires soaking mint leaves in custard overnight and then straining the mixture. It’s waaay easier than doing a flavor that requires a swirl because you can just pour the custard in the ice cream maker, walk away for a few minutes, and then you have homemade ice cream.
This ice cream is one of the best I’ve ever made. I know I say that all the time but it’s true. It tastes like my favorite cake that I make every year for my birthday, strawberry cake, and it looks a lot like it, too.
It’s bright pink and vibrant, the strawberries inside are sweet and tart, and the ice cream is flecked with real vanilla bean. It’s mellow and cooling, perfect for a summer day or night when you need to escape the heat.
A couple tips for using an ice cream maker: One, make sure you freeze the bowl overnight. If you don’t, the ice cream won’t freeze and you’ll be left with a goopy, runny mess. No one wants that.
Two, make sure you freeze the container that you want to put the ice cream in later. I like to put the container in the freezer at the same time as the bowl, and then remove each when I’m ready to use them. That way, you don’t have to worry about either being cold enough.Finally, be very careful with how much custard you’re pouring into the machine. The bowl should never be more than 3/4 full. If you fill the bowl up to the top with liquid, it will overflow and get everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE: your counter, your ice cream machine, you. I’ve actually never had this happen but I’ve read about it, and I almost had it happen once when I made too much custard.
A good rule of thumb is to look at the ice cream machine’s capacity and then make sure your recipe correlates. Usually the recipe will give you a yield so you know how much ice cream you’ll end up with.
ANYWAY. Make this ice cream as soon as possible. It’s best when made with fresh berries but you can also sub in the grocery store kind if you don’t have any on hand.
Here’s a song to get you started.
Strawberry Ice Cream
22 oz strawberries, stems removed, sliced
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large egg yolks
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
Place the ice cream bowl and a large container in the freezer to chill overnight.
Toss the strawberries with the lemon juice and 1/4 cup of sugar in a large bowl. Set aside to let the berries macerate.
Whisk together the yolks, salt, and remaining sugar in another bowl until the mixture turns a pale yellow color. Set aside.
Add the cream, milk, vanilla bean, and seeds to a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Pour a few ladles of the hot cream into the egg and sugar mixture and whisk constantly until combined. Add the tempered eggs into the saucepan with the rest of the cream while whisking constantly.
Turn the heat to low and stir the custard with a wooden spoon. Stir constantly for about four to six minutes, or until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain the custard into a large bowl that’s sitting in another bowl with an ice bath. Stir constantly until the custard has cooled down completely.
Pulse the berries and their juice in a blender or food processor until they’re chunky and jam-like. Mix into the cooled custard. Cover the bowl with the custard and put it in the fridge overnight.
When you’re ready to make the ice cream, remove the bowl from the freezer and place it in your ice cream maker. Make sure you work quickly so the bowl doesn’t defrost.
Pour the chilled custard into the machine and churn according to the machine’s directions. Wait until the ice cream has the consistency of frozen yogurt and then stop the machine and scoop the ice cream into your chilled container. I also like to see if my finger leaves a mark in the ice cream. If it leaves an indentation, it’s usually done.
Use a spatula to smooth the top of the ice cream. Seal with a lid and place the ice cream in the freezer for a few hours or overnight to firm up. Enjoy!