The quintessential fruit of summer is here, strawberries are finally in season! I know you can get them year round, but if you’ve ever had a legit, real, locally grown strawberry you know what a different piece of fruit it is. I can typically only get these from a farmers market, but Whole Foods showed up and had local NJ strawberries available. They were small, bright red and smelled like a strawberry should. They weren’t all so perfect and beautiful looking, but who cares, they taste so, so good.
So, to celebrate those beautiful berries, I decided to bust out the ole’ ice cream maker and get down to business. And, in the process try not to eat all the berries before I could get the ice cream done. You’ll notice the quart of berries looks a little scant…
I wanted this to be a quick and easy ice cream recipe, so I went for the non-custard method, which just seems to make sense to me especially for the summer. I don’t feel like having to make a custard the day before, so it can chill before I actually freeze the ice cream and so on. I quickly cooked a small portion of the berries, and then mixed them with some milk, cream, sugar and vanilla. Nice and simple.
to celebrate those beautiful berries, I decided to bust out the ole’ ice cream maker and get down to business. And, in the process try not to eat all the berries before I could get the ice cream done. You’ll notice the quart of berries looks a little scant…
Like I mentioned, I did cook a small portion of the berries. Fruit ice creams can tend to get a bit hard when frozen from all the water in the fruit freezing. I wanted fresh strawberry flavor, so I didn’t want to cook all of the berries, but I did want to reduce some of the water content being added to the cream and milk mixture. The result tastes strictly of strawberries and cream, and it can be made in about 30 mins. And while I know this isn’t really much of a recipe, you can definitely adapt it to use any other fruit you want. I know I have a few other versions planned for the coming weeks.
Strawberry Ice Cream
'cause it's summertime
Adapted from Joy of Cooking
- 1 quart strawberries – minus any that got eaten on the drive home
- 1/2 C packed dark brown sugar
- 1” vanilla bean or 1/4 tsp extract
- 1 C whole milk
- 1 C heavy cream
- pinch of salt
First things first, make sure your ice cream liner in cold, and by cold I mean frozen for at last 24 hours. If you like ice cream, just leave it in your freezer if you have the room for it. That’s what I do. I like to be ice cream ready at all times. You really want to make sure that all your ingredients are as cold as possible. I just pull everything, including the berries, out of the fridge as I’m making this. And, along with your ice cream liner, make sure to have a freezer ready container ready to add the finished ice cream to. I use a glass container that I leave in the freezer so it’s ice cold. Just make sure to keep everything cold, you don’t want to spend the time making this just to have it melt, you get the idea.
Now, down to the the other bits. Roughly divide your quart of berries in three. I diced one third to add into the ice cream just before it’s finished so I had some chunks in there and it wasn’t just a homogenous smooth mixture. Totally a personal preference, and if you happen to not want them, then just divide your berries in two.
For the remaining berries. Remove the greens and puree. Set one half of the uncooked puree aside and add the other half to a sauce pan, along with the brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Bring this mixture to a boil and cook for about 3-5 mins. You’re just aiming to slightly reduce the mixture by boiling off some of the water, and it also helps to dissolve the sugar.
Once you’re finished boiling the berries, turn off the heat, and get a large bowl filled with a ton of ice and some water. You want to then plunge that saucepan into the bowl of ice water and stir the cooked strawberry mixture for about 3 mins or so. You want to take this mixture from boiling hot to well chilled so you can combine it with the milk and cream then promptly make the ice cream. If you have time you can do this in advance and chill it in the fridge. I don’t have the patience for that, so ice bath it is.
Now you’re ready to assemble your ice cream base. In a jar, or bowl, combine the cooked berry mixture, the uncooked puree, heavy cream and milk. Stir till everything is combined. You now have you base, or the best strawberry milk ever. All depends how you look at it.
You’re ready to freeze. Add your base to the ice cream machine and let it run for about 20mins, or however long you machine specifies. Just before it’s done drop in the chopped berries, if you have them, so they are mixed throughout. Then add your ice cream to a freezer ready container, stash it in the freezer and you should be ready to eat in about 4 hours!
I like to take my ice cream out of the freezer and let it get slightly soft for about 5 mins, scoop it onto a sugar cone and then eat up!