Thursday, May 14, 2020

Strawberry Ice Cream

Strawberry Ice Cream, Strawberry Frozen Custard, Ice Cream Cone, Ice Cream PartyWhile eating a scoop of the no-churn chocolate ice cream I'd made a few weeks ago, my husband confessed that he missed the deeper, richer, more complex flavor that you get from custard-based ice cream.  I realized it had been quite a while, maybe two summers ago even, since I'd churned a batch of "real" ice cream made with egg yolks.  I looked back over my ice cream recipes, and decided to re-visit the first custard-based ice cream I'd ever made, almost 8 years ago - strawberry.

We had gone berry picking at a local farm here in Colorado and brought home a few pounds of strawberries, still warm from the sun, that I added to my ice cream base.  It was so creamy and rich, and such a pretty ivory color speckled with fresh strawberries.  Just adding chopped fruit to vanilla ice cream, though, doesn't impart a lot of the fruit's flavor, so I realized I could do better than that first recipe.  I recently saw a recipe for roasted strawberry ice cream that intrigued me, but the steps involving roasting the strawberries in the oven first, and then reducing the juices on the stove, seemed overly complex, so I simply cooked the fruit on the stove, reducing it down to a thick, syrupy compote that I knew would flavor the ice cream beautifully.

For the custard, I simmered milk, cream, sugar and egg yolks, then whisked in vanilla and a little orange liqueur, and then the strawberry compote.  The ice cream base needs to chill thoroughly before it's churned, which also allows the flavors to mingle and intensify, making the best-tasting ice cream.  Just before churning, I like to add the rest of the cream, whipped to soft peaks, which results in the creamiest, most luxurious texture.  It was the most strawberryish of strawberry ice cream.

Strawberry Ice Cream, Strawberry Frozen Custard, Ice Cream Cone, Ice Cream Party

Strawberry Ice Cream, Strawberry Frozen Custard, Ice Cream Cone, Ice Cream Party

Strawberry Ice Cream, Strawberry Frozen Custard, Ice Cream Cone, Ice Cream Party

Strawberry Ice Cream

  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur or vodka
  • red gel food coloring, if desired
In a medium saucepan, combine the strawberries, 1/4 cup sugar and lemon juice.  Heat gently over low heat, until the strawberries release their juices.  Increase heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the juices thicken into a syrupy consistency, and the compote is reduced down to about 1 1/4 cups.  Set aside while you make the custard.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup of the cream with the milk, egg yolks, vanilla and 1/2 cup sugar.  Over medium heat, cook the custard, whisking constantly, until it thickens just enough to coat a spoon (it will not thicken like pudding, though), about 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat, and whisk in the orange liqueur and the strawberry compote.

Cool the ice cream base at room temperature for about an hour, then pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap resting right against the surface, and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator, for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.

Just before churning the ice cream, beat the remaining 1 cup of cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.  Add the whipped cream to the chilled ice cream base.  If desired, add a few drops of red gel food coloring for a vivid pink ice cream; the ice cream's natural color will be beige.

Churn the ice cream in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions, then transfer to lidded ice cream containers and freeze until firm, about 4-6 hours.

Yields 2 quarts

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

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