Monday, August 18, 2014

Strawberry Ice Cream

This recipe actually started out as a bit of a flop for me, but I was able to save it and I adjusted the recipe below for how you should actually prepare the ice cream. Don't be like me!

I really, really, really love ice cream, especially homemade, but store-bought is delicious too  I am pretty much impartial when it comes to flavor, I have yet to meet an ice cream flavor that I don't like, and I don't think I could possibly choose a favorite. So, when strawberry season was here, I decided it was time to try making homemade strawberry ice cream.

I really like the texture of frozen berry chunks in ice cream, so I thought, let's try making the ice cream with a vanilla base and stir in some soft, juicy chunks of strawberry as the ice cream finishes blending.  I thought this would be good because the juices would nicely flavor the vanilla base and there would be lots of frozen berry texture goodness.  Yea, well, that didn't really turn out so great. For some reason, even though the berries tasted delicious fresh, once they were frozen they tasted like frozen chunks of nothing/water stirred into super flavorful, sweet ice cream. I don't know if this was caused by something in my technique or what happened exactly.

So to fix my problem, I let the ice cream soften a bit, blended everything up in my blender, and let the mixture refreeze.  This new, improved, re-blended ice cream tastes amazzzzing. When making homemade ice cream, I am a huge fan of Philadelphia style ice cream, which is basically just cream, milk, sugar and flavorings instead of a custard based mix (which is more common).  Especially with fruit ice creams, I find the flavor to be more pure and the texture to be a bit smoother on the palette.  The ice cream is so fruity and creamy with just enough richness without feeling too heavy.  The flavor and texture of this ice cream as it melts, is actually a really wonderful accompaniment to a warm piece of cobbler, crisp, brownies, cake, etc. If you would put whipped cream on it, you want to put this ice cream on it!

I know strawberry season has passed by for the year, but if you find a good deal on decent tasting strawberries, give this recipe a try or save it for next June when the berries are really worth it again! Oh and just for comparison, the top picture is before fixing the ice cream and the bottom picture is what it looked like after.

Strawberry Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 cup strawberries, hulled and quartered
3/4 cup white sugar
1 vanilla bean (optional)
1 tbsp vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, heat the cream and sugar over medium heat just until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.  You do not need to even simmer the cream, just dissolve the sugar.  Stir in the milk, vanilla extract and seeds of the vanilla bean, if using.  Use a blender or food processor to blend the strawberries until about 90% pureed.  I like to keep a few small chunks of strawberry pieces in the ice cream, but you can fully blend and strain the mixture if you want the ice cream completely smooth. Add the strawberry puree to the ice cream mixture and stir well.  Let this mixture chill in the fridge for about 1 hour and then prepare in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.  The ice cream will be soft serve consistency, so transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.


Inspired by Foodwishes

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