Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ice Cream #3: Strawberry

Something joyous caught my eye the other day at the farmer's market. At first I could only smell their intense perfume wafting through the air, but when I turned around, I saw them sitting in their sweet little cartons, glistening in the sunlight. Strawberries! I know no better way to celebrate their arrival than by making strawberry ice cream. I've always liked strawberry ice cream, but I fell in love with it after making it in my own kitchen. What could be better than strawberries and cream? The two were made for each other!

I bought a carton of strawberries and surprised Aaron later in the afternoon when he got home from work. After waiting all winter long for the return of these beautiful berries, we sat at the table smelling their intensely sweet aroma and savoring each bite (I just hope the neighbors weren't watching because I'm sure we looked a little crazy). Sharing strawberries is hard enough, but sharing a bowl of homemade ice cream between the two of us becomes next to impossible, even if we have two spoons. It's childish really. But there are worse things to fight over than a bowl of ice cream. The solution: two bowls all to ourselves!

I've been using this recipe for strawberry ice cream for a number of years now. It's one of those things I'll make over and over again all summer long, and never tire of. A spring and summer classic.

Slightly adapted from Saveur, Issue 12

1 pint fresh strawberries (about 12 oz.), hulled and thinly sliced
1/3 cup sugar plus ¾ cup 
Juice of half a lemon
1½ cups whole milk
1¼ cups heavy cream
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
¼ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. vanilla extract

Combine strawberries, 1/3 cup sugar, and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Bring milk and cream just to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, ¾ cup sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. To temper, lightly whisk ½ cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture, then slowly add all of the egg mixture to the remaining cream mixture, whisking constantly. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 to 15 minutes. 

Strain the mixture though a fine mesh strainer into a clean mixing bowl. Stir in vanilla extract and stir the custard over an ice bath until cool. Refrigerate until completely cold (can be made a day in advance).

Slightly mash strawberries, then stir into the custard base and pour into an ice cream maker. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. 

Yield: About 1½ qts.

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