Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

by Darla

Is there anything quite like fresh strawberries in summer? It’s really warmed up on my little island to some serious summer temps in the last week or two and nothing has sounded quite as good as red, ripe strawberries. Unfortunately, they’re a bit of a rarity around here. As I said about raspberries a couple of weeks ago, fresh berries are a treat here. They aren’t grown on a commercial scale anywhere on island, and they have to travel pretty far in less than ideal conditions to reach us, so they’re often past their prime when they arrive. Last week, before I left for Minnesota, though, we had several stacks of  lovely strawberries to choose from, so I grabbed a couple of packages for some sweet, summery ice cream.

I think strawberries are one of the most naturally beautiful foods there is. They’re so bright and beautiful, and completely irresistible looking. And that’s just how they look! That doesn’t even get into how scrumptious they are. Admittedly, I’ve never enjoyed them in or on ice cream before. I’m not really sure why, except that most strawberry ice creams I’ve tasted were either way too sweet or very fake tasting. I decided to set out to create a strawberry ice cream recipe that was both fresh and real tasting, as well as sweet and tart.

I think I accomplished the task, and I got to enjoy the yummy (and pretty) results with the hubster and our boy before I set off for Minnesota.

In fact, the ice cream turned out so good that I considered making some for my family while I was visiting, but let me tell you, June or no, it is cooooooold here right now. Maybe it’s just because I’m getting so used to the heat of the Caribbean, but I don’t think so. After all, it was only 45 degrees yesterday. In June. Brrrrrr!

Needless to say, so far, I’ve been making warm you up, oven baked treats with my nephews since I got here. Yesterday, we decided to have some of my chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, and they were perfect for warming us up from the inside out. If I were going to make homemade ice cream during my visit, though, this would definitely be it! Especially since my big sis loves strawberries.

This particular recipe calls for fresh berries, but if you had to use frozen, you could. For fresh berries, they’ll have to be hulled before using. A fast, easy way to hull lots of strawberries in a little time is to use a regular drinking straw. Make sure it’s a little on the wide side so that you get the whole stem of the strawberry. Just place the straw against the bottom of the strawberry, lining it up as best as possible with the stem on the other side. Then just push the straw gently through the strawberry to the base of the stem. Now it really is a STRAWberry!! *ba dum bum* ;)

Anyway. Push the straw the rest of the way through the berry until the stem pops out.

When all is said and done, you’ll have perfectly cored berries, and it only takes a few minutes to get all of them done. From here on out, it’s only a matter of pureeing the berries, doing a little mixing, and freezing and you have fresh, homemade strawberry ice cream.

I have truly never been a fan of strawberry ice cream before, but I love that this recipe is just slightly tart. It reminds me of a creamy, slightly sweeter, strawberry sherbet. Usually strawberry ice cream is a little too cloying sweet for my taste, but the addition of a splash of lemon juice to this version brings out that tartness of the berries just a bit, and it’s perfect.

If you’re enjoying some hot, summer weather right now, and could use a quick, cool summer treat, this is a great recipe. Plus, you can easily substitute raspberries in place of the strawberries, if you prefer. Also, just wait until you see what I did with the leftover ice cream we had! ;)

If you’re a strawberry ice cream lover, this is definitely a can’t miss recipe to try. It’s perfect, cool, and refreshing on a hot summer day. Enjoy!

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

Ingredients

1 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
4 egg yolks

Slice the strawberries then toss them in a medium bowl with the sugar and lemon juice. Cover and set aside for one hour while you prepare the ice cream.

In a medium sauce pan set over medium high heat, combine the milk, cream, and sugar. Stir frequently to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a low simmer, then remove from heat.

Whisk the egg yolks together in a small bowl. Whisking constantly (be sure to do this, so that you temper the eggs), add about 1 cup of the hot cream mixture to the yolks in a slow, steady stream. Once combined, whisk in another cup of the mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the remaining milk mixture in the sauce pan and return to medium heat. Stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula, cook the custard until it thickens slightly and coats the spatula. Remove from heat and pour through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl. Place the bowl over an ice bath and stir until the mixture has cooled to room temperature. Set aside while you make the puree.

Stir the strawberry mixture to even coat everything, then transfer it to a blender or food processor. Process until completely pureed, then pour the strawberries into the ice cream mixture and stir to combine.

Pour the strawberry cream mixture into the bowl of an ice cream maker. Freeze following manufacturer’s instructions.

Recipe by Darla

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kathia June 21, 2011 at 10:46 am

A recipe like this is the perfect reason to get and ice cream machine. Lovely pictures.

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2 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking June 21, 2011 at 11:31 am

What a lovely homemade ice cream! Your photos are just stunning, also. Thanks for sharing this great recipe! It’s just one more reason that I NEED an ice cream maker, haha.

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3 Eat Good 4 Life June 21, 2011 at 11:33 am

This reminds me I have to get my ice cream maker out for the summer. I even have all of the ingredients to make a healthy version. Loved using it last year, really like your pictures :-)

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4 katescakesandbakes June 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Great tip Darla on coring the strawberries, thank you. Your ice cream looks absolutely delicious- a real strawberry treat!

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5 Karly June 21, 2011 at 3:27 pm

That looks amazing! I’ve never been a fan of strawberry ice cream, but I’ve never had homemade before! I’m guessing I’d love it. :)

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6 Emily@SoDomesticated June 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm

We have yet to use our ice cream maker…. this just might give me the excuse to do so!

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7 Kathy June 21, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Its 76 degrees where I am. I NEED this ice cream!! Pronto too!
I once read on a blog where the blogger didn’t have an ice cream machine, but was able to make ice cream anyways by just pouring the ice-cream mixture into a container, place it in the fridge, and just mix it frequently (or was it every once in awhile?)

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8 what katie's baking June 22, 2011 at 1:12 am

good strawberries are hard to find!
this recipe looks perfect for summer
mmmmm

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9 Debbie June 23, 2011 at 3:29 am

I love that tip for coring strawberries! Totally going to try that. And the recipe looks great too. Now I have another reason to go find a strawberry farm.

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