31 August 2009

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

So today was Garrett's birthday, and he requested apple pie. Knowing he also likes fruit ice cream, Kivi and I went to a you pick place, and bought a bunch of wonderfully fresh strawberries. Then I looked up recipes. All of the recipes called for eggs (either 2 eggs or 3 egg yolks) and because I was uncomfortable serving raw eggs, I opted for one that made a custard. Otherwise, I mixed and matched from various recipes, until I came up with this one, and it's pretty good. Well, delicious, actually. And I don't even like strawberry ice cream.

1 pint fresh strawberries hulled, chopped and pureed (about 12 ounces after prep, or 1.75 c of puree)
1/3 cup sugar
juice from 1/2 lemon
zest from 1 lemon

Custard base:
3 egg yolks
¾ cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour

Combine egg yolks and ¾ cup sugar in a bowl and whisk until thick and pale.

Combine milk, cream, and vanilla in a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Heat, stirring constantly until it reaches approximately 160 degrees, then remove from heat. Spoon cream mixture by ¼ cupfuls into egg mixture and beat between each addition until about ½ of cream mixture remains. Add the eggs/cream mixture back into the saucepan with remaining cream. Return to medium heat, stirring constantly for 4-5 minutes until mixture coats the back of a spoon, and temperature is 180 degrees. Remove from heat and chill thoroughly.

Puree the strawberry mixture  (even if starting with puree - need to ensure sugar is dissolved) and add strawberry puree to custard base. Add to ice cream maker, and follow the manufacturer directions.

Yes, it was the best strawberry ice cream I've ever had, but there was one big flaw: Originally, I'd only pureed half the strawberries, and left some strawberry in chunks. The chunks when frozen were flavorless hard bits, and were texturally kind of strange in the ice cream. I learned quickly to puree the entire strawberry mixture.  If you want chunks of strawberry,  serve some chilled (but not frozen) strawberry chunks in a strawberry syrup on top.