Queensland strawberries came into season a few weeks ago. What a lovely lovely thing this is! Big, red, shiny sweet berries for snacking are readily available and cost effective. I decided it was time to have a go at making some strawberry ice cream. I looked in the ice cream maker recipe book and online and found a lovely recipe by Laura at the Rookie Cook which was adapted by her from the Ben and Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream and Dessert recipe book. It had more strawberries in it than the recipe I found in the ice cream maker booklet and I decided that could only be a good thing! Here is the process I followed making her recipe and some of the results. Enjoy!
2 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries, divided
1/3 cup sugar (for the strawberries)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar (for the cream mixture)
2 cups pure cream
1 cup milk (I just used skim, it was what we had in the fridge!)
1. Wash and dry the strawberries. Laura is insistent about ensuring that the strawberries are dry so the ice cream doesn’t become icy. I was careful and it worked.
2. Chop the strawberries and place in a bowl. Cover them with the sugar and lemon juice. chopping them increases their surface area, adding the lemon juice and sugar kind of allows all the strawberryness to escape into the ice cream! Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for at least an hour before adding them to the cream mixture.
3. Whisk the eggs in another bowl till they become light and fluffy. Add the sugar gradually, continue whisking and adding the sugar till the mixture is combined. Add the cream and the milk to the eggs and sugar, whisking again till combined.
4. Once the strawberries have begun to release their juice and you want to add them to the cream base, use a stick blender to puree them. Pour this strawberry puree into the cream mixture.
5. Use an ice cream maker to churn the ice cream mixture till aerated and chilled. Our machine did this mixture in two batches, churning each for 20 minutes (in an ideal world the bowl of the ice cream maker should have been re-frozen between each batch … I didn’t do this and it made for a much less aerated second batch!).
Optional: some of the strawberries can be reserved and not blended, then added as (drained) strawberry pieces so that the ice cream has fruit ‘chunks’ in it, but that depends on how you like your ice cream. I didn’t do this, I prefer a more consistent texture.
6. It is best to let this freeze overnight before enjoying. We found it was most delicious with one night of freezing, rather than leaving it in the fridge and saving it for special dessert the week later. Fresher is better even with strawberry ice cream!