It’s almost summer. I think. Status updates of finals being over and the sounds of children laughing during the daytime without backpacks on is a dead giveaway. I have a bias towards the summer, since I prefer fall the best. Summer reminds me of sticky muggy weather which makes me stand in front of the AC vents for hours on end, sucking on ice cubes like it’s my profession. But I enjoy summer for a lot of reasons. One of which is the abundance of fresh fruits available to me. Like strawberries.
Do you like strawberries? I love strawberries. Fresh, cold, right out of the fridge into my mouth. I mean, after I wash it. right. So I decided to put my ice cream maker to use for some homemade strawberry ice cream. I did some research and found an amazing recipe that requires the strawberries to be baked with balsamic to enhance the flavor.
Try it out for yourself. I think I got some amazing results.
Vanilla Ice Cream base
- 1 cup whole milk
- A pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 5 large egg yolks
For the Strawberry puree
- 1 pound fresh strawberries
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar – preferably aged
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornsyrup
Start with the Vanilla base
- For the vanilla base. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for one hour.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.
- Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
- Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight.
The next day:
- Toss the berries with the balsamic and sugar, lay them out on a baking pan on top of a silicone mat. Make sure you use one with sides, because the juices will over run the pan. Place the pan in the oven and turn it on to 300°F and slowly roast them until they have given up their juices and are kind of mushy looking. Their color will also be darker. This will take about 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the fruit.
- Scoop the fruit and all of its sugars into a bowl. Add the corn syrup to the fruit, it will add sweetness, but will keep the ice cream a silky smooth texture.
- Throw the strawberry mixture into a blender and pulse (more or less if you like it chunky, you can also use a potato masher). Chill the berries until they are very cold- about 3-4 hours.
- Add the berries to the vanilla ice cream machine base and turn on. You should start getting soft serve consistency in about 20-25 minutes.
- While it is in the machine, place a bowl in the freezer to have ready to scoop the ice cream into. Once the ice cream is frozen to a soft-serve consistency, scoop it into the frozen bowl and place it in the freezer for a couple of hours to firm up.
- Scoop and enjoy. Pairs well with a slice of vanilla cake. For me I like to eat ice cream with anything. You can even blend some ice cream with a cup of milk, half a banana, and a tablespoon of honey to get a delicious strawberry banana shake .
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