Ok, I'll admit it: I've gone strawberry crazy. It's just that I love strawberries so much that I want to take full advantage of the fact that they are in season (not to mention good for you). I've used them in salads and made the classic shortcake, but now I'm (as Emeril would say) kicking it up a notch. The weather has been so beautiful that I've been dying to take the old ice cream maker out of hibernation. You know where this is going: I want to make strawberry ice cream! Making ice cream at home is no harder than making a custard, pudding, or pastry creme and the end result is pure, creamy heaven. If you are loca for fresas (translation: crazy for strawberries,
2 cups (480 ml) half-and-half
5 large egg yolks
2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup Strawberry Puree:
20 ounces of fresh strawberries or 1 - 20 ounce bag (570 grams) of frozen unsweetened strawberries
1/4 - 1/3 cup (50 - 65 grams) granulated white sugar, or to taste
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, optional
- Make the strawberry puree: place the unsweetened frozen strawberries in a large bowl and thaw. This may take a few hours. Or if using fresh strawberries skip yo the next step.
- Once thawed, put the strawberries and their juice in the bowl of a food processor or blender and process the berries until they are pureed.
- Pour the puree into a 2 cup (480 ml) measuring cup. You should have about 1 1/4 cups of puree.
- Add 1/4 cup (50 grams) of the sugar to start and stir until the sugar dissolves. Taste and add more sugar if needed. Can also add a little lemon juice to taste. (Store covered in the refrigerator for one week. The sauce can also be frozen.)
- In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring the half-and-half and the vanilla bean (if using) to the scalding point (the milk begins to foam up). Remove from heat, take out the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds from the bean with the back of a knife, and mix the seeds back into the half-and-half.
- Meanwhile in a stainless steel bowl beat the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy (about two minutes). You can do this with a wire whisk or a hand mixer.
- Gradually pour the scalding half-and-half into the whipped egg yolk mixture, making sure you keep whisking constantly so the eggs don't curdle. If any lumps do form, strain the mixture first before heating.
- Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook until the custard thickens enough that it coats the back of a spoon (170 degrees F) (77 degrees C).
- Immediately remove the custard from the heat and continue to stir the custard for a few minutes so it does not overcook. At this point stir in the vanilla extract, if using. Stir in the strawberry puree.
- Cover and let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate the custard until it is completely cold (several hours but preferably overnight).
- Transfer the cold custard to the chilled container of your ice cream machine and process according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Once made, transfer the ice cream to a chilled container and store in the freezer. If the ice cream becomes too hard place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before serving so it can soften.
Makes about 3 cups.