I have become a strawberry ice cream convert in my adulthood. When I was a kid, I didn’t want to be anywhere near the stuff. I’ve always adored strawberries, but for some reason strawberry ice cream couldn’t have been more vile to me. The worst possible thing was when I would be at someone else’s house and a carton of Neapolitan ice cream appeared. Vanilla? Good. Chocolate? Good. Strawberry? Bleh. And I felt like it contaminated both of the others. God forbid a drop of strawberry touched one of the other two. I wouldn’t eat the entire bowl. What was wrong with me?? Maybe I had never had really good strawberry ice cream. Maybe my palate had yet to mature. Well, now I’m all grown up and I’m here to tell you that this fresh strawberry ice cream is most definitely one of the best things you can make this summer.
I love this strawberry ice cream in a waffle or sugar cone. Something about the contrast between the fresh sweetness of the ice cream and the crunch of those types of cones just seems like a perfect match to me.
I used a whole quart of strawberries for this recipe, which really infuses the ice cream with amazing flavor. Another perk to the amount of strawberries used is that you are guaranteed many chunks of those juicy red berries with each creamy bite. The strawberries are pulsed in a food processor with a bit of sugar and lemon juice and then left to macerate in the fridge while the ice cream base is made. If you don’t have a food processor, not to worry. You can prepare the strawberries with a potato masher, pastry blender, or even chop them up with a knife.
1. Place the strawberries, ¼ cup of the granulated sugar, and the lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse 2 to 3 times, gently mixing after each pulse, so that most of the strawberries are mashed up, with a few larger pieces remaining. Transfer the strawberry mixture to a container and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. In the meantime, start on the ice cream base. Warm 1 cup of the cream, the milk, the remaining ¾ cup of granulated sugar and the salt in a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Once the cream mixture is warmed through and the sugar is dissolved, add the vanilla bean, cover and remove from the heat. Let steep for 30 minutes.
3. Pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream in a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
4. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula (or reaches 170 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer). Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream, then stir in the vanilla extract. Remove the strawberry mixture from the refrigerator and add it to the cream mixture, stirring to fully combine. Set the bowl in an ice bath and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Once cool, cover and place the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours (or overnight).
4. Once the mixture is sufficiently chilled, remove the vanilla bean and churn the ice cream according to your ice cream maker's instructions.