I can’t believe that it’s already the end of June and this the very first batch of homemade ice cream I’ve churned up so far this year! I’m way, way behind on my ice cream game. I’ve been eating fresh fruit by the boatload for the last month, and wanted to make an ice cream that took advantage of the awesome produce we have right now. I have had the Jeni’s ice cream book on my shelf for well over a year now, and had yet to make a recipe from it, so I turned there first. As soon as I stumbled upon the roasted strawberry and buttermilk version, I knew I was in business.
Believe it or not, I have never roasted strawberries before, and I’m totally sold on the idea. It does an incredible job of concentrating and intensifying their flavor. Even though this ice cream contains a seemingly small amount of strawberry puree (a half cup), the finished product is literally bursting with the flavor of sweet and juicy strawberries.
I was also curious (suspicious?) of this particular method of ice cream-making. Instead of using egg yolks to thicken the custard and create a richness, the combination of a cornstarch slurry and a little bit of cream cheese is used. In the past, I have found that ice cream recipes that don’t use egg yolks are not nearly as rich or creamy, and tend to have an ice milk quality to them.
Using the combination of the cornstarch slurry and the cream cheese resulted in this ice cream base having the consistency and flavor of a sweetened condensed milk. Which is to say, it was amazing. I still withheld judgement until it had been frozen overnight for the true test. The verdict was that it was absolutely rich, creamy and delicious. The consistency is slightly different than my egg yolk custards, but not at all in a bad way, just different.
I was blown away by the flavor and consistency of this ice cream, and I love that this method allows you to make the base and churn the ice cream within an hour of each other. Genius!
Now that I’ve kicked off my summer ice cream-making, I have a long list that I need to tackle. In the meantime, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be eating this one straight from the freezer, with a spoon. Don’t judge.
Roast the Strawberries: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine the strawberries with the sugar in an 8-inch square baking dish. Roast for 8 minutes, or until barely soft. Let cool slightly.
Place the strawberries in a food processor, along with the lemon juice. Puree until smooth. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large measuring cup and strain the strawberry puree. Set aside ½ cup for the recipe; refrigerate the remaining for another use.
Make the Ice Cream Base: Mix 2 tablespoons of the whole milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry; set aside.
Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and water; set aside.
Combine the remaining whole milk, the cream, sugar and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Return the pan to medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Add the reserved ½-cup strawberry puree and the buttermilk and whisk to thoroughly combine. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon resealable freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice if necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
Churn the Ice Cream: Churn the ice cream in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Place in an airtight container and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.