Ice cream is the edible staple of summer.
At my house, we’ve been toiling away at our first organic garden. And like any adventure we embark on, we went all in. We are growing a plethora of fruits and vegetables, tending them daily and watching the bountiful magic happen. With the garden variety of plants we’re growing, one crop is the most plentiful: strawberries. So many strawberry plants and so many berries! With each pint, I grow more astounded – and more inspired.
From the onset of our organic gardening adventure, I knew one sweet fate of the strawberries: ice cream.
I make ice cream every summer. As I always say, anything made at home versus in commercial production is always best, and ice cream is no exception. The combination of my homegrown, organic strawberries with local cream and milk yields a final result that is nothing short of heavenly.
Cream is foundation of any ice cream, and I always look for the best, local dairy products I can find. In the western portion of Virginia, there’s none better than Homestead Creamery. The milk and cream come from two local farms and is always free of antibiotics and hormones. It’s also sold in glass bottles that keep the product fresher longer and makes me feel like I’m experiencing an age long gone when milk wasn’t packaged in plastic or cardboard. The inclusion of this locally sourced milk and cream means that I get a fresher, more robust ice cream, and I can take pride in supporting my local economy.
When locally sourced ingredients combine with fruit fresh from the garden, magic happens.
This ice cream is best when you hit the farmer’s market or your garden for the ingredients. However, where you choose to grab your berries and cream is up to you. That’s the beauty of making your own food in the kitchen – you’re in control!
Making ice cream from your kitchen is fun and rewarding. This recipe is simple, and with a few steps, you have ice cream that you can share – or keep all for yourself! – that truly has your stamp on it. Strawberry ice cream is the taste that spells summer to me, far more than any other flavor. No chocolate or tropical flavors could better usher in summer than a big bowl of strawberry ice cream. Enjoy this cool taste of summer from my kitchen to yours.
Sweet Strawberry Ice Cream
Makes four servings
- 1 1/2 pints frozen strawberries, thawed
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sugar or granulated sweetener
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- First, remove any stems from your thawed strawberries. Place them in a food processor and pulse for 30 – 45 seconds. The mixture should be smooth and yield 1 1/2 cups. Cover and place in the refrigerator.
- In a large saucepan, combine milk and vanilla paste. Bring to a simmer. Stir frequently for 10 minutes or until the vanilla paste is fully incorporated and remove from heat.
- In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar or sweetener. Mix until thick and pale. Slowly stir the mixture into the saucepan of warm milk. On low heat, cook while stirring constantly. The mixture is ready to be removed when it coats the spoon or when your cooking thermometer reads 185 degrees.
- Remove the sauce pot from heat. Using a sieve, drain the liquid mixture into a separate container. Allow the custard mixture to cool completely, stirring occasionally. Once it reaches room temperature, cover and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of three hours and thoroughly chilled.
- Once your custard is chilled, combine with heavy cream and your processed strawberries. Mix well.
- Pour the mixture into your ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. Place in the freezer in an airtight container for a minimum of two hours additional freezing.
I often use Splenda in this recipe in place of sugar and have found that I achieve perfect results. Also, fresh strawberries can also be used in this recipe – simply refrigerate longer after processing. I have found, however, that using frozen berries improves the overall texture.