Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

I started out my new recipes week the way I am always tempted to start my meals – with dessert first!

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I’ve made ice cream plenty of times, but I’ve never gotten too adventurous with it – I usually stick to a basic vanilla base and just add a little extract for flavor and nuts or chocolate chips for texture.  We bought a huge package of strawberries at Costco this weekend, though, so I figured it was time to try my hand at my first fruity ice cream.

Ice cream at home is surprisingly simple – just takes a few basic ingredients and an ice cream machine, which you can get pretty cheap if you find a sale – ours was just $20 at Costco last year.  Right now on Amazon it’s priced at $41, but I’m sure there are deals to be found out there!  Any basic ice cream maker will work, it’s not a complex appliance – just a freezer bowl, a plastic insert and cover, and an on-off switch. 

The process wasn’t much harder than plain ice cream – the only extra step I had to take was prepping and macerating the strawberries, which only took a few minutes of active work and then a two-hour waiting period while the berries got nice and sweet.  The result was a creamy, sweet ice cream bursting with fresh strawberry flavor!

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

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recipe from Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker User Guide

makes 1.25 quarts, about 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, stemmed and chopped
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

In a small bowl, combine the strawberries with the lemon juice and 1/3 cup of the sugar.  Stir gently and allow the strawberries to macerate for 2 hours in the fridge.

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In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining 2/3 cup sugar into the cup of milk until dissolved - you can use a mixer for this step, but it’s not hard and a little extra bicep exercise never hurts!

Stir in the heavy cream, the vanilla and the juices from the macerated strawberries.  Turn on the ice cream maker and pour the mixture into the bowl.  Let mix until thickened, about 20 minutes.

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Add in the strawberries and let mix for another 5 minutes.  Empty the ice cream into a container (I used a 5-cup size Rubbermaid) and smooth the top, then store immediately in the freezer.  It will set fully in about 6 hours – but it tastes great and can be served right away, it’ll just be a little soft.

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Definitely happy with the way it turned out, and looking forward to serving this festive ice cream for the 4th of July holiday!

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