Posting an ice cream recipe in the dead middle of winter seems like a perfectly reasonable and logical thing to do, right?
Last fall, Matt went out to do some grocery shopping, and unbeknownst to me, he also had a coupon in his pocket for Bed, Bath, & Beyond. When he came home, he unloaded everything that was included on our weekly shopping list, with a little special addition – this Cuisinart ice cream maker.
My mind exploded with possibilities – everything from fresh fruit sorbets and low-fat frozen yogurts for healthy days, and smooth custardy ice creams for naughty days. Of course, other things got in the way of those plans and as the days got colder and the holidays got closer, the ice cream maker sat in its box on the floor of our laundry room, waiting to be used.
Finally, as we planned one of our carefully calculated cheat days, we decided that the time had come to put this baby through its paces in the form of some creamy, smooth strawberry vanilla bean ice cream.
See all of the little specks in there? I love to use this Madagascar bourbon vanilla bean paste in place of extract whenever I can. It’s much thicker than extract, almost like honey, and it contains actual specks of vanilla bean. The taste is out of this world.
Of course, you can totally use regular vanilla extract in place of the paste – but if you can find the paste or order some online, it’s totally worth it.
I also decided to use a smooth, cooked strawberry puree as opposed to adding the chunks of fruit directly to the ice cream mixture. I find that larger fruit chunks tend to get too hard and icy, but using a smooth puree adds ribbons of fresh flavor throughout the mixture without too much extra “crunchiness” going on.
Here’s the recipe – hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
|Strawberry Vanilla Bean Ice Cream|| |
- STRAWBERRY PUREE:
- 8oz frozen or fresh unsweetened strawberries, chopped and stems removed.
- 2 TBS white sugar
- VANILLA BEAN ICE CREAM:
- 2 cups half-and-half, or 1 cup each of whole milk and heavy cream.
- 5 large egg yolks
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (use pure extract if you don't have paste)
- ⅔ cup white sugar
- STRAWBERRY PUREE:
- If using frozen strawberries, place them into a bowl on the counter for a few hours to thaw, or thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
- Chop thawed or fresh strawberries into small pieces.
- Combine sugar and strawberries into a small saucepan on medium low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Bring to a low simmer until mixture combines and thickens slightly. Use the back of a large spoon to mash the strawberries until mostly smooth, and then remove from heat and allow to cool.
- ICE CREAM:
- In a stainless steel bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the half-and-half or cream/milk mixture until it begins to bubble and foam. Remove from heat.
- Very slowly, being careful not to cook the eggs, pour the hot half-and-half into the whipped yolks while constantly whisking to prevent curdling. If lumps do form, pour through a strainer before continuing.
- Place the stainless bowl over a saucepan of an inch or two of simmering water (double boiler).
- Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the custard thickens and has either reached 170F or coats the back of the spoon when dipped.
- Remove from heat and continue to stir to prevent overheating. Stir in the vanilla bean paste and strawberry puree.
- Let cool to room temperature, and then transfer to a bowl or tupperware, cover, and refrigerate for several hours (overnight is best).
- Once chilled, transfer mixture to ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Ice cream is ready to eat immediately, but if you want it to be firmer, transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze for an additional couple of hours.
- Recipe makes between 3-4 cups of ice cream.
- Adapted from JoyofBaking.com
If you want to really get crazy, I have it on good authority that scooping this ice cream over a bowl of our warmed up ooey gooey brownies creates a sweet dessert indulgence that will make you cry in happiness and bliss.
Oh, and before I go – if the idea of homemade ice cream is just not your idea of fun in the middle of winter, here’s an image that you can pin so you can whip this baby out when the warmer months hit!