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!Print
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!