Homemade ice cream – is there anything more quintessentially summer? I remember the old ice/salt/hand crank machine my mom had at our beach place on Chincoteague Island. We’d happily crank away for hours, to turn out something more resembling soft serve. Always delicious, though! I’ve been seeing those contraptions at yard sales lately, and they always make me smile.
Thankfully, technology has come a long way in 20 years. The machines of today make making your own ice cream at home a breeze. I’ve given my ice cream bowl a permanent spot in our storage freezer, so it’s always on the ready to churn up something uber and awesome. And, this strawberry ice cream definitely fits that bill. I used fresh, local strawberries – those gorgeous little red gems…they made for such a gorgeous flavor and color. It was the perfect consistency too, smooth and creamy. I’ve tried a couple other recipes in the past that weren’t share-worthy, but this one definitely is a keeper.
Take advantage of your local berry population while you can, and make something delicious with them. Like this ice cream!
Strawberry Ice Cream
2 cups ripe strawberries, chopped
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 vanilla bean, split
6 large egg yolks
1 cup cold heavy cream
Place the strawberries in a large bowl and toss with the 2 tablespoons sugar. Set aside to macerate for 30 minutes. Remove 1/2 cup of the berries and puree in a blender or food processor. Return strawberry puree to bowl.
In a large nonreactive saucepan, combine the half-and-half, the 1/2 cup sugar, and the vanilla bean and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from the heat, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl until thick, about 3 minutes.
Temper the egg yolks by gradually adding about 1/2 cup of the warm half-and-half, whisking constantly. Transfer the yolk m ixture back to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the custard beings to thicken. It should register 176F on an instant-read thermometer or coat the back of a spoon. Immediately strain the custard into the bowl of strawberries and add the cold cream. Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until thouroughly chilled.
Freeze the ice cream in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a freezer-safe containter and freeze for at least an hour or two to firm up before serving.
Source: adapted from Frank Stitt’s Southern Table