I was so happy to return from our Memorial Day trip and discover that strawberries have finally arrived in our area. It has been a cold wet Spring and that doesn’t produce the best strawberries. They need warm dry weather to be the most flavorful. I realized as we were leaving town last weekend they were available but I wanted to purchase fresh ones when I returned. I was very happy to find these at a favorite fruit stand on Tuesday.
I thought of many different ways to prepare the strawberries and I finally decided that I will make strawberry ice cream. I am sharing a recipe from my Cuisinart ice cream maker brochure that I received with my tabletop ice cream maker. We loved this ice cream and I do substitute Splenda for the sugar in the recipe so my husband can enjoy it too.
Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
Preparation: 5-10 minutes, plus 2 hours for the strawberries to macerate. 20-25 minutes chilling time; optional 2 hours to ripen. Makes 12 ½ cup servings
1 pint fresh ripe strawberries, stemmed and sliced
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup sugar, divided
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a small bowl, combine the strawberries with the lemon juice and 1/3 cup fo the sugar; stir gently and allow the strawberries to macerate in the juices for 2 hours.
In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer or a whisk to combine the milk and granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1-2 minutes on low speed. Stir in the heavy cream plus any accumulated juices from the strawberries and vanilla.
Turn on the machine, pour mixture into freezer bowl through spout and let mix until thickened, about 25-30 minutes. Add the sliced strawberries during the last five minutes of freezing.
When using this recipe and it mentions accumulated juices, if your strawberries have lots of juice, you may have too much accumulated juice and the ice cream will run over in the maker so you might want to add the juices sparingly. Also the ice cream will have a natural appearance of a very pale pink and if you want a richer pink color you can add a few drops of red food coloring until you have the desired color.
This final picture of our first strawberries shows you how I store them until used. When I purchase them, I immediately spread them out into a cookie sheet or sheet cake pan and store them in the refrigerator. They seem to stay fresher longer when stored this way. It has always worked for me and I hope it works for you too. I also wash the berries as I use them and that keeps them from becoming mushy.
Hope you have a great weekend and hope you will be able to enjoy some fresh berries soon.