Thursday, July 21, 2011

Strawberry Ice Cream

I've been on an ice cream kick lately. Mostly due to the fact that I finally joined the crowd and started using recipes from this brilliant book:

David Lebovitz's, The Perfect Scoop, has taken ice cream making to a whole new level with this recipe-packed cookbook, which is often referred to as the "Ice Cream Bible". 

Now, anyone who knows me, even a little, probably knows that I'm a sucker for ice cream. Growing up we had a mugful of ice cream every night (not sure why mugs?) It's a saying in my family that my legs are hollow, so even if my stomach is full, there was always a place to put some ice cream, and by some, they mean a thigh-full. 

So you can imagine my despair after many failed attempts at ice cream making (and this was after the amazing providence of finding a brand-new, never-out-of-the-box Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker for $5 at a yard sale!)  My first attempt, if I remember correctly, was a pumpkin ice cream which had a nice flavor but it was basically frozen pumpkin pie filling. It was so thick and had a similar texture, not the smooth and creamy I was hoping for. Then there were the sorry attempts at a custard base which left me with a pot of scrambled eggs floating in sweetened cream. There was the time I added the cream too early and things didn't come together (duh, read the recipe!) I fiddled with Philadelphia style ice cream, but my husband kept asking questions like, "Is it supposed to be this icy?" So my ice cream maker sat in our cupboard for a year. 

That's when I had some delicious homemade honey ice cream at a friend's house and that got me to thinking again. I admittedly didn't try her recipe because it was an (eek) custard based ice cream, but I tried this simple honey ice cream that I found on 101 Cookbooks. I, unfortunately, didn't have any vanilla beans around so I instead did a basil honey by infusing a few basil leaves in the warm milk and honey in place of the vanilla. It turned out pretty well, but more importantly, it gave me a little ice cream making confidence. From there it was on to Green Tea, Strawberry, and Peach, all from The Prefect Scoop and all have turned out wonderfully. Even the Green Tea with a custard base. No scrambled eggs this time!

I want to share the Strawberry ice cream with you. With the strawberries that we picked this weekend, this ice cream is packed with intense strawberry flavor and is probably one of the best strawberry ice creams that I've had. The flavor was so good that I even got mad at my husband for eating it too quickly and not enjoying it like it deserved. Remember, this ice cream isn't full of air like the store-bought stuff, it should be eaten slow and savored.

Strawberry Ice Cream

1 lb. fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced
¾ cup sugar
1 tbsp. vodka
1 cup sour cream
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 t. fresh lemon juice

Gently mix strawberries, sugar, and vodka in a bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Let the mixture sit at room temperature, stirring once or twice.

Put the strawberry mixture, sour cream, heavy cream, and lemon juice in a food processor or blender and pulse a few times until blended, but still slightly chunky. 

Chill the mixture for at least one hour and then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacture's instructions. 

This ice cream thickened up nicely in the ice cream maker and would be good fresh out of the machine, though it's still much softer than store bought. Enjoy it! If that means scarfing it down...well...okay...just don't tell me about it. 

Note: This ice cream is best eaten the same day it's frozen. It seems to get icy after that, but you can leave it out on the counter for 10 minutes and that should help. Still, eat it the same day if you can (preferably not by yourself!)

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