Growing up, each summer my mom would take us to the strawberry patch down the road. We would pick the juicy, red berries in the early morning sun and ride a tractor back to the farm, loaded with our bounty.
I loved squatting between the rows of plants, squealing at the occasional toad, and tasting the sweet berries. Grocery store strawberries, even when they were picked in season off in South America or California, still have nothing on these berries.
So unless I have top-of-their-prime strawberries to work with, I like to roast ’em instead. Especially for treats like ice cream. Roasting deepens the flavor of the strawberries, and even if I happen to get a bland-tasting pint from the store, I can still be assured of a flavorful ice cream.
For home ice cream spinning, I use a Cuisinart ice cream maker. They’re pretty simple devices that make it wonderfully easy to enjoy homemade ice cream.
How to make this recipe:
Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream (adapted from The Craft of Baking by Karen DeMasco and Mindy Fox)
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 egg yolks
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Toss the strawberries with 1/4 cup of the sugar and spread out in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast the berries for 10-15 minutes, until they release their juices and soften. Remove from oven and let cool.
Meanwhile, bring the milk, cream, vanilla bean, salt, and 3/4 cup of the remaining sugar to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk together the egg yolks and final 1/2 cup of sugar and slowly temper with the hot milk mixture. Return to the pot and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the the mixture has thickened and can coat the back of a spoon. It should read 82 C on a thermometer.
Remove from heat and pour through a fine-mesh strainer. Chill immediately until very cold. Pour the ice cream base into a blender with the strawberries and their juices. Puree until the strawberries are incorporated into the ice cream base.
Pour into your ice cream maker and follow your machine’s directions. Makes 1 1/2 quarts.