Those that experience homemade strawberry ice cream for the first time are usually spellbound. The delicious combination of creamy dairy and fresh strawberries is amazing. Although store-bought strawberry ice cream can be enjoyable, it pales in comparison to what can be achieved at home.
There is one challenge with using strawberries. They contain a whopping 91% water content, which isn’t ideal when using them for ice cream. Water makes the texture icy and unpleasant. So adding chunks of strawberry, may seem a good idea, but results in tooth-breaking bullets with minimal flavor.
You may be starting to think strawberry ice cream is a “fools errand”, but don’t put your ice cream machine back in the cupboard just yet. We’ve got some tricks up our sleeves to help you make a dessert that will have the neighbors knocking on your door.
How to make strawberry ice cream
Yield: 1 quart. Prep time: 15 minutes. Cook time: 10 minutes.
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 Tbsp Vodka, or similar white spirit
- 1/2 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ cups whole milk
- 1¼ cups heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp skim milk powder
- Use a blender to blitz half the strawberries and lemon juice until smooth, then press through a sieve into a large bowl. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate until needed.
- Finely slice the remaining strawberries and combine with a ½ cup of sugar and vodka before adding to an airtight container and refrigerating overnight.
- Whisk the egg yolks, vanilla, and remaining sugar in a small bowl until pale in color. Set aside.
- Add milk, cream and milk powder to a saucepan and whisk until there are no lumps. Heat on med-high until the liquid is simmering then remove heat.
- Scoop out a ladle of the milk and slowly pour into the egg, whisking as fast as possible. Slowly pour the yolks back into the saucepan of milk until everything is combined. Return to the heat and allow to simmer until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow the liquid to boil as it can cause the yolks to cook.
- Transfer the custard base to an airtight container and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight.
- When it is time to process the ice cream, whisk the blitzed strawberries into the custard base until combined. Pour into the ice cream maker and churn as per the manufacturer’s instructions. As the ice cream begins to thicken, add the macerated strawberries, and continue churning until it reaches a soft-serve consistency. Scoop into an airtight container and freeze for 3 hours or until hard.
How to deal with icy strawberries
Use skim milk powder
Skim milk powder is a useful ingredient for absorbing the water content in the strawberries and milk. It will help produce a creamier ice cream without adding additional fat content.
Macerate the strawberries
Finely chop the fruit and the macerate with sugar and alcohol to improve the final flavor of the ice cream. This step will also reduce the freezing point of the ice cream, resulting in an improved texture. Don’t want to add alcohol to your dessert? Leave it out and only use sugar.
How to make ice cream without an ice cream maker
An ice cream machine will make life a lot simpler and produce incredible ice cream. If you don’t have one, then check out our review of the top ice cream makers currently available. We did many hours of research to bring you all the top products in one place.
But if you don’t have one, you can still complete this recipe. Follow all the steps until it comes to churning, then mix the strawberry pieces into the ice cream base and scoop everything into an airtight container.
After 20 minutes, remove the ice cream and mix with a whisk or fork until smooth, then return to the freezer. Repeat this step every 20-30 minutes until the ice cream hardens.
5 Tips to improve your strawberry ice cream
- Use frozen berries if they aren’t in season; the flavor won’t be perfect, but they’ll still make an enjoyable frozen dessert.
- An easy way to make richer, denser ice cream is to increase the egg yolks. Between four and six will be sufficient, but remember, this will enhance the taste of the egg.
- To reduce the temperature of the custard base before churning, add it to the freezer for 10 minutes. It will churn faster and result in better ice cream.
- Try adding a little salt to the custard base before churning to enhance the strawberry flavor.
- Organic milk and cream will produce a much better ice cream.
Learn how to make ice cream at home. Our guide shows you multiple methods for creating the best ice cream on offer.
Strawberry ice cream is a favorite food of mine in summer, thanks to its sweet, creamy taste. It’s a versatile dessert that can be served alongside almost anything else. If you’re inundated with strawberries towards the end of the season, you may like to try making sorbet? It’s an ideal dessert for clearing out excess fruit you are struggling to eat.
What is your favorite berry to add to ice cream? Let us know in the comments below.