It’s been forever since I’ve recorded a recipe here! Time has really gotten away from me. My energy has turned to other tasks in the past few weeks, but I’m getting back on the cooking train. This ice cream seemed the perfect fit for a day like today in Southern California– it’s 90 degrees and feels like summer is officially here (not that it ever really left). If you have an ice cream maker, homemade ice cream is not a terribly time consuming project, and the results are beyond worth it. I just have a hand crank machine and I freeze the inner canister the night before and make the custard a few hours before spinning the ice cream. This is a recipe I’ve been playing around with a few months. I’ve found that cooking fresh strawberries down with a little port wine really brings out the sweetness and adds a level of complexity to the flavor.
1 pint fresh, ripe strawberries (preferably organic), sliced
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 Tbs. water
3 Tbs. Port (don’t break the bank on this–Trader Joe’s has some good, inexpensive ones)
2 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
1 1/2 cups 2 % milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
the tiniest pinch of salt
5 egg yolks
In a small sauce pan, heat sliced strawberries with water and 1/4 cup sugar. Let the mixture come to a light boil, then turn down a bit and simmer 6-7 minutes until strawberries have started to break down and liquid has started to reduce. Add Port and 1 tsp. vanilla. Let simmer another 5 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.
Separate eggs. Have eggs ready in a medium bowl. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl and place a smaller bowl inside the ice bath. Pour 1 cup of the cream in the small bowl. Save whites and use them for something! In a medium sauce pan, combine milk and 1/2 cup of the cream with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and pinch of salt. Heat over medium heat until the milk begins to steam. Stir in 1 tsp. vanilla, turn off the heat, and let sit for a minute. Beat the egg yolks and add a bit of the hot milk mixture to the eggs, beating well to incorporate. Add in a bit more, stir and then a bit more. Adding a bit of the hot liquid at a time prevents the eggs from scrambling. Once you’ve added about half of the milk mixture to the eggs, pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk mixture and turn the heat on to medium. Using a heatproof spatula, slowly stir the custard until it begins to thicken (about 7-8 minutes).
Place a strainer over the bowl of cream sitting in the ice bath and pour the hot custard through the strainer to remove any lumps that may have developed. Stir the custard into the cream and let cool for 10 minutes. Stir in the strawberry mixture. Pour the finished custard into a pitcher or container and place in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours. Freeze according to your machine’s directions.