Strawberry ice cream made of real, local fresh strawberries, full cream milk, cream and eggs is a rare find. In fact, you almost always have to make it yourself.
There’s a kind of cooking that is more satisfying than any other. On opening the fridge, while the mind is still far away, you spy provisions of quality, bought this morning or yesterday, vying for their place on this evening’s dinner table. The brain aligns itself…Have I the time to prepare this now? Do I have all the ingredients? The simpler the food, the more likely the answer is to be yes. Apron on, sleeves up. As the slogan goes …‘Just Do It’
And so it was with Strawberry Ice Cream. The fridge door proudly boasted Raw Milk, from the Tiernan Family Farm in Co.Louth. There were free-range eggs from Boyne Pastures, Stackallen, Co.Meath and strawberries from Keelings. Having bought an ice cream maker when our house was full of small children, I pulled it out of retirement and got busy.
Strawberry Ice Cream
- 2x300g punnets of Strawberries (1 ¼ lbs) hulled and chopped (you may use less)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 200g (1 cup) vanilla caster sugar, divided into 150g and 50g (¾ and ¼ cup) amounts
- 2 large eggs
- 240 ml (1 cup) full cream milk
- 480 ml (2 cups) whipping cream
Place the strawberries in a large bowl. Using a hand blender, blitz them until about ¾ have turned to purée and ¼ are still in bits.
Add lemon juice and ¼ cup or 50g of caster sugar. Stir gently with a spoon, cover with clingfilm and put by for an hour or so.
Note: Vanilla sugar is made by putting three or four vanilla pods in a large glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, covering them with caster sugar, and leaving alone for a few months. Every time you remove some vanilla scented sugar for use, stir the remainder with a metal spoon and refill to the neck with more caster sugar. This way, you’ll get a gentle suggestion of vanilla in a dish rather than the commercial assault to the nostrils and palate that we’re all so accustomed to.
Using an electric beater and a large mixing bowl beat the eggs until foamy and doubled in volume. Add the remaining ¾ cup or 150g sugar, tablespoon by tablespoon, beating all the time. Add milk and mix until incorporated.
Decant the strawberries and their juice into this mixture and mix well with a large spoon.
Stir in whipping cream.
Pour into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
This recipe makes about 2.3 litres of ice cream. It sounds huge, but since it freezes well, there’s an economy of scale. You can freeze it in several smaller containers. My ice cream maker can handle about 1 litre at a time, so I pour in the first lot, put the machine to work and refrigerate the second lot until the machine is ready for it. You might prefer to halve the ingredients for a smaller amount of ice cream.
Do bear in mind that all the ingredients are rich so small portions are very satisfying. It’s delicious with fresh strawberries.
-“Guess what I’ve made for dessert?” I asked my resident teenager later…….“strawberry ice cream”
Wince, cringe, moan…
-“You KNOW I hate strawberry ice cream”
-“ I know you hate synthetic strawberry-flavoured chemicals in your food, but this is the Real Thing”. ( I won’t even repeat the rant in my head about the sugar rush of cheap ingredients, creating the craving for more of the same etc. etc…..)
We ate it in front of the TV, watching the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. Quality viewing, quality dessert. Even the teenage critic was content.
Remember the expression ‘strawberries and cream complexion’? ( or ‘peaches and cream as in the song ” You’re Sixteen..” )
It’s all here…Vitamins A,D,E,K in the milk and cream, Vitamin C in the strawberries.