Here in Southern California, strawberry season is in full swing. The farmer’s market strawberries are especially succulent, and I buy a bunch every weekend to enjoy with my daily breakfast of yogurt and granola. However, I reluctantly parted with a pint of the sweet fruit to attempt, yet again, another strawberry ice cream recipe. I’ve tried several in the past few years, and although they have tasted okay, they weren’t stellar enough for me to scream their deliciousness from the rooftops.
I’m still not ready to scream from the rooftops, but this recipe from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home is the best one I’ve found yet. I learned from her book that strawberry chunks tend to “freeze into rock-hard, flavorless chunks” due to the “high water content” of the berries. Yep, I’ve experienced that in some of my attempts. To remedy that problem, Jeni’s recipe calls for pureed berries. Although I’ve used pureed berries in other recipes, the final ice creams just haven’t wowed me enough to share them. This particular recipe, though, produced strawberry flavor with a creamy base that also has tang from buttermilk and cream cheese, which complements the sweetness of the fruit. The strawberries, by the way, are roasted for a few minutes, which reduces their water content a bit as well as deepening their sweet flavor.
I keep trying strawberry ice cream recipes because hubby loves the flavor. Although it’s not one of my top choices and I never order it when I buy ice cream from shops, I find I like this homemade strawberry ice cream well enough to enjoy a scoop or two for dessert at night.
Roasted Strawberry & Buttermilk Ice Cream
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Ice Cream Base
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 ounces (4 tbsp.) cream cheese, softened
- 1/8 tsp. fine sea salt
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- To make roasted strawberries: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Combine sliced strawberries with 1/3 cup sugar in an 8-inch square dish; stir to mix. Roast for 8 minutes until strawberries just soften. Allow to cool slightly.
- Puree berries in a food processor along with lemon juice. Measure 1/2 cup berries for the ice cream; refrigerate remainder for other uses. (Why make so much when all you need is 1/2 cup? If not, the strawberries will scorch or dry out during roasting.)
- To make the ice cream base: In a small bowl, make cornstarch slurry by mixing cornstarch with 2 tbsp. of milk. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk softened cream cheese and salt until smooth.
- In a 4-quart saucepan, combine remaining milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat; boil for 4 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Gradually whisk in cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until it thickens slightly, about one minute.
- Slowly whisk the hot mixture into the cream cheese. Whisk until smooth. Add 1/2 cup of the strawberry purée and the buttermilk; blend well.
- Pour the mixture into a large Ziploc bag, seal, and either submerge into an ice bath or place between frozen blue ice bags. Allow to chill for 30 minutes (I also place the ice bath in the refrigerator for the 30 minute period).
- Churn ice cream base in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Store ice cream in an airtight container in freezer for several hours before serving.