Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Joys of Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

Yesterday, I went to Hann Farms and picked 13 pounds of strawberries (at $1.50/pound). I then canned 4 pints of strawberry jam (which for the first time in my life, jelled perfectly the first time). I also froze 3.5 quarts to later use in smoothies and cocktails. And I put aside 1.5 quarts for the God's Gardener's group which is meeting at Christ Lutheran Church on Tuesday, June 8, 2011 at 6:30. And I put aside 1 quart to make strawberry shortcake for myself. But I still had 2 quarts left and I got the hankering to pull my ice cream maker out of mothballs and see if it would really be that much trouble to make my own ice cream.

A few days ago, I saw an article online comparing the cost of homemade ice cream to store bought. They were comparable if you factored in the cost of the ice cream maker. Since I already own one, there's no real comparison. So, then I went to the handy-dandy site to search for ice cream recipes. I was dreading making my own custard from scratch (because I did not want to heat up my kitchen any more than I already do in making and canning jam). However, the highest rated recipe did not require any eggs or cooking. I modified it as suggested by several of the prior readers. It was easy as pie and tasted fabuloso this morning. I'm now going to try it with a variety of different fruits. I wonder if it will work as well with chocolate (the Achilles heel of my weight-loss goals). . . . . . .

Hard-To Mess Up Strawberry Ice Cream

Yields 1.5 quarts.


1 pound strawberries
½ cup sugar (but you can use ¾ cup or less or, I'm told, substitute maple syrup)
3 or 4 large squirts of lemon juice. I probably used ¼ cup
A few shakes of salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup half-n-half (or, I'm told whole milk, more whipping cream, etc.)


  1. Wash, core and mash the strawberries. Mix with sugar, juice and salt.

  2. Put strawberry mixture in blender. Pour the cream and/or milk on into the blender. Puree.

  3. Pour strawberry contents in a container. Chill it. (I put it in a deep freezer for 30 minutes or you could put it in the refrigerator for a few hours).

  4. Set up your ice cream maker. Mine is electric and holds 4 quarts of ice cream. I put it in the utility tub in the basement, so that I could easily drain it later without much mess. Pour 7 pounds of ice and 1.5 cups of rock salt around the tub in alternating layers.

  5. Pour chilled strawberry mixture into the ice cream container of the maker. Put in the stirring device and start your machine. Let it process for about 40 minutes. It should look like pink whipped mashed potatoes when it's ready.

You can freeze the ice cream in your tub, but I took it out and spooned it back into the container and put it in the freezer. Give it at least between 4-6 hours before eating.

Yumm. Yumm. Yumm.

Remember that it will not have the same consistency as store-bought ice cream because it does not have those special chemicals. There will be some ice crystals unless you put plastic wrap over the ice cream in the container before putting it in the freezer. Don't forget to leave at least an inch at the top of the container for the ice cream to expand as it freezes.

[Editor's Note: After posting this recipe, Jeni Bauer -- from Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream -- released her new cookbook -- Jeni's Splendic Ice Cream at Home -- on making ice cream and other frozen treats at home. She also had written an article for Food and Wine magazine with a few recipes. She addresses the the consistency issue with homemade ice cream like this:

  • Boil the cream/sugar mixture first.

  • Mix a 1.3 tablespoons corn starch with two tablespoons of milk, add to the cream.sugar mixture and bring to a boil again.

  • Add a couple of tablespoons of whipped cream cheese

  • Put a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the ice cream before putting it in the freezer (to keep ice crystals from forming on top)
I tried some of these tips yesterdays (I heated the cream and sugar mixture first and then brought it to a boil only after adding the corn starch). I pureed the cream cheese with the strawberries and added the hot cream mixture to the strawberries before chilling. I also used berries I had frozen and then defrosted from my first trip to Hann's without any loss of flavor. Still Yumm Yumm Yumm].

Rumor has it that it will last a few weeks in the freezer. I'll let you knowJ It's never lasted that long at my house:)

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