Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe:
2 cups (480 ml) half-and-half
5 large (90 grams) egg yolks
2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup (160 ml) strawberry puree (sauce)
Note: Half and Half cream is a mixture of cream and whole milk and contains 10% - 12% butterfat.
Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe: In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring the half-and-half and the vanilla bean (if using) to the scalding point (the milk begins to foam up). Remove from heat, take out the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds from the bean with the back of a knife, and mix the seeds back into the half-and-half.
Meanwhile in a stainless steel bowl beat the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy (about two minutes). You can do this with a wire whisk or I like to use a hand mixer. Gradually pour the scalding half-and-half into the whipped egg yolk mixture, making sure you keep whisking constantly so the eggs don't curdle. If any lumps do form, strain the mixture first before heating.
Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook until the custard thickens enough that it coats the back of a spoon (170 degrees F) (77 degrees C). The term 'coat a spoon' is a technique used mainly as a way to test when an egg-based custard or sauce is done. A spoon, usually wooden, is placed in the custard and, when the spoon is raised, the film of custard on the back of the spoon will stay in place even when you draw a line with your finger through the middle of the custard.
Immediately remove the custard from the heat and continue to stir the custard for a few minutes so it does not overcook. At this point stir in the vanilla extract, if using. Stir in the strawberry sauce (puree). Cover and let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate the custard until it is completely cold (several hours but preferably overnight).
Transfer the cold custard to the chilled container of your ice cream machine and process according to the manufacturer's instructions. Once made, transfer the ice cream to a chilled container and store in the freezer. If the ice cream becomes too hard, place in the refrigerator until softened.
Makes about 3 cups.
Strawberry, along with vanilla and chocolate, are the three most popular flavors of ice cream. Although there are excellent brands of commercially made ice creams on the market, making your own strawberry ice cream, with fresh strawberry sauce, gives this ice cream a fresh and aromatic strawberry flavor.
We begin our strawberry ice cream with a custard base made with just four ingredients - cream, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla. It is important to get the right mix of these ingredients so the ice cream will have that smooth texture and rich flavor we so desire. The amount of cream used and its butterfat content give this ice cream its rich and creamy taste. Sugar gives the ice cream its smoothness, and I digress, but did you know that too much sugar will prevent ice cream from freezing? Eggs are necessary for smoothness and it also gives ice cream its nice color. To give this ice cream its wonderful strawberry flavor we add homemade strawberry puree (sauce) which is a delicious blend of pureed strawberries and sugar. This sauce packs a lot of flavor yet involves so little effort. All you need to do is process either fresh or frozen unsweetened strawberries, along with a little sugar, until smooth. Then add a few drops of lemon juice to bring out the strawberry's flavor and your done. You can make the strawberry sauce ahead of time as It stores for up to a week in your refrigerator or for a month in your freezer. Once you add the strawberry sauce to the custard it best to allow it to chill in the refrigerator overnight so it has time to chill sufficiently. This allows the ice cream to freeze before the churn gets too warm.
The custard should only fill your ice cream machine about half to two thirds full. This is so the custard has enough room to expand while it freezes so you end up with an ice cream with a light texture and no graininess. As the ice cream is still quite soft once it has been churned in the machine, transfer it to a storage container and place it in the freezer for a few hours before serving. This also allows the flavors to mellow. Although I prefer to eat homemade ice cream the day it is made, it can be stored for a few weeks in the freezer. It will become quite hard after being frozen for any length of time so transfer it to the refrigerator to soften for about 30 minutes before serving.