RECIPE. Jul 11, 2010

Strawberry Ice Cream

It has been a brutal summer in the Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately, I’m not talking about heat waves that make multiple deodorant applications necessary. No, I’m talking about the constant rain clouds, wetness and fifty degree weather in the middle of June. When fourth of July weekend came about and all that was forecast was rainclouds and grey doom, I was giving up hope. I was throwing in the towel and willing to admit we just were never going to have a summer. Then, just after the three day weekend ended, summer began. It began as though someone forgot to turn the heat up in June and overcompensated by giving us ninety five degree weather for three days straight. It was blissful and I think I melted. During this sudden onset of summer, I began craving ice cream and frozen yogurt.

I decided, this would be my next adventure in creating simple products I usually buy at the store. The ice cream machine was gifted a long time ago and it has sadly sat on my shelf, shuffled from move to move for at least ten years now. The freezer compartment has collected frost and shoved in the back, unwanted and forgotten. Happily, it was plucked from it’s very dark and sad space and put to use in two experiments. The first was frozen yogurt, often shortened as “Fro-yo”. I nabbed the recipe for Vanilla Frozen Yogurt from one of my favorite cooking blogs but was disappointed to learn I could not find all the ingredients at the co-op.

I decided to try to substitute Nancy’s Non-fat Plain Yogurt for the Nonfat greek yogurt recommended and I wish I hadn’t. I am learning greek yogurt has a very thick, smooth taste that makes regular yogurt ashamed to be placed in the same category. My brand choice also made it all much more sour then I like. I highly recommend making this recipe but please, stick to her recommendations.

I decided to try creating a low-fat ice cream recipe just days later. While making the frozen yogurt, I learned there must be a certain sugar, liquid to fat ratio that creates creamy, sweet texture of well loved ice cream or fro-yo. I had successfully made a simple vanilla ice cream on my first attempt at using the machine and it was wonderful.

I became curious about recipes that suggest using eggs and cooking the whole mess on the stove before placing in the machine. What I learned is this creates an ice cream that is more custard in form and I was perfectly happy with my egg-less success. I got all the ingredients ready to make vanilla ice cream (an success earlier in the week) and modified the recipe to include non-fat milk and strawberries.

On chance, I happened to stumble across strawberry milk at the co-op and decided to increase the adventure by substituting the non-fat milk for strawberry milk. Again, I wish I had not made this choice. As a personal preference, I like it when the strawberries gently playing among the vanilla bean base. This was a much stronger strawberry base, which may appeal to some, so decided for yourself and make this happen!

Mix together cream and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Split vanilla bean and scrape out seeds into cream/sugar mixture. Mix in remaining ingredients until well blended. Make sure the strawberries are diced or it will interfere with the ice cream machine being able to spin the liquid correctly. I tried to use sliced strawberries and ran into this little problem.