Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Simply Strawberry

When strawberries are at their peak, they don’t need much embellishment. A little sugar, perhaps, and a little cream, and that’s it. And so it is with strawberry ice cream. I make a simple creme anglaise with half milk, half cream, then add some chopped strawberries that have been macerated with sugar. Mix it all with an immersion blender, and then process. Disarmingly simple, but oh-so-delicious.

Strawberry Ice Cream

Yield: about 2 quarts

1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
4 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pint strawberries, washed, hulled and chopped

1. In a large saucepan, combine the milk, cream and 1/2 cup sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring just to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat. In a bowl, whisk the yolks with 1/2 cup sugar. Whisk in about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture. Return this mixture to the remaining milk/cream in the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and reaches 180°F. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and stir in the vanilla. Chill over an ice bath and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
2. Place the strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Stir to coat, then cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
3. Drain strawberries and add the chilled custard. Blend with an immersion blender (or in batches in the blender) until strawberries are pureed. Process in ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. This ice cream is best served the day it's made--it gets a little icy the next day.