One of my most vivid and favorite childhood memories is that of eating homemade ice cream during the height of summer from a picnic table in my neighbor’s back yard. What more could a ten-year-old kid ask for than having cold ice cream run down her sun-kissed chin and elbows and into the warm grass beneath her barefoot feet!? Chocolate and vanilla were frequent classics but my all-time favorite was made with the fresh strawberries picked from one of the two plots my family tended every summer.
Using one of those old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream makers that required a little bit of rock ice and a lot of patience, I could barely stand the wait for the strawberries and the cream to freeze. Today, my recipe for homemade strawberry ice cream has drifted a bit from what my mother used to make (I prefer egg-heavy, custard based ice creams these days) and I’ve resorted to using an electric ice cream maker (faster and a LOT easier). Despite those differences, it’s still as sweet and delicious as I remember it—now all I need is a picnic table with my family and friends gathered ‘round and my neighbor’s back yard.
Did you know that roses and strawberries come from the same botanical family? I came across that little factoid recently and immediately wanted to know how they’d taste together in an ice cream. Below is my recipe created especially for you. Hope you all enjoy…
Strawberry Rose Ice Cream
2 lbs of washed and hulled strawberries
6 oz of sugar
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla pod
10 egg yolks
1 TB lemon juice
1.5 teaspoons rosewater
1.) Hull and roughly chop the strawberries. In a medium-sized bowl, sprinkle the sugar on the strawberries and break it up, letting the mixture sit while you pull together the rest of the ingredients in the recipe
2.) Pour both the milk and cream into a heavy-based saucepan, add the vanilla pod (split down the center lengthwise). Heat up the mixture until nearly boiling then turn off the flame. Add the strawberries to the cream mixture, allowing the ingredients to marry for about 15-20 minutes
3.) In another medium sized bowl add 10 egg yolks
4.) Remove the vanilla pod from the cream mixture (you could strain to remove it but then the sweet chunks of strawberries get taken out and that¹s my favorite part. I just use a spoon and dig around in the cream until I find it)
5.) Whisk the egg yolks until lightly whipped, just a couple of minutes to aerate them
6.) Gently re-heat the cream and strawberry mixture
7.) Slowly add about 1/4 cup of the cream mixture to the egg yolks, whisking quickly. Keep adding in 1/4 cup increments, whisking to incorporate each add, until you have added about 1 cup. Add the rest of the cream mixture to the eggs and blend well (you don¹t want to add the eggs to the hot cream or you will end up with runny strawberry scrambled eggs and that just sounds, well, horrible)
8.) Over a low heat, bring the cream, egg and strawberry mixture up to a light simmer until the custard thickens. You know it is done when you sweep your finger across the back of the spoon and it leaves a visible trail behind
9.) Remove from heat and cool down in an ice bath.
Once cooled, add 1.5 teaspoons of rosewater and stir. Add mixture to the ice cream maker and wait patiently!