Guest Post by Dan Schumacher: Sweet, Tart Strawberry Ice Cream

Strawberry Ice Cream Prep. Photo by Caleb Chancey / calebchanceyphotography.com

Strawberry Ice Cream Prep. Photo by Caleb Chancey / calebchanceyphotography.com

Crazy ice cream flavors have their place, just not in my kitchen. I can’t say I don’t enjoy a scoop of Ben & Jerry’s Fossil Fuel now and then but when I started making ice cream last year, I wanted to take pure, natural flavors and let them shine in new and interesting combinations. Buttermilk, with its smooth acidic richness was my first subject.

Strawberry Ice Cream: Straining. Photo by Caleb Chancey / calebchanceyphotography.com

Strawberry Ice Cream: Straining. Photo by Caleb Chancey / calebchanceyphotography.com

Starting with a solid base flavor, it evolved into one of my favorite sweet, tart summertime mixes: strawberry-buttermilk. The process of making a French, custard-based ice cream is a little more involved than the all-milk Philadelphia style, but the result is decadent and has a longer stable life in your freezer. I’ve found that custard-based ice creams last up to 1 week verses a few days with Philadelphia.

Strawberry Ice Cream: Cooking Custard. Photo by Caleb Chancey / calebchanceyphotography.com

Strawberry Ice Cream: Cooking Custard. Photo by Caleb Chancey / calebchanceyphotography.com

This ice cream is pure simplicity and elegance. Perfectly ripe strawberries, some lemon, buttermilk and creme fraiche (or sour cream) to balance the berries’ sweetness and add an acidic tang, and heavy cream to mellow it all out make this a flavor I keep coming back to over and over again. Since developing it, I have substituted blackberries and blueberries to great effect (though my first love is the strawberry).

Strawberry Ice Cream: Spinning. Photo by Caleb Chancey / calebchanceyphotography.com

Strawberry Ice Cream: Spinning. Photo by Caleb Chancey / calebchanceyphotography.com

I dislike nebulous directions in a recipe and have come to love the candy thermometer when cooking a custard for ice cream. The FDA recommends cooking eggs to a temperature of 160 degrees, so instead of waiting for the eggs to ‘coat the back of your wooden spoon,’ I just wait until the thermometer tells me they’re done. If you like an eggier flavor, let the custard cook until it gets closer to 175 degrees, but you will need to be extra vigilant to make sure they don’t begin curdling (because who wants scrambled eggs in their ice cream?).

Strawberry Ice Cream: Frozen! Photo by Caleb Chancey / calebchanceyphotography.com

Strawberry Ice Cream: Frozen! Photo by Caleb Chancey / calebchanceyphotography.com

Kim Sunee and I both use the Cuisinart 1-1/2-Quart Ice-Cream Maker. It’s one of the less expensive makers, is easy to use, and cranks out 1 1/2 quarts of frozen wonder in about 20 minutes. For those who don’t have an ice cream maker, do not despair–ice cream maverick David Lebovitz, author of The Perfect Scoop and more recently Ready for Dessert posted a no-machine solutionon his blog.

Strawberry Buttermilk Ice Cream


Print Recipe

This ice cream is pure simplicity and elegance. Perfectly ripe strawberries, some lemon, buttermilk and creme fraiche (or sour cream) to balance the berries' sweetness and add an acidic tang, and heavy cream to mellow it all out make this a flavor I keep coming back to over and over again.


ingredients:

  • 1 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche (or sour cream)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lb strawberries, trimmed and quartered (1 1/2 cups puree)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

directions:

Bring cream to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk hot cream into yolk mixture. Return mixture to saucepan and stir constantly over medium-low heat until custard is thick enough to coat back of spoon (160 to 175 degrees), about 3 minutes (do not boil). Pour custard through fine strainer into clean bowl.

Add buttermilk, crème fraîche, and salt. Chill custard in an ice bath until cold.

Purée strawberries in a blender until smooth, then force through fine sieve (to remove seeds) and add lemon juice. Stir purée into custard.

Spin custard in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer ice cream to containers; cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

Dan Schumacher is a freelance writer, editor, and recipe tester based in Birmingham, Alabama. He edited with Kim at Cottage Living and previously worked with Food Arts and Gourmet Magazine. For more of his writing, head over to aisle-9.net or Good Taste. Caleb Chancey, whose photography was featured in this post, is a Birmingham, Alabama-based photographer. A few more shots from this story are on Flickr and please look to calebchanceyphotography.com for more of Caleb's work.


Date Published: July 29, 2010
7 comments

All recipes have been tested by the Test Kitchens unless otherwise noted.

7 comments... read them below or add one

Comments

  1. July 30, 2010 9:03 am by Suzy Reply

    Wow! Perfect dish for the hot weather!

  2. July 30, 2010 11:23 am by Sally Reply

    Hi Dan! Nice post! Buttermilk is a highly underused ingredient. Have you ever tried the powdered version when you don’t have fresh on hand? I’ve been wondering how much of a compromise it is…

  3. July 31, 2010 7:27 pm by Deb Miller Reply

    Atlee grew up on homemade ice cream…he remembers his “custard” ice cream fondly…he would love this! Yum!

  4. August 6, 2010 11:19 am by yon richner Reply

    thank you for the post! i have a cuisinart ice cream maker still in the box…i can’t wait to open it up and try your recipe!

  5. October 24, 2010 12:44 am by Sasa Reply

    I have to say, I read a lot of food blogs but I best love a writer – “nebulous”! I’m hooked.

  6. November 2, 2011 2:27 pm by strawberrysue Reply

    That looks delicious! I’d love to showcase both this recipe and you/your blog on http://strawberrysue.com

    Let me know if you are interested and keep up the great work!

    • November 8, 2011 5:43 pm by kim Reply

      Hello Sue,
      Thank you for your comment. Yes, would love to be featured. Please email me. Thanks.

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