Some time last year I ate at the Float Away Cafe in Atlanta. I ordered the signature strawberry souffle for dessert, but that’s not what I remember. I remember the dreamy, creamy strawberry ice cream.
I have thought about it for a year. It was the first time I liked strawberry ice cream because it was silky smooth with no big chunks of frozen strawberries that are too icy for my taste.
Last Sunday, we did early Father’s Day and one of the dad’s has a thing for strawberry shortcake. I purchased far too many strawberries, and my thoughts returned to that creamy, dreamy strawberry ice cream.
I have three friends I trust in my kitchen. Thomas Keller, Marcella Hazan and Alice Waters. I do consult other cookbooks, but these are my “inner circle.” Marcella and Alice don’t offer any photographs so you know how much I deem these books worthy.
I started with the best ingredients, the sweetest strawberries and an inner circle recipe, one by Alice Waters in The Art of Simple Food.
A food mill works perfectly for extracting all the cream and leaving the pulp.
This recipe calls for cooling your mixture twice, so start early. First you make your cream and chill. Then you add your crushed strawberries and chill again.
I doubled the recipe, reduced the sugar, left out the vanilla and added vodka. Some might say that this is nothing like the original recipe, but I still feel I need to credit the cookbook I consulted, because I used the same ratio of half and half and cream and eggs and this base is the foundation of what makes this good ice cream.
Home made ice cream may seem richer (it is) and more caloric (it is) than store bought ice cream, but because it is so full-fat, just a small serving goes a very long way in satisfaction. Serve in an espresso cup with good cookie and you have that “just enough” end of meal sweetness. Or just splurge!
Sitting outside in 98 degrees, ice cream melts easily, but sure does the trick.
- 1½ cups half & half
- ¾ cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons to prepare strawberries
- 6 egg yolks
- 1½ cup heavy cream
- 1 quart strawberries (about 4 cups)
- 2 tablespoons vodka, white wine or other flavored liquor. (optional)
- Heat half and half with sugar bringing to a hot simmer. Beat egg yolks in separate bowl. Temper with hot milk and slowly add back into mixture. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened (coats back of wooden spoon. Remove from heat and add cream. Cool and then chill for several hours until very cold.
- Quarter strawberries and puree in food processor with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Press strawberries through food mill or strainer to remove any pulp.
- When cream mixture is thoroughly chilled, mix with strawberry puree.
- Follow directions on ice cream machine. Once ice cream is ready, add 2 tablespoons vodka. The vodka is not for taste, but to keep ice cream smooth and creamy, as alcohol doesn’t freeze.
- Freeze in freezer for a few hours before serving. Take out ten minutes before serving.