Good old fashioned strawberry ice cream

It seems like you can’t swing a dead cat in the ice cream aisle of your local supermarket these days without knocking all kinds of exotic flavors off the shelf. While I’m the first to admit, I love salted caramel and candied bacon on pretty much well… everything, sometimes I crave something simple, classic and old school. With strawberries being so sweet and plentiful at this time of year, this is the perfect icy treat to make right now.

 The beautiful thing about homemade ice cream is that the ingredients really shine through taste-wise; much more so than the store-bought version. What I mean is, if strawberry ice cream has left you less than thrilled in the past, give this version a try. Its luscious berry flavor will fill your mouth with the sweetest taste of summer.

First you’ll want to bring out all of the berries’ goodness
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 plastic green container of fresh strawberries hulled and cut into quarters
1 tablespoon of sugar

Here’s what you do:
Place your cut up strawberries in a large bowl, sprinkle the sugar over them, stir well, cover with plastic wrap and let them sit at room temperature for about an hour. You foodies out there will know this as macerating. Whatever you want to call it, the result will be beautifully glistening berries and lots of delicious juice.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your ice cream base:
1 1/2 cups of half & half
1 cup of sugar
1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
4 egg yolks
the macerated strawberries you prepared earlier

Here’s what you do:
Pour the heavy cream into a large bowl set over an ice bath. Place a mesh strainer over the cream.
Heat the half & half and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium/low heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Turn the oven down low.

In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks. Ladle a little bit of your warm half & half mixture into the eggs and beat the egg mixture vigorously. Keep adding a little of the half & half to the eggs while stirring until most of it is in the egg bowl. Return the eggs and half & half mixture back into your saucepan. What you’ve done is temper your eggs. If you don’t do this step, the warm mixture could scramble your eggs and trust me,  I’ve had this happen, it ain’t pretty!

Now you will continually stir this mixture with a wooden spoon being careful to scrape the bottom of the pan. Once the custard is thick enough to coat the back of your spoon, take it off the heat.

The last step is pour this mixture through the sieve and into your heavy cream. Add the macerated strawberries and stir until it all cools down. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (I usually leave my custards in the fridge overnight).

Follow the instructions on your ice cream maker and you will have the best strawberry ice cream of your life! And if you feel compelled to fancy-pants it up a bit, drizzle some good quality balsamic vinegar into it in the last couple of minutes churning.

Enjoy!

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