You'll love this Creamy Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream! Making your own ice cream is a great way to control the ingredients. With only two tablespoons of honey and two tablespoons of maple syrup, this recipe contains a fraction of the sugar found in store bought brands. It includes a dairy-free/Paleo option!
I have fond childhood memories of making homemade ice cream. It was a big adventure, of course I was not the one doing the clean up. Today the mess of the salt, and the labor of cranking are things of the past. My Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker has a bowl that can be stored in the freezer, so I can make ice cream when ever the mood strikes! I love that!
I also love that this ice cream really tastes like fruit, not like some chemical maker’s attempt at strawberry flavor. “The strawberries taste like strawberries! The snozzberries taste like snozzberries!" –Willie Wonka
Sometimes I have to make several attempts at a recipe before I’m ready to post, especially dessert recipes where reducing the sugar content is a challenge, for example it took FOREVER to my Paleo Chocolate Pudding recipe right!
The biggest challenge in this recipe was that strawberries have a lot of moisture, which translates to an icy texture. I tried making strawberry ice cream using only fresh, pureed strawberries and found the flavor to be flat and the texture to be icy. When I tried using only cooked strawberries, the flavor lacked freshness. Next I used a combination of fresh and cooked strawberries, and while the flavor was better, it was STILL icy!
I finally figured a way to reduce iciness, while maintaining the fresh strawberry flavor, AND keeping the sugar content low. I roasted half of the berries, and macerated the other half. Then I strained the berries and reduced their juices to make a strawberry syrup, which I added back to the ice cream base. This process removed almost 1/3 cup of excess moisture!
I also made an egg custard base with a bit of bovine gelatin. The proteins really helped achieve a creamier texture.
I macerated the berries in vodka and a bit of honey, the vodka also combats iciness. During my research, I came across this interesting video about maceration with vodka and berries; if you’re curious, check it out. Maceration is perfectly natural 😉
A few notes about this recipe:
Ice cream companies add lots of stabilizers, and emulsifiers, and corn syrup, and other "fake food" products to achieve a creamy texture. They also have equipment that whips more air into the ice cream, so it's not as hard straight from the freezer, as homemade versions.
This ice cream will be super hard after it has been fully frozen, so you will want to let thaw on the counter a bit before it will be scoop-able. If you’re like me, and too impatient to wait, you can microwave it for 30-40 seconds. Definitely let it soften a bit though, or you will think, 'Caroline's full of it, this ice cream is hard and icy!' NO! It just needs to thaw some... truuuuust me!
You can easily make this dairy free and Paleo by substituting full fat coconut milk for the heavy whipping cream, and light coconut milk for the half and half. It will still be yummy, but it won’t be as... well… creamy.
For this recipe, I used two 16 oz containers of medium-large strawberries. They measured to be about 5 cups each (10 cups total). If you use small strawberries, they will take up less space in your cup, so they may measure to be closer to 4 cups per 16 oz.
This recipe makes 12- half-cup servings. Because the fat content is high but the sugar content is low (low for ice cream anyway), this is really rich and filling. I was actually satiated with a half a cup, that never happens when I pick up a gallon at the store.
Check out my Homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
For Step-by step instructions with photos, scroll down past the recipe.
Step-by step instructions with photos:
Preheat oven to 350
Chop ½ of the strawberries (16 oz). Add them to a glass bowl, stir in 1 Tbs raw honey and 1 Tbs vodka. Leave them to macerate at room temperature for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Line a baking sheet with a non-stick silicone mat. Pour remaining half of the berries onto the mat (no need to slice them). Toss with 1 Tbs maple syrup and 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar (trust me the balsamic works). Roast in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes, until the berries are softened and reduced (stir once or twice while cooking).
Strain off juices that collect in the baking sheet and reserve. Transfer roasted strawberries to a covered container and chill completely in the refrigerator.
While the berries are macerating and the roasting, you can prepare the ice cream custard base:
In a bowl, whisk eggs and egg yolks with 1 Tbs of honey.
In a saucepan, whisk together the heavy cream and half and half.
Remove ¼ cup cream mixture to a small bowl and stir in gelatin. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir again and allow gelatin mixture to rest for at least 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, add salt to the saucepan and heat the cream mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until it just reaches a simmer, (between 3 and 4 minutes). Remove from heat.
To temper the eggs, slowly pour 1 cup of the hot cream mixture into the bowl with the beaten eggs and honey, whisking constantly. Then whisk this mixture back into the saucepan.
Over medium heat, bring the custard base back to just a simmer (whisking constantly), and then cook for 30 more seconds (whisking constantly). You really need to whisk like a crazy person!
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and gelatin mixture, and whisk well.
Strain mixture through a sieve over a glass container.
Cover and chill completely in the refrigerator.
Strain the macerated strawberries and reserve liquid, transfer the berries to a covered container and chill completely in the refrigerator.
Add the reserved juices, from the roasted and macerated berries, to a saucepan. Whisk in 1 Tbs maple syrup. Simmer over medium heat until reduced by 2/3, whisking constantly. Transfer syrup to a covered container and chill completely.
When you are ready to make your ice cream, pull out the chilled berries and strain them each, separately.
Add the cooled custard base (will be the consistency of pudding) to a blender.
Then add the strained roasted strawberries, as well as half of the macerated strawberries, and the strawberry syrup to the blender.
Return the remaining ½ of the macerated strawberries to the fridge to keep cold while base is churning.
Pour the base mixture into ice cream maker and churn according to your machine’s instructions. Mine took 20 minutes in my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker.
About ¾ of the way through churning (15 minutes for my machine) strain the macerated strawberries one last time and add them, a bit at a time, to the ice cream maker while it is running. Continue to churn until a soft serve consistency is reached.
You can gobble the soft ice cream down as is, or get a firmer scoop-able texture by freezing it for at least three hours.
Once this ice cream has been fully frozen, so you will want to let thaw on the counter a bit before it will be scoop-able. If you’re like me, and too impatient to wait, you can microwave it for 30-40 seconds. Definitely let it soften a bit first though, or you will think, 'Caroline's full of it, this ice cream is hard and icy!' NO! It just needs to thaw some... truuuuust me…
P.S. Don't you love the pretty vintage table cloth in this shot? It's from Sunny Knoll Antiques, they have amazing things and a huge selection on ebay, check them out!
I love adding a whole, unprocessed and healthy twist to classic recipes. My food is often grain-free, usually gluten-free, and always unprocessed.