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. Puree.
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…