I’ll be the first to admit that I have gotten prematurely excited about strawberry season. I’ve already played with strawberry sugar paper, and here I am with strawberry ice cream. It’s not even April! Strawberries aren’t at their peak flavor yet, but I see baskets of them in every market I visit. I just can’t help myself, so I buy and I bake. I should tell you now- it’s going to be a long berry season. Long, glorious and delicious!
This ice cream isn’t as rich and heavy as other well made ice creams. I used whole milk for the base and added a bit of buttermilk. The buttermilk adds a light, yogurt-like tang to the ice cream. And what a compliment to the macerated strawberries! This egg-less ice cream is full of sweet strawberry flavor and highlighted with tangy buttermilk notes. It’s so light an refreshing, I’m already anticipating craving this ice cream on those unbearably hot summer days.
Don’t have an ice cream maker? Well it’s high time you get one!
Strawberry Buttermilk Ice Cream
adapted from the New York Times
2 cups cream, half and half or milk
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
heaping 1/2 cup sliced and diced strawberries (optional 1 Tablespoon sugar)
Rinse strawberries under cool water and slice. Create a mixture of sliced and diced strawberry pieces. If you find that the strawberries aren’t very sweet, you can toss the sliced strawberries in 1 Tablespoon of granulated sugar and set aside until ready for the ice cream.
Put 1 1/2 cups of cream or milk into a small sauce pan. Add the sugar and salt and heat the milk over medium low heat. Keep and eye on the milk, stirring often so that the bottom of the pan doesn’t get any burned milk bits.
While the milk is heating, measure out the buttermilk and vanilla extract and set aside.
Also measure out the remaining 1/2 cup of milk or cream. Stir the cornstarch into this 1/2 cup of milk, until smooth and no lumps remain.
The milk on the stove should be hot and steaming. The milk does not need to boil, it just needs to be steaming. With the milk over a medium low flame, stir in the milk and cornstarch mixture. Stir the milk constantly until you begin to feel it thicken.
The milk mixture should look like the above picture after it has been thickened by cornstarch. Once the cornstarch is added to the milk it only takes a minute or two to thicken up.
Once the milk mixture is thick, remove from the heat and add vanilla extract and 1/2 cup of buttermilk. Stir to incorporate.
Strain the warm milk mixture into a mixing bowl, cover in plastic wrap and allow to cool in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Once the mixture is cooled, remove from the refrigerator and stir in the sliced and diced strawberries. Follow the instructions on your ice cream maker and make some delicious ice cream!