Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Strawberry Ice Cream

Is it just me, or is there something inherently friendly about strawberry ice cream?  Sweet, pink and unassuming, its bright summer flavor is kid-friendly without being "for kids" (retina-burning neon rainbow ice cream, I'm talking to you).  Ice cream can be a wonderful year-round treat, but it's the lighter/fruiter flavors I prefer in the warmer seasons (think citrus, berries, and mint).  Though the calendar doesn't say so, one look at the forecast will tell you summer has arrived early here in South Louisiana.  Perfect ice cream weather indeed.  Be on the lookout for more ice cream recipes in the next few weeks; there's lots more to come!

Strawberry Ice Cream   (Yield: About 1¼ quarts)

1 pound strawberries, fresh or frozen 
sugar - to taste, depending on sweetness of berries (¼ - 1 cup)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half
1 tsp. vanilla extract

If using fresh strawberries, wash and hull them.  If using frozen, thaw strawberries but don't discard the liquid.  Place strawberries (and any juice from defrosting) and ¼ cup sugar into a blender or food processor; puree mixture.  Taste, and add more sugar as needed.  I ended up using the full cup of sugar because my strawberries were very tart.  Pour mixture into a large bowl with a spout.  Blend in remaining ingredients.  Place ice cream base in refrigerator for 2-3 hours, or until thoroughly chilled.  Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.