I love strawberry ice cream. In the world of ice cream flavors, there are about a ba-jillion different combinations. Every time we go out for ice cream, I study the menu, contemplating a new, exotic flavor to try. But in the end, I usually end up going with the classic strawberry and I’m never disappointed.
Matt bought me an ice cream maker for my birthday and of course I knew that the first flavor I would make would be strawberry. I made it to the farmers’ market bright and early this weekend to get some the fresh, local strawberries. I've always been a big fan of mixing herbs and fruits so I decided to add a hint of rosemary to the ice cream. Here’s to summer and the cold, frozen treats that go along with it!
3 cups fresh ripe strawberries, stemmed and sliced
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3 cups heavy cream
2 sprigs of rosemary (or 1 for a more subtle flavor)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
In a small bowl, combine the strawberries with the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Stir gently and allow the strawberries to macerate in the juices for 2 hours. Strain the berries, reserving juices. Mash or purée half the berries.
Over low heat in a medium sauce pan, heat the cream, rosemary and vanilla. Let simmer for 20 minutes then strain though sieve to remove the rosemary. Chop the rosemary sprigs very fine and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the milk and remaining granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream, reserved strawberry juice, mashed strawberries, and rosemary. Place bowl in refrigerator and completely cool for at least 4 hours.
Turn the machine on; pour the mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 25 minutes. Five minutes before mixing is completed, add the reserved sliced strawberries and let mix in completely. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.