Having celebrated our wedding anniversary this week (the cotton one) I decided to dust off one of our wedding gifts and whip up a batch of strawberry ice cream. Strawberries are really coming into season now and I was further encouraged by a posting I saw about how the strawberry picking season has arrived early in Wisconsin due to the milder winter/spring. Needless to say I didn’t leave Wrigleyville and head north to Wisconsin for my strawberries but it did give me the idea to make Strawberry Ice Cream in our ice cream maker. Cheryl came home from work on Tuesday (our anniversary) and saw me over the stove with milk and a bowl full of egg yolks and started guessing what I was up to. She figured it out when she checked the freezer to see if the special bowl was in there and was pretty happy about it when she saw she guessed correctly.
This was the first time I was able to make some ice cream in a while. Last year I tried making it a couple of times but the double insulated bowl (yeah that’s right, all high-tech here) you put in the freezer would never fully freeze. You could still hear the liquid sloshing around in it after two days in the freezer. I just figured the thing was broken and since it was a gift I was of the “oh well I don’t make ice cream that much anyway” mindset. I didn’t get rid of it though. Don’t know why I didn’t (yes I do, laziness) but I’m glad I didn’t toss it. It turns out the freezer was broken. This spring the refrigerator finally gave up the ghost and stopped freezing everything so we got a new one and boy does it freeze things solid! So, poking around in the closet last week I saw our ice cream maker and figured I’d put the bowl in the freezer to see if it would freeze. It did.
All I had to do now was find a good enough recipe. My first stop was my well-worn copy of Ratio (yeah that one again). Sure enough there was a ratio for ice cream in the Custard section and Crème Anglaise chapter. There are actually two ratios given for crème anglaise one by weight and an alternately measured one recommended for ice cream. The ratio is 1 C milk/cream: 3 egg yolks: 3 Tbs sugar.
It makes an awesome base for ice cream! Very rich, full body, not overly sweet. A great base to add whatever fruit or flavors you want (the recipe in the book was for Maker’s Mark ice cream). I just diced up some strawberries and added them to the chilled mixture before pouring into the bowl. It turned out really well! Almost too well since I’m sure Cheryl is going to want more of this throughout the summer. If you’ve got an ice cream maker sitting in the closet gathering dust this is a great recipe to try.
Strawberry Ice Cream (crème anglaise ratio from Ruhlman’s Ratio)
- 1 ½ C cream
- 1 ½ C milk
- 1 vanilla bean (split)
- 9 egg yolks
- ¾ C sugar
- 1 C diced strawberries
Combine the milk, cream and vanilla bean in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, remove from heat, cover and allow vanilla bean to steep for 15 minutes.
While steeping, thoroughly whisk the sugar into the egg yolks.
Prepare an ice bath. Fill up a large bowl with ice and water. Make sure it’s large enough to hold a smaller bowl (or pot). Place a small/medium mesh strainer in the second bowl.
Remove the vanilla bean. Scrape out the seeds and mix back into the milk/cream. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Slowly pour the simmered milk/cream mixture to the egg yolks and whisk in.
Pour back into sauce pan and stir over medium heat until the sauce thickens enough that it coats the back of a spoon and you can draw a line through it with your finger.
When it has thickened, pour the sauce through the strainer into the bowl in the ice bath and stir until cooled.
Cover with plastic wrap and allow to chill in refrigerator until cold. I recommend letting it chill overnight.
Dice 1 C of strawberries, add to chilled custard. Assemble your ice cream maker, pour in the custard, and following your device’s instructions make the ice cream. Our Cuisinart takes about a half hour of spinning to get ice cream. Spoon into a container and put in freezer to desired hardness.