Among the many DIY activities that take place in my house, making homemade ice cream has to be my favorite. If you've never tried it, it's much easier than you'd think. We ascribe to the Alton Brown approach as the base for pretty much all our ice creams, so when I came across this recipe for strawberry ice cream (Jared's favorite) I knew I'd have to alter it a bit. I ended up with a hybrid of the two - the ice cream base from Alton Brown, and the strawberries and syrup from Recipe Zaar: made by bird's super yummy strawberry ice cream:
- Strawberries & Syrup:
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped (chop them a bit finer if you have sensitive teeth, otherwise the bigger strawberry chunks will be too cold for your teeth when you're eating the ice cream)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Ice Cream:
- 3 cups half-and-half
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 large egg yolks
- 9 ounces vanilla sugar (I know vanilla sugar might seem a little unnecessary, but it's so worth it.)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Several of the comments on FoodNetwork.com for Alton's recipe say that 8 eggs is way too many and make the ice cream too custard-like. I don't know who these people are and I don't know what they're talking about. The texture of the ice cream is beyond perfect (in the humble opinion of this ice cream super fan.) Anyway... I followed Alton's recipe and - without adding the strawberries - started churning the vanilla ice cream in the ice cream maker.
I made the strawberries and syrup the night before (the recipe says to make it only an hour before but life got in the way - thankfully the mixture was still good the next day!)
As much as I wanted to eat/drink the strawberry goodness, will power took over and the mixture made it safely into the ice cream maker. (At this point, I'd say the vanilla ice cream had been churning for 5-10 minutes and had just started to get thick. You could probably mix them beforehand, I was just experimenting with the timing.)
It was right about here that I knew this was going to be heavenly. I let it churn for another 20-30 minutes ("checking" it with a few or 5 spoonfuls along the way), then divided it into two air-tight bowls, covered the soft ice cream with wax paper, put the tops on, and waited approximately 4 minutes for it to harden before "checking" it again. You know, just to make sure it was freezing properly.
I have absolutely no idea what I ate for dinner that night... something insignificant compared to what was awaiting me for dessert. The hardened ice cream was well worth the wait (the whole half hour since my last spoonful.)