Pure Strawberry Ice Cream

August 23rd, 2009  |  23 Comments

strawberry-ice-cream-final

These last couple of weeks I’ve had an inexplicably intense craving for strawberry ice cream. Yes, inexplicable. Get your mind out of the baby gutter. So I guess it’s fair to say that when I saw a recipe for strawberry ice cream in last month’s Gourmet, there was no choice in the matter.

Looking over the ingredients and ratios, I was a little suspicious. I’ve had my share of icy ice cream, and if there’s one thing I know, it’s that I don’t like it. If you’ve been around the ice cream block a few times, you may have noticed there are two types of ice cream bases—the ones with egg yolks, where the base is cooked in the style of custard (French style, like the type for this ginger ice cream), and the ones with no egg yolks, where the ingredients are just stirred together and churned (Philadelphia style).

This recipe is the eggless type and has plenty of pureed fruit. Fruit has a lot of water and what happens when you freeze water? Icy. Also, yolky ice cream bases give ice creams body and creaminess and I wondered if their exclusion would effect the texture. Then again, yolks impart an undeniable custardy flavor and sometimes you want to cut them loose. What I really wanted was a deep, touch-your-soul strawberry flavor. Could this bare bones recipe deliver?

Well, kinda, sorta. The ice cream was very fresh tasting with a strong, pronounced strawberry presence. Still, it was kind of icy, and in my opinion, could have used more sugar. Besides sweetening, the added benefit of sugar is that it lowers the freezing temperature and keeps large ice crystals from forming, thus maintaining a smoother texture. 

Ok, wake up. Enough ice cream science. Let’s talk about a sickness that I have. I hereby admit that I feel naked if a dessert has no garnish. After all those years spent making up dessert plates with 8 or 10 components each, I have hard time letting go of the garnish. It’s so silly, ’cause I can easily enjoy strawberry ice cream in its simple glory, straight out of a Haagen Dazs carton. Still, when I make something, I feel a pull to add some sort of enhancement. I’ll blame this plastic surgery culture. Hence, the strawberry chip is born.

***

Notables

My awesome friend Dianne works for a paper company and gave me a whole stack of beautiful papers to use in my photos. Thanks Dianne! 

papers

These are scrapbook papers and if you want to get zany with your food photo-taking, you might want to play around with them, too. They come in 12″ x 12″ sheets and each pack has a variety of “flavors.” Here are a few that caught my eye:

Dmd Designer Printed Paper Pack 100/Package

K&Company Amy Butler 12 Inch by 12 Inch Two-Sided Paper Pad

Blue Awning 12×12 Double-Sided Specialty Paper Pad, 24 Sheets

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One of the most hair-raising days I ever spent in the kitchen was when I helped out at a catering company and was asked to make 300 orange chips as garnish for an event that evening. I soon discovered there were no Silpats in that kitchen and someone told me it was ok to use parchment. Foolishly trusting and with little choice anyway, I sliced 350 perfect rounds of orange (we did it on a deli slicer, and always made extra), poached them in simple syrup, laid them all out across a dozen sheet pans, and set them in a low oven for hours. Need I tell you where this is going? Of course, they were fused to the parchment like a second skin and I spent another 2 hours trying to pry them off.

Certain jobs beg for Silpats. NOTHING sticks to Silpats and making fruit chip garnishes pretty much requires them.

Silpat 11-5/8-by-16-1/2-Inch Nonstick Silicone Baking Mat

The Freshest Strawberry Ice Cream
makes 1 quart

This recipe is adapted from the one I saw in Gourmet last month. I’ve made a few adjustments here. Still, I think there’s room for improvement, and will likely keep tinkering with it.

1 lb strawberries, hulled
1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream 

1. Our line-up of ingredients:

strawberry-ice-cream-ingredients

 

2. Hull and quarter the strawberries, then add the sugar, lemon juice and salt.
strawberry-ice-cream-cut-strawberries
3. Crush, mash and beat ‘em up. You can use a pastry blender, potato masher or fork.
strawberry-ice-cream-crush
Let them sit and macerate for 15 minutes. The sugar pulls the juices out.
4. Next, pour half of this mix into a blender or food processor and blend till smooth.
strawberry-ice-cream-blend-1
strawberry-ice-cream-blend-2
5. Pour back into the bowl with the remaining crushed strawberries.
strawberry-ice-cream-add-puree
6. Pour in the cream, and have fun making pretty swirls as you blend it together.
strawberry-ice-cream-stir-in-cream
Here’s your base. It’s better to wrap it and let it sit in the fridge for a spell before spinning. About 3 hours. It will get colder, thicken up from the acids, and ripen in flavor. If you’re screaming for ice cream, you can get away with churning it right away.
 
strawberry-ice-mixed-base
7. Pour in an ice cream machine and churn until it’s the consistency of soft serve. My machine takes about 40 minutes.
strawberry-ice-cream-spin
strawberry-ice-cream-spun
strawberry-ice-cream-churned
Place in the freezer to firm up. Scoop away.

Strawberry Chips
This is more of a technique than a recipe. You can do this with all sorts of fruits besides strawberries—pineapple, kiwi, mango, etc. If you want to do this with fruit that goes brown when sliced (apples, pears), or excessively sour fruit (lemon, lime), you need to poach the slices in simple syrup first, and I’ll probably go over that method in some other post.
1. Preheat the oven to it’s lowest setting. The lower the better, as less browning of the fruit will occur. Mine goes as low as 170 degrees F, but up to 200 degrees F should work fine. Pluck the best looking strawberries out of the package and slice them very thinly. About 1/8″. If you have a mandoline, you can try that.
strawberry-chips-slice-strawberries
2. Sprinkle some confectioner’s sugar over a Silpat.
strawberry-chips-dust-silpat
3. Lay out the slices, one on overlapping the other.
strawberry-chips-fan-strawberries
4. Now they will dry out in the oven. You want them to be crispy and not floppy. Mine took about 3 hours.
strawberry-chips-bake
5. You can see that they release their juices and get even thinner.
strawberry-chips-peel
All fruit chips are still pliable right out of the oven while they’re still warm, so it’s hard to tell that they’re crisped. You can test them by peeling one off the sheet, and laying it out on a flat surface, something like a counter or another cold sheet pan. In a few seconds they cool, and you can tell if they’re holding their shape when you pick them up again. If they’re still rubbery, put them back in the oven and test them again in half hour increments. Because the oven is so low, there is a large margin of error with timing. Sometimes I put them in the oven and go to the gym or take a nap and forget about them for a few hours.
strawberry-chips-dried
Tastes like fruit roll-ups!

The Freshest Strawberry Ice Cream
makes 1 quart

This recipe is adapted from the one I saw in Gourmet last month. I’ve made a few adjustments here. Still, I think there’s room for improvement, and will likely keep tinkering with it.

1 lb strawberries, hulled
1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream 

1. Hull and quarter the strawberries, then add the sugar, lemon juice and salt.
2. Crush, mash and beat ‘em up. You can use a pastry blender, potato masher or fork. Let them sit and macerate for 15 minutes. The sugar pulls the juices out.
3. Next, pour half of this mix into a blender or food processor and blend till smooth. Pour back into the bowl with the remaining crushed strawberries. 
4. Pour in the heavy cream and whisk it all together.
5. Wrap and chill in the fridge for a couple of hours and then spin in an ice cream maker. Transfer to the freezer to firm up. 






23 Responses to “Pure Strawberry Ice Cream”

  1. Everything about this is just perfect- from the all natural icecream to the strawberry chips!!! Beautiful!

  2. I have only ever made egg yolk based ice creams. I baked so many French macarons, I have plenty always on hand! I will definitely try this version though. With summer fast approaching (33C today!), this certainly looks refreshing. By the way, thank you for the tip re: eclair ganache!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Oh Irina…you just keep making things worse for me. Now ice cream…seriously where do you live, because I’m coming over there right NOW…

    Oh and I’m so jealous about your paper friend! I just spent $40 at Michael’s craft store two days ago buying scrapbooking paper. Argh! I need better connections…seriously.

  4. Bunny says:

    You are seriously all that and more! I love your pictures, I love the strawberry crisps for garnish!! You are the bomb girl!!

  5. peabody says:

    The strawberry chips are a very nice addition.

  6. Dianne says:

    You’re welcome, Irina!! :-)

  7. Marzipan says:

    I love my Silpats! I have four of them and I use them all the time. I even use them whenever I freeze berries. Spread the berries out on a cookie sheet lined with a Silpat and place it in the freezer. After the berries are frozen, use the silpat like a funnel to place the berries into freezer bags. The berries never stick!

  8. Indigo says:

    I’m a big fan of egg yolk based ice creams but this has definitely caught my interest; even though you felt this recipe needs more work I’m tempted by the idea of a really strong strawberry flavour. The problem I have with most strawberry icecreams is that they taste really artificial to me (even the homemade, non-artificial ones: stupid, right)… there’s never a strong enough taste of strawberries. So I’m definitely intrigued by this…

    I totally fail at garnishing anything, so if you miss it that much I might employ you fulltime to work your presentation magic on everything I make from now on, haha.

  9. so gorgeous! I love them as a garnish, looks so elegant ~

  10. I’m always learning something new when reading your posts. I also powder fruits with powdered sugar and broil them until nicely golden (for about 7 minutes).
    http://www.phamfatale.com/id_59/title_Cranberry-Apple-Cinnamon-Sponge-Cake/
    I wonder how the result (texture-wise) would be if I wait up to 3 hours at 170°F.
    Your sweet treats look divine, as usual. Love the egg-free ice cream (one of the members in my family is allergic to eggs) but I usually reduced the fruit base on the stove for more concentrated flavors.

  11. Gala says:

    Love the strawberry chips!!

  12. Michelle says:

    Everything looks and sounds wonderful. I love those strawberry “chips” too! Very creative!

    ~Michelle

  13. Palidor says:

    The ice cream looks like it would have a wonderful strawberry flavor, but I can see how it being icy is a let down. When I want ice cream, I want creaminess and not the iciness or a sorbet. I’m sure you’ll be able to perfect the recipe in no time! When you do, please share! :)

  14. Akila says:

    I have always held off on buying Silpats because I just use parchment paper. If I feel like fruit chips, I guess I will have to buy Silpats! I always make custard based ice creams because I don’t like “icy” ice cream either. If I want something icy, I would rather make sorbet or a granita. Beautiful pictures as always.

  15. Linda says:

    Omg I was watching an episode of masterchef and they made potato chips exactly the way you made your strawberry one. hehe Yours looks much better though =D I’m going to try and put fruit chips on my desserts from now on, it looks soo pretty. BTW I can’t wait to see your DObos Torte, especially after having a sneak of your creation on the DBC forum.

  16. Kate says:

    Do you happen to know how long the chips hold?

  17. PastryPal says:

    Kate—The chips should hold for 1-2 days stored in an airtight container, but even if they turn limp you can re-crisp them. Do exactly like you did to dry them (lay them out on a sheet pan and pop in a low oven), only this time they’ll dry in about half an hour, as there won’t be much water in them to evaporate.

  18. Pocak Panna says:

    Hey,

    I’ve done a Lemon no-cook ice cream very similar to this, just pureed the lemon zest and jucie with the heavy cream and some milk and sugar, put it into the freezer. What’s interesting, is that mine wasn’t icy at all, however I don’t have an ice-cream maker. Do you know the trick? I’ve also just realized now,that I’ve done this way: I mixed with in my blend mixer many times, but more importantly: when it looked like 9 out of 10 in a rate of being ice-cream hard. So it was about 9 hard from 10, I had to put it into the blender with a spoon and had some time with the blender but it worth it! It is sooooo creamy that no other cooked ice-cream was like this! I swear! Try it!

  19. Karen says:

    Dang, you make it look easy, lol. I feel like I’ve just watched an Olympic gymnast on the balance beam and feel inspired enough to try it myself. Right now I have strawberries in the oven, but lacking a Silpat, I have one set on parchment paper and one set on non-stick foil. AND I also have some meringues in there as well, because what is strawberry season without meringue? Both require long cooking time at a low heat. For the future, to be on the safe side, I just went on line and ordered a couple of Silpats that I’ve heard so much about. I also told my husband that next big-ticket item on my shopping list is an ice-cream maker. I sense that it won’t take much convincing to have him agree to this purchase!

    Your photography is lovely, especially the idea of serving in a tea-cup.

  20. ms says:

    do we turn off the pre heater hen we put in the strawberry’s?
    are we roasting them?

  21. PastryPal says:

    MS, No, the strawberries are completely raw and fresh. We just use them straight in the ice cream.

    If you’re talking about the strawberry chips, then you are not “roasting” them, since that requires high heat. You are dehydrating them, at the lowest setting your oven will allow. Good luck!

  22. Tara Petrie says:

    Is there a way to make this ice cream without an ice cream machine?

  23. PastryPal says:

    Hi Tara — I wouldn’t recommend it, sorry!

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