Summer is not quite over, and it’s just getting hotter in some parts of the country, so we wanted to make as much ice cream as possible to get through this heat. Cassy went berry picking and got some amazingly sweet, ripe strawberries. I thought strawberry buttermilk ice cream would be a great way to feature this fragrant red fruit. It might seem obvious, but the sweeter and riper the strawberries, the better this ice cream will taste. It can be the difference between good ice cream and amazing ice cream. The buttermilk also adds a lovely tang to the sweet creaminess of the berries and custardy base. The recipe below is a bit labor intensive, but well worth the effort. It might possibly be some of the best ice cream you’ve had ever!
Strawberry Buttermilk Ice Cream (Yield – about 1.5 pints)
1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced thin
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 T vodka
1 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 ¼ cup milk
6 large egg yolks
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Combine strawberries, ½ cup of sugar, and salt in a bowl
- Mash berries with a fork. Let sit for 30-45 minutes to allow to mascerate.
- Take strawberry mixture and simmer in a small saucepan until berries break down, about 3-4 minutes. Strain berries and reserve juice. Take mashed berries and stir in vodka and lemon. The lemon will bring brightness and freshness to the strawberries and the vodka will prevent the strawberry pieces from becoming hard and icy in the finished ice cream. Cool, cover, and place in the fridge to add later.
- Prepare egg and cream mixture. Place medium fine-mesh strainer over bowl, and set inside larger bowl of ice water.
- Combine cream, milk, and ½ cup sugar in a large heavy saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until steaming steadily but not bubbling (about 5 to 7 minutes)
- Whisk eggs yolks and ¼ cup sugar in bowl until smooth. Slowly drizzle half of heated cream mixture into egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly. Return eggs and cream mixture back to the saucepan with the rest of the cream mixture. Cook over medium medium-low heat, whisking constantly until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon – do not boil. Strain custard through fine-mesh strainer into bowl over larger bowl of ice water to cool and stop the cooking process.
- After straining the egg and cream mixture, whisk in the buttermilk, reserved strawberry juice, vanilla, and salt.
- Cool and then pour into a container to chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours.
- Pour into ice cream maker per manufacturer’s instructions. Churn for about 20-30 minutes. Add berries during the last minute of churning. Eat as soft serve, and/or place into airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours.