Remember when I wrote about the mind-blowing experience I had at the Penny De Los Santos food photography workshop I attended in March? The reasons were many and varied, namely the San Francisco sunshine, Contigo's gorgeous food, a hundred million great ideas from Penny, pushing way out of my comfort zone, and meeting three unbelievably cool chicks, all three of whom write beautiful food blogs (Chez Us, Bon Vivant, and A Sweet Spoonful). I enjoy "keeping in touch" with all three over Twitter, and "catching up" with them by reading their blogs. (You should read their blogs too, admire their lovely photographs, enjoy their San Fran raves...yeah, hugely jealous.)
A couple of weeks ago, Megan of A Sweet Spoonful wrote a hilariously sweet post about her love of ice cream. She included a recipe and stunning photos of homemade strawberry ice cream - mmmm - and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. Megan's post inspired me to finally buy an ice cream maker (I've always wanted one) and start making ice cream that I actually like (other than Jeni's, which I love, but paying shipping for ice cream on a regular basis is obviously ridiculous).
The ice cream maker arrived and no surprise, the first batch I made was Megan's strawberry version. It is sublime, truly, especially right now, when berries are perfectly sweet and juicy. Even my chocolate-obsessed husband, who was disappointed by my flavor choice, was blown away. Yes! Just in time for summer, a new toy to play with. My next batch (see chocolate-obsessed husband) will have to be...chocolate...but after that, I think I'll try my hand with salty smoked almonds, my favorite Jeni's flavor.
Do you make homemade ice cream? What's your favorite flavor? In case you're wondering, after you have the ingredients ready (and very cold), the machine takes only 20 minutes to churn up creamy dreaminess. Dangerous, if delicious.
PS Thanks to Suz for the pretty blue dishes - aren't they sweet?
A Sweet Spoonful's Strawberry Ice Cream
Megan Gordon, www.asweetspoonful.com
Makes 4 cups
Use any berries you’d like for this ice cream. Just make sure to cut up the pieces quite small–nothing good about big frozen, icy chunks of berries in your ice cream. Also, while I call for vodka here, you could also use kirsch or a liquor that would bring out the taste of the berries. I chose vodka because it has a neutral flavor and I always have some around the house, but play around with whatever inspires you–it’s not enough to make a big difference flavor-wise.
Adapted slightly from: Rustic Fruit Desserts
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup (7 oz) granulated sugar
4 egg yolks
Pinch fine sea salt
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. vodka
1 dry pint (2 cups) finely chopped strawberries
Combine the milk, 1/2 cup of the cream, and 1/3 cup of the sugar in a 3-quart sauce pan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally until just warm.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the yolks, 1/3 cup of the remaining sugar, and the salt and whisk until slightly lighter in color. Very slowly pour half of the warmed liquid into the yolk mixture, whisking continuously. Next, pour the yolk mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow for it to get hot enough to boil. Heat slowly and watch for thickening.
Once thickened, take saucepan off of heat source. Set a bowl over an ice bath, then strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve set over the bowl. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup cream and the vanilla and continue stirring until cool. Cover and chill in refrigerator 1.5 – 2 hours. Add remaining 1/3 cup sugar to chopped berries and put in the refrigerator in separate little bowl.
Once the custard has chilled, stir in the berries and vodka and freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Place the churned ice cream in a dry plastic container and cover with plastic wrap directly on top of the ice cream. Chill for at least 2 hours or until set up.
Storage: Stored in an airtight container in the freezer, the ice cream will be good for two weeks.