Ice cream is easily my favorite dessert, no matter the time of year. When it’s warm, though, I crave it even more than usual. With an ice cream maker at home, it almost seems wrong not to have homemade ice cream on hand all the time. I usually have all the ingredients I need for vanilla bean ice cream and was thinking about making it one of my first days home with Clara. Then I remembered I had fresh strawberries, and I just had to make strawberry ice cream. The only problem was that I didn’t have enough sour cream to make this recipe. Since Clara was just over a week old, I had no desire to take her out for just one ingredient, but I couldn’t get over the urge for strawberry ice cream once it was in my mind. Thankfully, I had just enough Greek yogurt to make up the difference.
I love strawberries, so it’s safe to say strawberry ice cream is one of my favorites (though I don’t think I could ever have one favorite ice cream – that’s preposterous!). This is by far the best strawberry ice cream I’ve ever had. It’s incredibly creamy and really lets the bright flavor of the berries shine through. Now I know it may seem a little odd to use sour cream in an ice cream recipe, but trust me when I tell you it’s what helps make this ice cream have such a wonderful texture without the need for a custard. Typically I find custard-based ice creams to be superior in texture, but that was not the case with this recipe. I didn’t think the flavor or texture suffered at all from my substitution of Greek yogurt, and I actually enjoyed the bit of tang it provided. Since there’s no custard to cook and cool, this ice cream is beyond easy to make. The strawberries are macerated, then everything is blended together and frozen. If you’re new to ice cream making, this is a great recipe to try.
If you want to really take this ice cream over the top, you can top it with homemade hard shell. Yes, that’s right. Homemade hard shell. It’s like turning this ice cream into a frozen chocolate covered strawberry. I read somewhere a few years ago that melting coconut oil with chocolate would turn it into a hard coating. I’ve been making chocolate hard shell ever since, using a 2:1 ratio of chocolate to coconut oil. Just microwave them together for 30 seconds or so, depending on the amount, and stir to combine. I used 2 teaspoons of chocolate chips for the ice cream pictured here and had a little leftover. I’ve enjoyed hard shell on several flavors of ice cream, but the strawberry-chocolate combination can’t be beat. (It’s obviously one of my favorites.)
- YIELD: 1¼ quarts
1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon vodka or kirsch (optional)
½ cup sour cream
½ cup Greek yogurt
1 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Combine the strawberries, sugar and vodka in a medium bowl. Stir until the sugar starts to dissolve. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and add the remaining ingredients. Pulse until almost smooth but with small chunks of strawberries remaining. (This can also be done with an immersion blender if you have one.)
Chill mixture in the refrigerator for an hour, then freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.