Friday, July 5, 2013

Unsuitable Strawberry Ice Cream

Recently, I was gifted with a quart of strawberries deemed "unsuitable for eating."  My mother-in-law had received these from someone else, and re-gifted them to me.  I didn't mind, understanding that she knew I'd give them a good home, er, recipe.  The last time she'd stopped over, a friend and I had been making strawberry jam.  While I was a little jammed-out, I was happy to think of another creative use for strawberries.  There was nothing wrong with them - they were just a little ugly and misshapen.  Easy enough to chop them up and cook them into something.  I'd had a lot of recent experience slaughtering strawberries.

This time around, I decided to make ice cream.  I was inspired by two of my very favorite ice cream flavors in the world - Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk and Backyard Mint from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams.  I highly, highly recommend her cookbook.  I combined these two recipes to make a hybrid that you could call Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Backyard Mint.

I will not go into all the details of the recipe here.  You can find Jeni's ice cream base at this link.  I used some buttermilk in place of cream - it gives the ice cream a tangy almost cheesecake-y taste.  I steeped torn up mint leaves in the base overnight.  Meanwhile, I roasted the strawberries (combined with some sugar) and blended into a puree, which I cooled and refrigerated overnight.  One really great tip from the Jeni's cookbook is to never add actual whole or chopped strawberries - they are too full of water and become icy chunks in your ice cream.  The puree adds a beautiful flavor and slight pink color while maintaining a smooth texture.  On Day 2, I strained out the mint leaves, stirred in the puree, and let it all freeze in our ice cream maker.  It is delicious.  One mistake  I made was to not include quite enough heavy cream - I think the ice cream needed a little more fat (it came out slightly icy).  But the flavor was really, really delicious.  I will definitely make this again, as I am always on the lookout for ways to use fresh mint! (although I think the June strawberry onslaught in Ohio is sadly just about over)

Also, if you are in Ohio, or if you are so serious about good ice cream that you'll have it shipped to you - I cannot recommend Jeni's enough!  And for home ice cream artist, the book is a must! (this is not a paid endorsement, I swear)

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