Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Aug 12, 2009 08:16 AM

Strawberry Ice Cream

I made homemade strawberry ice cream about a month ago or so, and the strawberries ended up rock hard. Today I want to attempt making it again, but is there anything I can do to prevent the strawberries from turning out so hard? Should I cook them first?
Any suggestions would be great! Thank you.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Did you macerate them?
    Leaving the berries in a bowl with some sugar helps soften them up and gives up a lot of juice.
    You could also add some brandy and/or vanilla or any other flavors you want in your ice cream to the macerating mix.

    1. You can't leave them whole or they will be like rocks. I have made strawberry ice cream meany times. You can chop them so they're smaller, (they melt faster) or puree them and integrate it throughout your ice cream and then add a berry swirl. Or make vanilla and make a berry swirl. Whole berries do not work, they're liquid and so they become little ice cubes.
      We enjoyed both the pink and the vanilla, here's a photo and it ain't mashed potatoes!

      to get the the swirl, just cook the strawberies or any berries you have down, and then work it into the ice cream that's gettng ready to be frozen. The pink strawberry ice cream with a heavy swirl (sorry no photo) is really tasty as well pretty.

      4 Replies
        1. re: sunangelmb

          thank you! It's hard to eat store purchased ice cream (unless it's a good one) after making my own.

          1. re: Erinmck

            thanks erinmck, make it yourself, sooooo much better. It's really easy.

        2. They're rock hard because the water in the berries froze solid. Do as funklight suggests, and macerate them, although I would quarter them, first. Macerating them will allow the cell walls to rupture, drawing out a lot of the water. Once the berries have given up a bit of juice to the bowl, add them (juice and all) to the ice cream.

          You *could* cook them, but IMNSHO, cooking them tends to dull their bright, fresh flavors.

          1. I don't like to macerate my fruits when I make ice cream.

            To prevent your strawberries from turning rock hard, quarter your strawberries and toss them in a bowl of confectioner's sugar, making sure that the strawberries take on a nice light coating. This prevents them from turning into ice.

            Also, just as a general tip, I like to temper my ice cream before serving. Just remove from the freezer and stick it in the fridge for about 20 minutes before serving. It softens up the ice cream and allows the flavors -- esp. the berries -- to really shine.

            2 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              What? Really! I have strawberries, milk, cream and all the other things, I'm making strawberry ice cream today. Do you wash the berries first, or will the sugar just stick to the berries? I was just going to make pink and berry swirl ( I actually love the way it looks) Maybe I'll make pink and quartered berry ice cream. Love strawberry ice cream!

              1. re: chef chicklet

                Yes, wash and dry. I normally halve or quarter them (depending on size), and hull them as well. And then just throw them in a bowl of confectioner's sugar, toss and let them sit there for about 10 minutes or so.

            2. Thank you for all the suggestions, guys! I will definitely try some of these out and let you know how it works!

              3 Replies
              1. re: Erinmck

                So I did end up making this (3+ weeks ago...), and the same thing pretty much happened. This time, I cut the strawberries even smaller than the first time, put them in a lot of powdered sugar and let them sit like that (I think overnight even in the fridge), but they still ended up rock hard. They weren't as bad as the first time and were easier to scoop out after sitting in the fridge, but it still happened. I guess if I try again I'll make them even smaller if possible! Maybe it's because I didn't just coat them with the sugar?

                1. re: Erinmck

                  If maceration doesn't cut it, one of the pastry chef tricks with berries to be frozen is to poach them in sugar syrup until most of the water is replaced with sugar. Basically, you need twice as much sugar (by weight) as water. Start out with making a 50/50 syrup and let your berries simmer gently for 15 minutes. Then add a quarter of the remaining sugar and simmer for another 15 minutes. Add another quarter of sugar, simmer, and repeat two more times. Let the berries get completely cold and strain well before adding them to the ice cream.

                  1. re: Alshain

                    Thanks, Alshain! I'll try this next time!