Strawberry ice cream - how to kick it up a notch?
We're having an early strawberry season here in North Carolina. I like to make strawberry ice cream during the season and have had good results in the past, usually with a little vanilla extract in as well. I usually prepare the strawberries with a quick visit to the food processor so they are still chunky and then a china cap to get the water out and add them once the ice cream has set up.
My basic ice cream recipe is something like:
2c heavy cream
1c whole milk
a few eggs plus some extra yolks
1/2 to 2/3c extra fine sugar
beat up the eggs, add sugar and beat some more, add the liquids and put it in the ice cream maker. Add anything alcoholic or solid at the end. I find that some alcohol is always good to keep it from getting too hard after freezing (Calvados with vanilla is excellent)
I want to be a bit more ambitious this year.
Some ideas I've had so far:
- real vanilla beans (yep, obvious)
- a mint leaf or similar on top
- aged balsamic - I'm assuming it would go as well with the ice cream as it does with just strawberries. Blend in or on top or both?
- Some sort of sauce/compote/cream on the plate for complementary flavor.
Let me know what you think. I have time to experiment a few times before serving to friends in a few weeks. I hope I've made some of you hungry :)
Honey ice cream with strawberries blended in could give an incredibly rich sweetness. Also rhubarb (it's a classic strawberry pairing) could give a tart flavor, kind of like a fro-yo.
I'm all for adding liquor to desserts as well; what about grand marnier, mandarin vodka, or golden rum?
"- aged balsamic - I'm assuming it would go as well with the ice cream as it does with just strawberries. Blend in or on top or both? "
"In" (blended the strawberries before adding them to the mix)
I'd agree that Cardamom would be a nice touch, but don't overlook Cinnamon and, instead of balsamic, a squirt of fresh lemon juice might be nice.
Instead of balsamic vinegar, use sea salt. While you certainly can mix in balsamic vinegar, I find that the coldness of the ice cream mutes the flavors of the vinegar.
Try roasting your strawberries.
Incorporate sour cream.
Cardamom is also great with strawberry ice cream.