Creamy, delicious roasted strawberry and buttermilk ice cream
Jessica Webster | AnnArbor.com
And this year, thanks to a very welcome new cookbook and the encouragement of some friends, I’m also eating fresh strawberries in a ridiculously delicious homemade ice cream.
The friends are Chrysta and Greg. Chrysta is my producer at WEMU, and since I often do a lot of my cooking experiments for my column on Sundays before I head to the station to host my show, Chrysta and her husband Greg are often the beneficiaries of my kitchen bounty.
One fateful day, Greg bought the new cookbook by ice cream wizard Jeni Britton Bauer, the brains behind Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. Suddenly he was the Sunday kitchen experimenter, and I was the eager recipient of the leftover results. I started checking the freezer in the WEMU break room each Sunday, hoping Greg might have sent in more ice cream with Chrysta. Eventually I decided it was time to buy my own copy of the cookbook.
I’ve made perfectly acceptable — even really tasty — berry ice cream in the past, but Jeni’s recipe takes it to a new level. First, you roast the berries to remove some of the moisture and intensify the flavor. The berries are then combined with lemon juice to give the fruit a nice tartness.
It’s the texture, though, that makes this ice cream special. Jeni uses a combination of cornstarch and cream cheese along with buttermilk and heavy cream to give it a terrifically creamy but not overly-rich feel.
The recipe calls for you to roast an entire pint of berries, but only use one 1/2 cup of the results once you’ve processed them, saving the rest for another use. I used a full cup of the berry puree in the ice cream, and I imagine you could probably use even more.
Roasted Strawberry and Buttermilk Ice Cream
1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
ICE CREAM BASE:
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup buttermilk
For the strawberries:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the strawberries with the sugar in an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish, stirring gently to mix well. Roast for 8 minutes, or until just soft. Let cool slightly.
Puree the berries in a food processor or blender with the lemon juice. Measure 1/2 cup of the pureed berries; refrigerate the rest of the puree for another use — it works nicely as a topping for ice cream.
For the ice cream base: Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes.
Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Add the reserved 1/2 cup strawberry puree and the buttermilk and blend well. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
Pour the ice cream base into the frozen ice cream maker canister and spin until thick and creamy.
Pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.
Recipe from “Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home” by Jeni Britton Bauer.
Jessica Webster leads the Food & Grocery section for AnnArbor.com, a part of the MLive Media Group. Reach her at JessicaWebster@annarbor.com. You also can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's email newsletters.