Saturday, May 2, 2009

A more important matter

I have quite a number of recipes I want to share with you. This could be either a boon or a problem, depending on how I look at it. I feel like it’s a problem (I want to write and I don’t have time!), but I’m choosing to see it as a boon (I have lots of writing material for whenever I do get a chance to park my rear and wiggle my phalanges).

I know I promised you a rhubarb pie recipe, but I’m going to have to put that on hold, I’m afraid, in order to tell you about the ice cream we made last night.


I’m hoping you’ll forgive me the change in plans. Rhubarb is really the more important matter, considering that it is in season now and you need ways to use it up now, but come on, folks, it’s strawberry cheesecake ice cream. Priorities, schmiorities, right?

Besides, maybe you’re in the same situation I am and it is your priority to use up all the strawberries you still have in the freezer from last year (making jam, ASAP). Either way, strawberries will soon be in season and before you know it you’ll be inundated with the ruby fruits. Consider this a friendly service announcement: make this ice cream when you get strawberries! Or, if you don’t have time in the heat of The Berry Moment, crush up some of the berries and freeze them in two cup portions—then you’ll have them on hand when you do have a little more breathing space.


Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
Adapted from Jude’s blog Apple Pie, Patis, and Pâté

When eaten fresh, this is a very soft ice cream. We churned it before supper and then kept it in the freezer for the next hour or two till we got around to eating it. (I make it sound as if we were dreading the proposition—oh darn, I made ice cream and now I have to eat it—which wasn’t the case at all. We had company and were busy enjoying them). At that point it was still really soft, but a couple hours later (after the company left and the kids were in bed and the dishes were mostly washed) when I transferred the leftover ice cream from the canister to freezer containers, the ice cream was nice and firm. It tasted really good, too. (Why is it that ice cream tastes better at ten at night, eaten directly from the container?) My point is: make this ice cream ahead of time to give it time to set up.

Also, this recipe makes a lot of ice cream—small ice cream makers will overflow. If you do have a small maker, churn the cream cheese base and then dump it into a large bowl to stir in the strawberries.

Oh yeah, in keeping with my cream-loving nature, I changed the recipe to include more cream. The original recipe called for 2 ½ cups whole milk and ½ cup cream and I reversed that. You can flip it back to the lean version (ho-ho-ho), if you wish, or, if you’re even more cream-infatuated than I am, omit the milk entirely (and then tell me—I’d like to meet you).

1 pound fresh strawberries, crushed (or two cups crushed frozen berries)
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
3 egg yolks
2 ½ cups cream
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 pound cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice

Stir ½ cup sugar into the crushed berries and refrigerate till ready to use (the berries need at least half an hour to macerate, so don’t do this step at the last minute).

Pour the cream into a saucepan, add the salt and 3/4 cup sugar, and heat over medium-high heat. While the cream is heating, beat the egg yolks. Temper the yolks by whisking in a half-cup of the hot cream a little at a time. Pour the tempered yolks into the saucepan, whisking furiously. When the cream has thickened slightly (do not boil), remove it from the heat and whisk in the half cup of milk to stop the cooking. Add the vanilla. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, cool to room temperature, and chill thoroughly.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, remaining ½ cup sugar, zest, and lemon juice. Gradually beat in the chilled cream mixture. (I added my cream while it was still quite hot and had no problems). Chill the ice cream base in the refrigerator, or, if you’re like me, you can speed-chill it in the freezer for a little while.

Churn the ice cream. When it’s done, add the strawberries and churn for another couple minutes. For (very) soft serve ice cream, eat immediately. For hand-dipped ice cream, freeze for at least four hours.

Update, August 17, 2009
Variation: Use mashed peaches in place of the strawberries for some delightful Peaches-and-Cream Ice Cream.

3 comments:

  1. Ok, all you hesitant people...we were lucky enough to partake of this ice cream and it was out of this world. Churn, people, churn!

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  2. oh. my. goodness. gracious. That ain't right.
    I keep wanting to make that Martha Stewart freezer ice cream (the one that doesn't use an ice cream machine)...but then I just end up picking up some Ben and Jerry's in my laziness.

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  3. Love how the pinkish color turned out. Mine turned out barely blushing. I think I'll try mashing the strawberries more next time :)

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