When neighbors Lindsay and Taylor of Love & Olive Oil asked me to go pick strawberries on a 65 degree bluebird day, how do you think I responded? It was time to shrug off the winter blues and welcome summer with open arms and sweet red strawberries. I think the last time I picked strawberries might have been around age 8, with my mom. Every spring mom made strawberry freezer jam. I got a jam-making lesson from Lindsay last weekend and learned that jam is pretty much berries and sugar, so it’s no wonder I love it so!
With Nashville in the rearview mirror, we motored up I-65 to a farm in the middle of Nowheresville, TN and picked shoeboxes full of plump, sweet, red berries. I really didn’t have any plans, jam or otherwise, for my berries. Once I had picked enough to fill an entire shoebox, it was a race to figure out what to make before they spoiled! Since the in-laws are in town this weekend to celebrate The Hub’s graduation and Mother’s Day, I figured homemade, self-picked strawberry ice cream is a pretty sweet dessert to offer. It also can’t hurt to score me a few extra points with my mother-in-law, a self-professed ice cream lover.
I followed Jeni Britton Bauer’s mad scientist strawberry ice-cream recipe from her 2011 cookbook, “Jeni’s Spledid Ice Creams At Home”. I write “mad scientist” because she uses chemistry (Read: NO EGG YOLKS!) to produce the smoothest, creamiest, most delicious ice cream you’ll ever eat. It’s truly a decadent treat!! The Hubs has told me that I’ve talked in my sleep about Jeni’s ice cream before, mumbling “two scoops, please”. Hey, at least I said “please”!
To get started – go pick some fresh strawberries! Ha. No really, go do it! If they are in season where you live, go find a patch, take a couple of hours out of your week, and get dirty for your food. It took less than 45 minutes to pick enough to fill a shoebox. Anyway, no matter how you obtain them, once you have your berries, pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Mix the washed and cleaned berries with the sugar in a casserole baking dish, stirring well to combine.
Roast the berries at 375 for 8 minutes, or until just softened. Roasting brings out a stronger strawberry flavor and also caramelizes the natural sugars in the fruit. Let cool slightly, then Jeni says to purée the berries in a food processor. Maybe she is unaware of the miraculous time saving qualities of the stick blender… Either way, blend with lemon juice until pureed.
Measure out 1/2 a cup of the puréed berries, then freeze the rest for another day. It’s time for precise ice cream making. Measure out the whole milk, then steal and mix 2 tablespoons from the measured amount of whole milk together with cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside for later use. Use a stand mixer to blend the cream cheese with the salt. I blasted my stand mixer on the highest setting to really cream the cream cheese together with the salt because no one wants cream cheese lumps in their ice cream. Set the mixer aside, as you’ll mix the base into this cream cheese in a short while.
Pour remaining milk, heavy whipping cream, sugar and corn syrup into a 3 or 4 quart saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for exactly 4 minutes! Make sure you keep a close eye on the boil, as it will foam up and boil over if the heat is too high. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry you made earlier. Return to the heat, bring back up to a boil and boil for ONE MINUTE LONGER, or until slightly thickened (I’m telling you the directions are that precise!).
Turn your stand mixer (with the cream cheese and salt still in the bowl) on low and gradually mix in the hot milk mixture. You’ll have to scrape down the sides a few times with a spatula to make sure the cream cheese is properly incorporated. Add the strawberry mixture and buttermilk. Let it mix for a few minutes. While it is mixing, take a large bowl and fill it with ice and water. Pour the ice cream mixture into a gallon sized ziplock bag, seal, and let sit in the ice bath for 30 minutes.
Pour into your ice cream maker’s frozen bowl and set the ice cream maker to go until you start to see the ice cream pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Mine takes about 20 minutes. Scoop the ice cream into containers and freeze overnight for best results.
Scoop and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint! So pretty, thick, creamy, fresh and delicious.
Roasted Strawberry & Buttermilk Ice Cream
(from Jeni’s Splended Ice Creams at Home)
Prep time: 45 minutes plus overnight to set
Makes: roughly 2 pints
Print This Recipe!
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the ice cream base:
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 4 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons light organic corn syrup
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
For the berries…
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix the washed and cleaned berries with the sugar in a casserole baking dish, stirring well to combine. Roast at 375 for 8 minutes, until softened.
- Let cool slightly, then purée berries with lemon juice. Measure out 1/2 cup of puréed berries and freeze the rest for a later day.
For the ice cream base…
Take 2 tablespoons from the measured whole milk and mix together with cornstarch in a small bowl to form a slurry. Set aside for later use.
- In a stand mixer, blend the cream cheese together with the salt on high speed.
- Pour remaining milk, heavy whipping cream, sugar and corn syrup into a 3 or 4 quart saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for exactly 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Return to heat, bring back up to a boil and boil for ONE MINUTE LONGER, until slightly thickened.
- Turn the stand mixer (with the cream cheese and salt still in the bowl) on low and gradually mix in the hot milk mixture. Scrape down the sides a few times with a spatula to make sure the cream cheese properly incorporates. Add the 1/2 cup of the strawberry mixture and buttermilk and let it mix for a few minutes.
- While the ice cream base is mixing, take a large bowl and fill it with ice and water. Pour the ice cream mixture into a gallon sized ziplock bag, seal, and let sit, submerged, in the ice bath for 30 minutes.
- Pour ice cream base into your ice cream maker’s frozen bowl and set the ice cream maker to “go” until you start to see the ice cream pulling away from the sides of the bowl. About 20 minutes. Scoop the ice cream into containers and freeze overnight for best results.