When I was 16, I asked for an ice cream maker for Christmas. My mother did not understand my crazy food obsession and told me that I wouldn’t be receiving one because it was “stupid and impractical”. Well last week, I bit the bullet and finally bought the ice cream maker of my dreams. To my surprise, my mom was thrilled about my newest purchase. I was bombarded with questions like, “What kind of ice cream are you making? When will it be ready? Can you put coconut in it?”. I obviously took every opportunity I could to remind her about the time she didn’t get me an ice cream maker for Christmas.
Considering the fact that this was my first foray into homemade ice cream, I think it went pretty well. I did a fair amount of research beforehand and I gathered a few valuable tips.
- Always freeze the bowl of the ice cream maker for at least 24 hours beforehand.
- Use a strainer to remove any cooked egg bits from the ice cream base.
- Add a small amount of alcohol to the ice cream base before churning to improve scoopability.
- Use the freshest and highest quality ingredients you can find.
- Freeze the ice cream for a few hours after churning.
I was raised on Sherman’s ice cream from Michigan which is in my opinion, the best ice cream on the planet. I love creamy hard packed ice cream that you can only get at old fashioned ice cream shops, and that’s what you’ll get from this recipe. I love the perfect blend of luxurious vanilla flavor and bright strawberry freshness. I highly recommend buying strawberries from your local farmer’s market. You want the freshest berries you can get your hands on. The chocolate chips aren’t totally necessary, but they are a fun touch. Make this recipe for the Fourth and impress your friends and family.
Adapted From The Pioneer Woman
- 3 cups Half-and-half
- 2 cups Sugar
- 1 whole Vanilla Bean (or 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract)
- 9 whole Large Egg Yolks
- 3 cups Heavy Cream
- 1 pound Strawberries, Hulled
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- 3 T vodka
- 1/2 c dark chocolate chips
1. Stir together the half-and-half and 2 cups sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Split the vanilla bean, scrape out the beans, and add it to the mixture (or add the vanilla extract.) Heat the mixture until it’s hot but not simmering or boiling. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks vigorously with a whisk until they start to lighten in color, about 2 minutes.
2. Next, grab a ladle of the hot half-and-half mixture and very slowly drizzle it into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking the whole time. (The purpose of this is to temper the egg yolks and bring them to a good temperature before adding them to the pan.) Repeat with a second ladle of hot half-and-half mixture, making sure to whisk the whole time.Pour the tempered yolks into the saucepan with the rest of the half and half mixture and stir gently with a wooden spoon for 2 to 4 minutes, cooking it slowly until it’s thick enough to coat the spoon. Pour the thick liquid through a fine mesh strainer and into a clean bowl. Add the heavy cream to the bowl and stir gently to combine. Refrigerate this mixture for 2 hours, or until chilled.
3. Combine the strawberries, 3 tablespoons of vodka, and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a blender. Puree until smooth (or you can stop just short of smooth if you want a little texture.) Pour the pureed strawberries into the chilled custard mixture and stir.
4. Now pour this mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze it according to its directions (You may have to do it in two batches depending on its size). Add the chocolate chips, of using, 5 minutes before the mixture is finished churning. After it freezes, transfer it to a freezer-safe container and freeze it for at least 4 hours, or until frozen firm.
5. Serve with strawberry garnish!