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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Strawberry Stracciatella Ice Cream



Now we hate to brag, really - it is such a difficult thing to do. But this ice cream seriously is delicious beyond belief, so before you make it, be sure to mentally prepare yourself for the world's best strawberry ice cream. This recipe was adapted from Cook's Illustrated, and makes a smooth scoopable ice cream that is seriously scrumptious.

We bought fresh strawberries and hand picked only the ripest, reddest berries for this ice cream, sacrificing the underripe unfortunate ones for the dreaded fate of snacking on by merciless pearly whites and not-so-pearly whites. The egg yolks are organic, and the heavy cream and whole milk are organic and not ultra-pasteurized and fresh from Straus Creamery, so they had a sweeter taste than ultra-pasteurized cream (Or at least, we tricked ourselves into believing so!). We didn't have vodka so we soaked the berries in rum, and they did not freeze up icy hard, but stayed soft yet chewy. Served with 2% Greek yogurt and mint, it's a perfect summer dessert, if I may say so myself!

Strawberry Stracciatella Ice Cream
makes 1 quart unchurned, a mountain churned

16 ounces (3 cups) hulled and sliced very red fresh strawberries
pinch salt
1 1/4 cup (8.75 oz) white sugar
1 1/4 cup organic fresh whole milk
1 1/3 cup organic fresh heavy cream
7 large organic fresh egg yolks
1 teaspoon juice form 1 lemon
1.5 tablespoons white rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
melted high quality dark chocoalte

1. Toss strawberries, salt, and 1/2 cup sugar together in a saucepan. Mash berries gently with fingers until slightly broken down. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until berries have released juices and sugar has dissolved, 40 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, position a strainer over a medium bowl set in a larger bowl containing ice water. Heat the milk, cream 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until steam appears (175 degrees). While milk is heating, whisk yolks and 1/4 cup sugar in medium bowl until pale yellow. Whisk half of the warm milk mixture into yolks, slowly, until combined. Whisk milk-yolk mixture into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring nonstop with wooden spoon until steam appears and foam subsides (180 degrees). Do not boil or the eggs will curdle. Immediately strain custard into bowl set in ice-water bath. Cool the custard to room temperature, stirring occasionally to help it cool.
3. While custard is cooling, set saucepan containing berries over medium-high heat and cook 3 minutes total.Strain the berries, saving the juices. Transfer berries to a small bowl; stir in lemon juice and rum or vodka, then cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge until cold. Stir vanilla and strawberry juice into cooled custard, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and fridge until 40 degrees or lower, 8 hours or more.
4. Pour custard into ice cream machine canister and churn for 20-30 minutes, until the mixture is moving very slowly and no longer increasing in volume. Add strawberries and juice, and churn for 1 minute. Spoon into a chilled airtight container and drizzle melted chocolate over the top in several layers. Freeze at least 2 hours.

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