Make this strawberry ice cream and you'll feel glad to be alive. The intense strawberry flavor and gorgeous deep-pink color embody Spring itself. This healthy dessert is easy enough for a week night and fancy enough for a dinner party or special occasion. Use local berries and milk if you can to support farmers in your community.
Active time: 20 minutes, plus about 40 minutes of occasional attention, depending on your ice-cream maker. Total time: 1 hour. Makes 8 servings, 1/2 cup each. Cost in April 2009: 29 cents per serving regular and 69 cents with organic strawberries and milk.
3 cups sliced strawberries or 3 heaping cups whole berries
1 2/3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- If needed, put the bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer a day in advance or whatever the manufacturer recommends.
- Clean strawberries and remove leaves and any bad spots. If you are using a blender, you may want to slice the berries one or two times to make blending easier.
- Put strawberries, sugar, and milk in blender or food processor fitted with the blade. Process until smooth. Add vanilla and process very briefly to blend. Taste to check for sweetness and add a bit more sugar if needed. If you started with warm berries, refrigerate the mixture until cold. It will keep for up to a day, which makes this a great dinner-party recipe.
- Pour strawberry mixture into ice-cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's directions.
- Serve at once. Freeze any remaining ice cream in single-serving container. Thaw frozen servings for about 20 minutes before eating.
Tips and notes
- I love my Donvier hand-crank ice-cream maker. Just freeze the bowl at least a full day before you make ice cream. Once the liquid is in the bowl, you can crank it every few minutes while making dinner, dancing around the house, or watching TV. It's very easy to clean, too. While I try to avoid special equipment in the Cook for Good program, ice-cream makers are a good investment and are often available at yard sales or thrift shops for $10 or less. They make great presents, too ... we got ours as a wedding present over 20 years ago and it's still going strong.
- I used to only make ice cream when we had company because I didn't realize you could store home-made ice cream. But now I just freeze any extra in single-serving containers and thaw for about 20 minutes before serving. Fresh is best, but frozen and slightly thawed is still much better than commercial ice cream, especially for the ripe fruit versions.