And…this is why I have an ice cream maker
It’s one of those appliances I really sometimes wonder why I have…it sits in my pantry (alias a shelf on he side wall of my garage) 11 months out of the year, and the frozen canisters take up way too much space in my freezer.
But last night we had homemade strawberry ice cream. The kids wanted another “cooking class” (we did those over spring break, and they really got into it), and it’s too hot to cook much. So I figured, no time like now to bring out the ice cream maker and whip something up.
The recipe: I wanted something easy, and something I wouldn’t need to cook. Which meant no eggs. I found this recipe at allrecipes, and with a very small amount of nonetheless pretty important tweaking came up with the following:
Easy No-Eggs Strawberry Ice Cream
- Slice up about a cup and a half of fresh organic strawberries.
(This was a great lesson in use of the sharper knives for the kids. I gave them steak knives, which aren’t real sharp but nonetheless do a very decent job on strawberries. The whole exercise in how to hold the knife, how to control it, that you always hold it straight from your wrist and move the food so that it falls under the knife right rather than contorting around to make the cuts you want…these strawberries SO didn’t need to be sliced that much, but it was a good learning experience.)
- Add about 3/4 of a cup of sugar and a splash of lemon juice; stir. (The sugar is fairly crucial to the texture of the final product, apparently; if you are eating it all at one sitting you can get away with less sugar, but if you try to freeze low-sugar ice cream it’s pretty solid and unmovable. Wish I’d known this all those other times I ended up with flavored yogurt ice cubes.)
- Allow to sit and macerate (which basically means “sit”) for 20 minutes or so. This allows the sugar to dissolve a bit and the strawberries to release some of their juices. And adds a pretty nothing-artificial-needed pinkness to the end product.
- Add 1 1/2 cups half and half and 1 cup milk (or 2 1/2 cups milk, or substitute heavy cream for some of it, or whatever your desire…)
- Add splash of vanilla extract and pinch of salt
- Put into ice cream maker and freeze per instructions.
- If you’re evil like us, toss in a cup of mini chocolate chunks five minutes before the end of the process.
VERDICT: My son says, “It was super duper duper duper good.” My daughter, not to be outdone, says, “It was super super super super duper duper duper duper good.” My husband says, “In the words of Keanu Reeves, ‘Whooaaa.'” I say, in all honesty, this was fabulous ice cream. I didn’t miss the eggs or cooked custard at all. The macerating of the berries in the sugar (not in the original recipe) created a lovely sweet syrup that made the whole deal sweet and berry-flavored and a gentle natural pink. And the little chocolate chunks made it just that much more decadent. We had leftovers; we’ll see how the freeze goes and whether it’s still scoopable tonight. But for now–I feel safe calling this the best strawberry ice cream I can remember ever having, with the possible exception of the stuff we used to make when I was a kid and used the hand crank machine. (Also eggless, if I recall.)
Next time we’ll try a non-dairy version with coconut milk and chopped up pineapple…