This homemade strawberry ice cream is perfect on its own, in milkshakes or in ice cream sandwiches. It’s creamy and sweet and bright, and so, so wonderful!
This homemade strawberry ice cream recipe makes me think of my Grandpa since it’s his favorite. It’s a classic flavor with its sweet, summery berries and creamy texture. Homemade strawberry ice cream is pretty divine stuff although I feel like it gets overlooked for sexier ice cream alternatives with chocolate in them. As I was typing this post, I realized that I’ve mentioned my grandparents on the blog before and funny enough, it was also in connection with ice cream!
My grandpa and I have two common interests. The first one is dancing. In college I took up ballroom and swing dancing. It was around that time when I was doing the Lindy Hop and the Charleston every weekend that my grandpa told me about his WWII days when he was in the navy and used to spend his spare time swing dancing in ports like Australia. When he got home from the war, he would go listen to all the big bands that came through Idaho. He saw the greats that way – Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman- and I cannot say how much I would have loved to been at some of those performances!
The other thing my grandpa and I both love is strawberry ice cream. I remember one summer outing with my extended family when I was a teenager where we everybody was ordering ice cream and Grandpa and I both ordered strawberry. He told me then that it was his favorite flavor and it was my favorite flavor too (at least at the time), and to some extent it still is. It is so, so, so hard to commit to having one FAVORITE flavor of ice cream. I have lots of lower case “favorite” flavors, and I think that’s maybe just how it should be when it comes to ice cream.
I learned the hard way that even though it sounds good to have chunks of strawberries in your strawberry ice cream, in practice they turn out to be frozen little rocks embedded in smooth, creamy ice cream. And that’s definitely not what you want. The best strawberry ice cream uses strawberry puree to flavor the custard base, with a little added vanilla to bring out the all the flavors of the cream and fruit and sugar and really make them sing.
I love this ice cream just as it is – scooped into a bowl or cone and eaten plain – but it is also perfect for a milkshake or as a filling in ice cream sandwiches, especially between soft molasses or chocolate cookies. Or go crazy and use it along with chocolate and vanilla ice cream and make banana splits! I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 pound fresh strawberries (about 1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries), washed and hulled
In a medium saucepan, stir together the milk, cream and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Heat over medium-low heat until hot, but not bubbling.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, minus two tablespoons that will go with the strawberry puree, until light in color, about two minutes.
While whisking the eggs and sugar, slowly pour in 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture to temper the eggs before adding them to the custard base. Add another 1/2 cup of hot cream to the egg mixture, whisking the entire time.
Pour the tempered egg yolks into the saucepan with the rest of the custard base and stir gently with a wooden spoon for 2-4 minutes, or until the temperature is between 170-175 and the mixture is just thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
Strain the custard base through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl, then refrigerate for 4 hours, until thoroughly chilled.
Meanwhile, combine the washed and hulled strawberries in a blender with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Puree until smooth, or stop just short of smooth if you want a little texture in your strawberry ice cream. But you don't want to have chunks of strawberries because they will freeze really hard and lessen your strawberry ice cream experience.
Pour the pureed strawberries into the chilled custard base and stir to combine.
Pour the strawberry custard base into your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer's instructions. After churning, transfer ice cream to a freezer safe container and place in a freezer to cure for at least 4 hours.
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