The ice cream project: strawberry ice cream
As a rule I avoid strawberry ice cream. My most frequent encounter with it over the years has been in cheap Neapolitan scooped out of paper boxes at birthday parties, cold culinary proof that 0x3=0. But the other day I went shopping twice, first at the supermarket and then at the farmer's market. I bought a pound of California strawberries at the former--on sale, the kid likes them--and then another pound of Wisconsin strawberries, smaller, redder, softer, brighter, sweeter, cuter, and a thousand times juicer, at the latter. They're the ones you see above. After noshing on a few of these while I canvassed the market for fresh peas, the little man's arms had bright red rivulets running almost to the elbows and his fingernails were stained.
Because I hadn't planned ahead with this ice cream I had to go with the ingredients on hand. Thus I used reduced fat milk instead of half and half. I added sour cream because I like to balance the sweetness of the fruit with some acidity. I always add sour cream to my whipped cream when I'm going to be dipping fresh strawberries in it and I thought it would work well here.
I would not make this recipe with anything other than the freshest local crop on the far side of ripe. If it means having strawberry ice cream only once a year, that's what it means.
Strawberry ice cream
10.25 oz. fresh strawberries (measured after being rinsed and hulled)
4 egg yolks
5 oz. vanilla sugar
3/4 C 2% milk
3/4 C heavy cream
1/4 C sour cream
Puree the strawberries in a food processor. Whisk the yolks in a bowl, slowly adding the sugar until pale and quite thick. Warm the milk and cream in a saucepan just to a simmer, then temper in the egg-sugar mixture. Heat to 170, stir in sour cream, whisk to blend, and pour into a bowl. Strain the fruit puree into the custard (I know what you're thinking but I would never skip this step) and mix well. Chill, churn, freeze, eat, smile.