Ice Cream

Ice cream expert Robin Weir guides us through tips and techniques for creating the perfect strawberry cream ice based on a recipe in Mrs Marshall's 'Book of Ices' of 1885.

Strawberry Ice Cream

Homemade ice cream is the perfect snack for a sunny afternoon or a sophisticated dessert for a summer dinner party.


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Tips and techniques

  1. Use good quality strawberries for the best possible flavour. They should be fairly ripe.
  2. Unrefined sugar is best - you can use caster or granulated.
  3. To make vanilla sugar, bury three or four vanilla pods in a container of sugar. Within a week the sugar will have taken up the flavour and aroma of the beans and will be ready to use.
  4. Whipping cream is widely available. As an alternative, combine 3 parts double cream with 1 part milk for the same consistency.
  5. The ice cream should ideally be forked through or whisked two more times whilst it is freezing.
  6. Take the ice cream out of the freezer around 45 minutes before you plan to serve it.
  7. A tablespoon of balsamic vinegar added to the strawberry mixture at the start will sharpen the flavour of the fruit.
  8. Try adding a few drops of balsamic vinegar to vanilla ice cream for a fantastic taste.

Ingredients

  • 450g fresh strawberries
  • 100g unrefined caster or granulated sugar flavoured with vanilla pod
  • 250ml whipping cream

Recipe makes 750ml (serves 4)

Preparation method

Hull the strawberries then rinse with cold water and dry in a towel or on kitchen paper. Transfer the berries to a food processor or blender and add the sugar. Process until reduced to an almost smooth pulp.

In a separate bowl whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks - with an electric whisk this will take 1 and a half to 2 minutes. Use a spatula to fold the sweetened strawberry pulp into the cream.

Pour into a large plastic freezer box approx 15x10x7.5cm / 6x4x3 inches, then cover with a lid and put into the coldest part of the freezer (at the bottom or in the lower half directly over the freezer coils) for 60-90 minutes, or until the ice cream has started to freeze in a band around the edge.

Use a large serving fork to loosen and vigorously mash the frozen ice cream into the softened mixture in the centre - this will redistribute the ice crystals. When the mixture is uniform re-cover and return the ice cream to the freezer for a further hour or until softly frozen throughout.

At this stage the ice cream can be either beaten again with a fork or whisked using an electric hand beater, or transferred to a food processor or blender. Beat until the ice cream has a uniform creamy consistency. Then re-cover once more and return to the freezer just until it is firm enough to serve (about 30 minutes).

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