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
- Use good quality strawberries for the best possible flavour. They should be fairly ripe.
- Unrefined sugar is best - you can use caster or granulated.
- 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.
- Whipping cream is widely available. As an alternative, combine 3 parts double cream with 1 part milk for the same consistency.
- The ice cream should ideally be forked through or whisked two more times whilst it is freezing.
- Take the ice cream out of the freezer around 45 minutes before you plan to serve it.
- A tablespoon of balsamic vinegar added to the strawberry mixture at the start will sharpen the flavour of the fruit.
- Try adding a few drops of balsamic vinegar to vanilla ice cream for a fantastic taste.
- 450g fresh strawberries
- 100g unrefined caster or granulated sugar flavoured with vanilla pod
- 250ml whipping cream
Recipe makes 750ml (serves 4)
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).