Yes, I know it is completely the wrong time of year to be posting an ice cream recipe, especially a strawberry one, but this one is made with frozen strawberries so you don't need to wait for strawberries to be in season to make it (you can still use fresh ones as well though). I was having a bit of a freezer clearout and had nearly two kilos of strawberries in there that had been there god knows how long and really needed to be used up. I was unsure as to what to do with them - I made a couple of smoothies but I wanted to try and use them up quickly and I would have had to live off smoothies to achieve that! I had already made several batches of jam so didn't really want any more so I was left with ice cream, but I had made some ice cream with the same strawberries previously and had been disappointed with the flavour - they were just a bit watery and tasteless and the ice cream was icy because I had had to add so much strawberry puree to it to get any flavour (the reason they had been abandoned in the freezer in the first place).
What I hadn't thought to do before was to cook the strawberries to get rid of some of the excess liquid and intensify the flavour, so this time I roasted them before making the ice cream custard. And it worked! this is the most delicious and flavourful strawberry ice cream I have EVER tasted, home made or otherwise. I'm not usually a fan of strawberry ice cream, I will generally ignore it in favour of more interesting flavours, but I cannot stop eating this one! It is addictively good! It has an intense strawberry flavour but is perfectly smooth and creamy with not a hint of iciness, because the roasting gets rid of any excess liquid; so you can pack more flavour into the ice cream without watering it down.
Roasting the strawberries is very simple and it is fine to use fresh or frozen ones, frozen ones do tend to give off more liquid though so they will take longer to roast, as you need to cook them until the juices have reduced to a syrup. I added a little balsamic vinegar to bolster the strawberry flavour and used golden syrup as a sweetener as I like the flavour, although you can use regular sugar if you prefer. The roasted strawberries can be made a couple of days in advance and kept refrigerated if you want to split the workload up and it is best to make the custard the day before churning the ice cream. I have already made (and eaten..) several batches of this ice cream and managed to use all of the strawberries up, it is definitely going to be a regular addition to my ice cream repertoire and I am now a strawberry ice cream convert!
- 500g (17.5 oz) strawberries (fresh or frozen)
- 3 tbsp golden syrup
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 300ml (1 ¼ cups) double (heavy) cream
- 450ml (scant 2 cups) full fat milk
- 150g (¾ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1 tsp vanilla paste/extract
- pinch salt
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Hull the strawberries and chop them into halves (or quarters if they are large), if they are whole frozen ones you can roast them for 5-10 minutes first until they defrost, then snip them up with kitchen scissors. Spread the strawberries out in a single layer in a roasting tin and drizzle over the golden syrup and balsamic vinegar, roast in the oven for about 30 minutes if fresh and 50 if frozen, until the strawberries are well cooked and darkened in colour and the juices have reduced to a syrup.
Remove from the oven and puree in a blender until smooth if you don't want pieces of strawberry in your ice cream, or just pulse a couple of times if you do. Can be made a couple of days in advance and kept in the fridge.
To make the ice cream custard, pour the cream into a large bowl and place a sieve over the top, whisk the egg yolks and cornflour together in a large heat-proof bowl, heat the milk and sugar in a pan until just simmering. Very gradually pour the hot milk into the egg yolks, whisking the whole time, scrape the mixture back into the pan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon, don't let it boil.
Pour the custard through the sieve into the cream and whisk to combine. Add the strawberry puree, vanilla extract and salt and whisk until smooth. Cover, and refrigerate until completely cold, preferably overnight. Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers directions.