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14 July 2009

Strawberry ice-cream

I always feel a twinge of guilt using great fruit in anything other than its natural state.  It feels sacrilegious to poncy up what is already pretty close to perfect.

But, a glut of very good strawberries has got me over my squeamishness, they were either going to rot away or be thrown away. What with the recent heat-wave ice-cream was the only thing to do. 

My recipe is an adaption of inspiration from a few other recipes: primarily David Lebovitz's Raspberry Ice-Cream (p93 The Perfect Scoop) and Rosemary Moon's extra-rich vanilla recipe (p21 Ice Cream Machine Book). 

For good measure, I tweaked the bastardised recipes further by chucking in a punnet of gooseberries.  I'd love to say that I alighted on the idea myself, but in truth I was watching HFW's latest series and they had a spot on strawberry jam making.  The lady (no doubt from the WI) showing Hugh how to do it, suggested using gooseberries for their sharpness, instead of the more normal addition of lemon juice - an ingredient I'd originally been planning for this ice-cream. 

This was a thoroughly delicious ice-cream, with clear, sweet strawberries being nicely offset by the sharp gooseberries and rich cream. 

I think possibly next time rather than adapting Rosemary Moon's ice-cream recipe to allow me to use up the double cream I had knocking around, I should have either gone for a straightforward custard base ice cream (fewer eggs) or a traditional gelato (no or at least little, cream). 

Finally, I made this in my Gaggia Gelatiera. It's a great piece of equipment, but I note hard to get hold of now, but there are other machines available.

Makes about 1L

  • 750g strawberries, hulled
  • 150g-200g of gooseberries, topped & tailed
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 300ml full fat milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • 6 large egg yolks

Macerate the strawberries in 100g of sugar for 1 hour.

Heat the milk but don't let it boil.

Beat the egg yolks and remaining sugar until pale and slightly thickened and pour onto the hot milk.

Return the mixture to the clean pan (to prevent the custard catching & burning), stirring continuiosuly as you heat it gently.

Once it coats the back of a spoon remove from the heat and cool.  It can take up to a couple of hours to cool thoroughly.

Stir the cream into the mixture.

Puree the strawberries and gooseberries.  If you want your ice cream totally smooth then pass the puree through a sieve.  My preference is to have the bits still in.  There may however be an argument to say you should pass the gooseberries through a sieve - and possibly peel - but not the strawberries.

At this stage it's important to make sure all the ingredients are cold, so that the ice-cream machine can churn as easily as possible.  If they're not all cold, wait for them to cool.  Combine the strawberries and the creamy custard and churn in the ice-cream machine as per your machine's instructions.

It's worth noting that in his recipe for Raspberry Ice Cream, David Lebovitz recommends that to preserve the flavour of the fruit, the ice-cream should be churned within 4 hours of making the puree.

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