Before you scrunch your nose up questioning this combination of flavors, hear us out. This is the best strawberry ice cream you’ll ever have. Hands down. For those of you who have had the pleasure of sampling the balsamic strawberry ice cream at Bi-Rite in San Francisco, you probably don’t need much convincing.
The balsamic is subtle, and it really brings out the bright flavor of the strawberries. As for the rosemary, that was a last-minute add, and really stepped up this ice cream’s game. Don’t worry, you won’t be crunching down on actual rosemary. Instead, you’ll infuse the herb into the custard base, creating an ever-so-slight-but-delightful rosemary finish.
Ingredients (1 quart):
– 1 pint strawberries
– 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar (depending on how sweet your strawberries are)
– 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
– 1 tablespoon vodka or kirsch (optional, but recommended)
– 2 cups heavy cream
– 1 cup half and half
– 3/4 granulated sugar (use a little more if you like really sweet ice cream)
– 1 large sprig of fresh rosemary
– pinch of sea salt
– 4-5 egg yolks
– 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
The first ting to do is preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Hull and slice the strawberries and then place them on a baking sheet lined with foil. Sprinkle with 2-3 tablespoons of sugar and balsamic vinegar and let them macerate for about 15 minutes. Roast in oven for 10-15 minutes. Roasting them helps remove excess water, which can make for overly “icy” ice cream.
If you like chunky ice cream, mash with potato masher. If you prefer a smoother ice cream, puree in a blender or food processor. Cool and place berries and accumulated syrup into a container and refrigerate. You can also add a tablespoon of vodka or kirsch to prevent strawberries from getting too hard.
To make the ice cream base, we decided to do a custard, which calls for egg yolks. You can definitely make ice cream without them, but we feel like it makes it more rich and decadent. And come on, if you’re going to eat ice cream, do it all out!
Heat cream, half and half, sugar, salt and rosemary on the stove until very hot, but not boiling. Whisk egg yolks in a separate bowl and add about a 1/2 cup of the warm cream mixture into the eggs while whisking. This will help “temper” them so they don’t scramble. Return egg mixture to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Remove rosemary and strain. Stir in vanilla extract. If you pureed your strawberries, you can mix these now as well, otherwise, leave them separate. Refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight. It’s very important that both the custard and the strawberries are very cold before putting them in the ice cream maker.
Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions, adding the strawberries during the final five minutes (unless you pureed them). Enjoy immediately if you prefer a “soft serve” consistency, or freeze for an additional couple hours for more traditional ice cream consistency.
Garnish with additional strawberries and get ready to enjoy the best strawberry ice cream of your life!
What unusual ice cream flavors have you tried recently? Tell us in the comments below.