strawberries are definitely my favorite fruit. i always get so excited in those first few weeks of summer when they are perfectly in season – their flavor during those few weeks is always so much more intense than during the rest of the year. if i get really lucky, i get to go strawberry picking (often with my parents, who do it as part of their CSA), which means getting the sweetest, reddest, most perfect strawberries around.
you’re probably wondering why i’m talking about strawberry season when it isn’t for another couple of months. well, up until this week, it was the winter that wouldn’t end here in new york. it snowed. on the last day of march. so i was longing for just a glimmer of hope that it would one day get warm again. and to make myself feel better, i decided that i needed some strawberry flavor in my life. just a hint of summer to remind me of better days.
this ice cream totally did the trick. i roasted the strawberries according to the brilliant advice of heidi swanson, which totally intensified their flavor while giving them an extra level of complexity. what that means is that in addition to making the ice cream completely delicious, the roasting process sort of made it okay that the berries weren’t in season. but believe you me, i’ll definitely be keeping this recipe in my repertoire for when strawberry season returns, in all its juicy glory.
a rich, creamy ice cream full of deep roasted strawberry flavor.
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, washed and with the tops cut off
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- a pinch of salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- another pinch of salt
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- preheat the oven to 350ºf and line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- in a large bowl, combine the strawberries, olive oil, maple syrup, and salt. pour this mixture into the prepared pan and bake it in the oven for about 40 minutes, until the strawberries have released a lot of juice and gotten very soft.
- transfer the berries and juices from the pan to a blender, and puree them completely. strain the mixture into a small bowl.
- let the strawberry mixture chill completely in the fridge.
- put the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. stir and cook the mixture until the sugar is dissolved and it just reaches a simmer.
- meanwhile, put the heavy cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top.
- in a medium bowl, stir together the egg yolks. stirring constantly, very slowly pour ½ to 1 cup of the warm milk into the yolks. pour this mixture back into the saucepan. continue to cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- carefully strain the custard into the heavy cream. mix everything together, then add the vanilla. cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge until it is completely chilled.
- add the strawberry mixture to the custard and mix it all together. freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.