Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

by formerchef on June 7, 2010

Post image for Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

One of the best things about the summer is all the fresh fruit available. Strawberries usually show early in the season so I always associate them with the start of summer, backyard BBQ, and the 4th of July. Our local farmer’s market had some organic strawberries which smelled so sweet it was just impossible not to buy some.

Last weekend we celebrated a significant birthday (one ending in a zero) of a very close friend. My mother made a knockout BBQ pulled pork and I made grilled vegetables and a killer pesto macaroni salad (recipe to come) along with my favorite lemon cake* and this fresh strawberry ice cream. It was a prefect late spring/early summer meal.

*For this lemon cake, I left out the lavender, multiplied the recipe x 1.5, and baked it in a bundt pan. It made a perfect birthday cake and went really well with the strawberry ice cream.

A Cautionary Tale:
The morning of the BBQ, I woke up to a horrible discovery. I took the ice cream base which I’d made the night before and put it into the frozen bowl. I put the mixer in the center, set the bowl on the machine and discovered that for some reason the cover would not fit on my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. Nothing I did would make it fit. Then I realized that the bottom of the bowl was completely bowed outward. As best as I can figure, the bowl must have gotten hot (washed by someone who did not know better perhaps) and the heat destroyed the refrigerant inside the bowl. When it froze, it expanded and warped the bowl making it unusable forever. Fortunately I was able to borrow a machine (thanks mom!) and then had to order a replacement bowl. Still, it was a tough lesson to learn.

In other news, as you may have figured out by now, I love to travel almost as much as I love all things food. Actually, depending on the day, it’s a toss up of which I love more. So, with a week’s vacation time looming, you can imagine how dismayed I was to have nothing planned. Fortunately, a few days ago, I lucked on to a good airfare to Panama, and after some brief discussion with my husband (and quick but intensive research on my part) we decided to go. So, if anyone has any Panamanian food advice, tips on where to go to find the best ceviche, great markets, or anything else, bring it on!

Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe
Printable Recipe in PDF

2 cups cream
1 cup whole milk*
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 pint (1 basket, about 13 oz weight) strawberries
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

*I didn’t have any whole milk, but I do buy 1/2 & 1/2 for my coffee so I used 1/4 cup 1/2 & 1/2 and 3/4 cup 1% milk.

  1. Rinse, hull and slice the strawberries. Chop half of them into very small pieces and keep half of them sliced. Add the sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract and mix. Do this in advance so they have time to macerate, at least a few hours or overnight. The sugar, lemon juice and vanilla will cause the strawberries to soften and release some of their juice. Before mixing into the ice cream base, you’ll want to smash them a little more with a fork or puree part of them. 
  2. To make the ice cream base, separate the eggs and put the yolks in a medium sized bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the sugar and whisk it into the egg yolks.
  3. Get a big bowl and fill it with ice and a little water. Get a bowl just smaller than that and set it on top of the ice. You will be pouring the custard into that bowl to cool it down quickly. Set a small fine mesh strainer over the bowl.
  4. In a medium sized heavy bottomed sauce pan, combine the cream, milk and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Heat until just below a simmer.
  5. To temper the egg yolks before adding them to the cream mix, take about 1 cup of the hot cream/milk mix and whisk it into the egg yolks. Then add the egg yolks, whisking slowly, back into the cream/milk mix. Cook, being careful not to boil, until the mixture begins to thicken into a custard and will coat the back of a spoon. You do not want to over cook this or the eggs will start to scramble.
  6. Pour the custard though the strainer set over the bowl on ice. The strainer will catch any bits of egg which might have over-cooked. Stir the custard until cool and then cover and refrigerate until completely cold, preferably overnight.
  7. Freeze the ice cream according to the manufacturer’s instructions and add the strawberries in at the end during the last 5 minutes of churning.

Ice Cream on FoodistaIce Cream

1 Nick June 7, 2010 at 6:56 am

Looks fantastic! Also, thanks for the heads up on the washing. I know you aren’t supposed to put the ice cream bowls in the dish washer so maybe that happened?

I’ve only used my ice cream maker once since I got it and I’d be devastated if it became unusable!

2 formerchef June 7, 2010 at 7:09 am

No, I don’t think it went through the dishwasher, but I think it was possible it was washed in the sink in very hot water. It says very clearly on the instructions and (I think on the bowl too) that hot water could damage it. That must be what happened. However, I did a search and I couldn’t find any reports on such a thing happening to a bowl. Sigh. $25 for replacement bowl or $40 for a new machine.

3 Baking is my Zen June 7, 2010 at 10:26 am

I love the photography and how you put the photos on angles. Beautifully done!
And the ice cream…YUM! I’m tossing around the idea of buying an ice cream maker, but I want one that makes Gelato too.


4 formerchef June 7, 2010 at 11:49 am

My understanding is that there are two main differences between traditional (American commercial) ice cream and gelato; one is that gelato has a higher milk to cream ratio and the other is that ice cream has more air whipped into it. Gelato is denser because it has less air. I’ve found that most home ice cream makers don’t seem to add too much air during the churning process because they churn pretty slowly. Commercial ice cream is lighter because it means you can sell it cheaper if half your product is just air!
I like the Cuisinart ice cream maker. I’ve had mine for 3 or 4 years and it’s held up well (barring any mistakes on my part!).

5 Charles G Thompson June 7, 2010 at 4:16 pm

A few friends and I made fresh strawberry ice cream with a Cusinart ice cream maker for a Memorial Day barbecue – it was amazing. Looks like yours was too. We’re waiting for peaches to come into season so we can make fresh peach ice cream. Bummer about your canister! Have fun in Panama.

6 Chocolate Shavings June 8, 2010 at 3:25 am

I agree – strawberries really mark the summer season – that ice cream is a perfect way to use them!

7 Angela@spinachtiger June 9, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Have a great trip. This picture of the ice cream is beautiful. I love homemade.

8 Tiffany June 10, 2010 at 5:39 pm

I don’t know why and you haven’t done it before, but having “Strawberry Ice Cream” in the picture just fits. Maybe because it reminds me of a Ma & Pa ice cream store where the signs were hand written.

Have fun in Panama! Picture! But I don’t need to mention that… 🙂

9 formerchef June 10, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Tiffany-I’ve done the text over photo thing a couple of other times, but for some reason it only seems to work well on desserts (IMO).

10 Tiffany June 14, 2010 at 7:27 pm

And I’ve only ever noticed it on this one? Hmmmm… probably paying to much attention to the noms on the screen.

11 Christine June 11, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Wow I love how your ice cream looks like in the picture. it’s so yummy. I make ice cream too but i don’t use the ice cream maker. I make them manually. It’s not too hard. But i think it tastes different too. Maybe on how you make it.
I really like your blog. If you wont mind I’d love to guide Foodista readers to this post.Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post and it’s all set, Thanks!

12 Melissa June 14, 2010 at 10:38 am


I just recently discovered your blog and am really enjoying it.

We just attempted to make strawberry ice cream. It was similar to your recipe. I wish I had read your post before we made it, because I would have used the tempering the eggs tip. I just whisked it in really fast, but there were a few little strands of cooked egg in the final product. Still good, but a little less appealing.

Have fun on your trip.

13 Jennifer S June 14, 2010 at 12:24 pm

This is a lovely photograph. 🙂 Thanks for sharing it. Makes me want to fire up the ice cream maker, too.

14 yasa July 11, 2010 at 12:41 am

would like to eat it now!!!!

15 jill July 19, 2010 at 12:11 am

I have been looking for the perfect strawberry ice cream recipe, and I think I’ve found it here. Thanks for posting this. I will post back on how it turned out.

16 Andrea June 13, 2012 at 6:21 pm

This ice cream is delicious!! We picked ~26 lbs. of strawberries from an organic u-pick farm near us the other day, so I went pretty crazy with making different strawberry ice creams 🙂 This recipe got my boyfriend’s vote for the best! Thanks for the recipe! I thought this custard based ice cream would be kind of complicated to make.. but was suprised at how easy it was!

17 formerchef June 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm

That’s great! Thanks for letting me know.

18 Chloe S. Henderson July 9, 2012 at 7:03 am

I made the strawberry ice creamand it was sooooooooooo good:D I <3 it.

19 Camille October 27, 2012 at 7:54 am

Hi, I’m actually writing about Panama. I was looking for strawberry ice cream and stumbled on to this. I’d love to exchange info on Panama. We have property on Caya de Agua in Boca Del Toro. What part of Panama did you go to?

20 formerchef October 27, 2012 at 8:20 am

Hi Camille- You can see my Panama trip here: http://www.wired2theworld.com/our-travels/central-america/panama-2010/

21 Jill November 4, 2012 at 11:28 am

We doubled this recipe, but made it exactly as the recipe stated. It was SUPERB. Thanks so much!

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