or, It’s So-o HOT!
When I was a kid, every single summer, we went to visit my Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins in the great state of Kansas, a mere 865 miles and 16 1/2 hours away. These trips provided some of the very best memories of my childhood. Every day we were there, my cousin Kelly and I “negotiated” (aka begged shamelessly) with our parents to stay overnight together. I LOVED staying with her on her family’s farm. Loved feeding the calves their industrial sized bottles of milk, loved playing Barbies with her and listening to our transistor radios, and loved swimming in their swimming pool. It was at this pool where I first learned one of the most fabulous secrets of my life: You can make your own ice cream! What? At the mature age of 5, I had no idea it didn’t just come from the store.
On this particular day, my Grandma brought her White Mountain Ice Cream Maker, complete with rock salt and huge bags of ice, to the pool. It was noisy, messy, and took (to my 5-year-old sensibility) a REALLY long time. But, oh my, was it delicious. Please, may I have some more?
I don’t know if you have ever been to Kansas, but in the summertime, it is HOT! We’re talking 100+ degrees, and dry as can be. Like an oven. So ice cream is pretty much the treat du jour, or it was for us.
Here in the Northwest, we have been having the warmest June on record. Having lived here for 25 years, anytime the temperature breaks 80, we can hardly stand the heat. I know, what wimps! Yes we are, but, you know, you acclimate to your environment. That’s my excuse anyways.
So when our temps reached the mid-90s last week, my thoughts returned to Kansas, and that wonderful homemade ice cream. And, since our local strawberry season was coming to a close, I thought of a great way to celebrate those delicious berries and the White Mountain Ice Cream Churn.
Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
(Adapted from Bon Apetit, 1998, viewed on Epicurious)
2-3 pint containers strawberries (about 6 cups)
3 c half-and-half
1 c sugar, divided
9 egg yolks
1/4 c light corn syrup
1 T vanilla
First, prepare the custard. In a medium saucepan, stir together the Half-and Half and 1/2 c of the sugar. Heat on medium until simmering. Remove from heat.
Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl. Slowly drizzle in a cup of the hot liquid, whisking as you go. Then put the egg mixture into the pan with the Half-and-Half. Return the heat to medium. Stir regularly until custard thickens to a point where it coats the back of a spoon, and hold a line you draw across it with your finger. DO NOT BOIL, or the custard will “break”. When the mixture begins to steam, it should be thick enough. This took about 5 minute on my stove.
Add vanilla. Stir gently. Then strain over a large bowl. Remaining custard should be silky smooth.
Place strawberries, 1/2 c sugar, and corn syrup into a food processor or blender. Blend until fully mixed. I blended mine until it was mostly smooth, but still had some chunks of berry, because I wanted a little texture in my ice cream.
Stir berry mixture into the custard. If you taste the custard and it seems too sweet, you could add a T or 2 of lemon juice here to balance it out. Place custard into the refrigerator until it is cold. (A few hours)
Pour cold custard into ice cream freezer and freeze according to directions for your ice cream maker. I have a Cuisinart freezer. I filled the container about 2/3 full, and still had custard left, so I refrigerated the remainder and froze it in in the ice cream maker the next day. After churning 25 minutes, Implaced the ice cream into a separate container, and into the freezer for about 2 hours before serving.
Just one bite took me back to that day by the pool, marveling at the homemade ice cream!