Strawberry Ice Cream

Pierre Herme

Makes 1 quart

We’ve made a lot of ice cream in our machine, and it turns out pretty well, but iciness is a persistent issue. The creme anglaise base in this recipe provides the smoothest and creamiest base we’ve found, even after a while in the freezer, making it worth the effort to make. This is a great way to use up all those perfect NC strawberries in the spring. Take note: this ice cream is a two-day process.

Ingredients

1 c whole milk
1 c heavy cream
2 vanilla beans, split in half and scraped, or 1 tsp vanilla if you are a normal person
6 large egg yolks
½ c sugar plus 1 tsp
2 pints plus 1/2 c strawberries hulled

In a small saucepan, bring the milk, cream and vanilla to a boil over normal heat over a stove or in a microwave. Cover and remove from the heat, and allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes.

Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and set aside a small bowl that can hold the finished cream and be placed in the ice bath.

Put the yolks and sugar in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan and whisk them until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. (The recipe says 3 minutes, but I’m no pastry chef and this takes me longer.) Whisking without stop, drizzle in the hot milk and cream. After about a thrid of the liquid has been added and the yolks are acclimated to the heat, add the liquid in a steadier stream. When all the liquid has been whisked in, remove the vanilla pods if using and put the pot over medium heat, stir consistently and cook until the mixture has thickened slightly, lightens in color and reaches 180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. This will take less than 5 minutes.

Immediately remove the sauce pan from the heat and allow the cream to reach 182 degrees, then immediately strain it into a bowl and place the bowl into the ice bath. Keep the cream in the bath and stir occasionally until it has completely cooled. Cover it with plastic wrap, being sure to press it onto the surface of the cream. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours, up to 3 days.

Puree 2 pints strawberries in a food processor and press the puree through a strainer to remove seeds. Stir the puree and 2 cup of creme anglaise into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. While the ice cream is freezing, dice the remaining 1/2 of strawberries very small and mix with the tsp sugar in a bowl and sit. When the ice cream is a minute or two from being finished, add the macerated strawberries.

The ice cream can be eaten directly out the machine, but if you want it to be firmer, pack it into an airtight container and freeze it for later use.

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