Sunday, August 5, 2012

S is for: Strawberry Balsamic Rosemary Ice Cream

Before you scrunch your nose up questioning this combination of flavors, hear me 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 I feel like it really stepped up this ice cream's game. I'm already a fan of using fresh herbs along with fruit in desserts. My first thought was actually to use basil, but I already had some rosemary on hand after making the Rosemary Chicken Salad last week, so I decided to use that instead. Don't worry, you won't be crunching down on actual rosemary. Instead, I infused the herb into the custard base, creating an ever-so-slight-but-delightful rosemary finish.



Let's start with the strawberries. I believe Bi-Rite cooks the strawberries on the stove for their version, but I love roasting fruits and vegetables, so I did that instead. I also think it helps to further remove some of the water in the strawberries, which can make for "icy" ice cream. The sugar will also help with this, along with preventing the strawberries from getting too hard. I've also read you can add a tablespoon of vodka or kirsch to help with this issue, but I totally forgot so I added it as an optional ingredient below.


Hull and slice the strawberries and then place them on a baking sheet lined with foil. Mine were pretty sweet already, so I only used 2 tablespoons of sugar. I also drizzled 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar over the top and let them sit to macerate for about 15 minutes. Then I popped them into a 425 degree oven for another 15 minutes. 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 (along with vodka or kirsch, if using) and refrigerate.


To make the ice cream base, I decided to do a custard, which calls for egg yolks. You can definitely make ice cream without them, but I feel like it makes it more rich and decadent. And come on, if you're going to eat ice cream, do it all out! Speaking of which, I feel like there are differing opinions on the ratio of cream to milk to use. Several recipes call for 2 cups heavy cream, and 1 cup whole milk. Some call for a 1:1 ratio. Just remember that the more cream & egg yolks (translation: fat) you use, the creamier the ice cream. However, this time, I went with 2 cups of Strauss cream, and 1 cup half and half. I thought it was perfect...but use whichever combination you desire. (Was that confusing? Hopefully I made sense there).


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 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!

Strawberry Balsamic Rosemary Ice Cream

by Jaymee Sire
Keywords: dessert strawberry balsamic vinegar rosemary ice-cream

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
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat 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. 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 (along with vodka or kirsch, if using) and refrigerate.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 enjoy!
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2 comments:

  1. Looks like you're giving Molly Moon a run for her money!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, this is really yummy. I gonna try this recipe.

    balsamic vinegar

    ReplyDelete

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