_After the delicious announcement of the arrival of our ice cream maker, my mother immediately sent over her favorite Blackberry Ice Cream recipe. But blackberries aren't quite in season (or at least not in budget), so I decided to go with the steal of strawberries at the farmer's market this morning: half a flat for $9! Katie provided the cream this go-round, and we're off to the races.

{This event actually took an additional trip to the store because I managed to curdle the custard. Curses!}
Prep Time: 20 minutes cooking + 3 hours chilling (including 20 minutes preparing berries) + 1 hour freezing in pan + 12 hours freezing overnight
Yields: 1.5 Quarts (3 Pints) :: If your ice cream freezer has a maximum capacity of 1.5 quarts, it will not be big enough.

Prep the Kitchen

Place an 8 x 8" metal pan in the freezer. Place a bowl in a large ice bath.
The ice bath is important to prevent curdling of the cooked custard mixture. Put a bunch of ice and some water in a large bowl and float a smaller bowl inside it.

Cook the Custard

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • .5 cup sugar, halved
  • 1.5 cup heavy cream
  • 1.25 cup whole milk
*Don't be tempted to save time and do step {2} first -- it doesn't allow the steamed milk mixture to cool at all and will encourage your eggs to curdle.


Scald cream, milk, and .25 cup sugar in a saucepan over med-low heat. Stir until temperature reaches 175ºF, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.


Mix about one cup of the steamed milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture. When thoroughly combined, stir mixture back into steamed-milk saucepan.


Mix .25 cup of sugar with the egg yolks. Those extra egg whites make extra-fluffy French Toast, delicious meringues, and lots of poached eggs!


Return to low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon (to reduce bubbles) until mixture reaches 180ºF, about 10 minutes. Pour into bowl resting in ice bath, stirring infrequently until mixture stops steaming. Remove from ice bath, cover, and refrigerate for 3 hours.

Notes About Cooking Custards

  • If the bottom of the pot begins to "feel bubbly", stop stirring and remove from heat immediately: the custard is starting to curdle.
  • Do not automatically scrape the saucepan: the edges may have begun curdling, but the rest of the mixture may be smooth.
  • You also can strain the final chilled custard mixture through a fine mesh strainer before adding it to the ice cream freezer in order to remove minor lumps.
Irrecoverable curdling: The mixture is lumpy. You'll have to start over.
Minor curdling: The mixture is starting to curdle on the bottom of the pan (bottom) and results in a few lumps in the mixture (top). This is recoverable!

Cook the Berries

  • 1 quart strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • .5 cup sugar
  • pinch salt


Wash, hull, and slice strawberries. Combine with sugar and salt in saucepan. Crush with wooden spoon or potato masher; simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Ice the Cream!

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • {optional} 3 tablespoons vodka*
*The vodka reportedly keeps the chunks from attracting ice crystals while freezing. Other alcohol would do the job as well, but keep it out of the ice cream! It will make the ice cream take much longer to freeze.

**The ice cream freezer in this picture is TOO FULL. That is because things expand as they freeze, and with the added pureed strawberries, we had to scoop out a bowl to keep in the freezer until the first batch was done.


Strain strawberry juice into cooled custard. Add vanilla and lemon; pour into ice cream freezer. Proceed to freeze according to manufacturer instructions!


When ice cream is soft-serve consistency, scrape into pre-frozen metal pan. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 1-2 hours or until edges are hard. (This helps prevent ice crystal formation.)


For extra berriness, puree the strawberry chunks and add to mixture OR toss chunks with vodka and add in 2-3 minutes before freezing is complete.**


When lifted from the pan, ice cream should peel in cohesive chunks. Pack with spatula, removing any air bubbles. Smooth off the top by rotating the spatula around the top of the pint. Wipe off any leaky bits with a paper towel. Freeze overnight and enjoy!
7/9/2012 12:11:47 am

And now you have reignited a craving for strawberry ice cream. Too bad I do not have an ice cream maker of my own! (Or, you know, any time for actually making ice cream...) Looks like it's off to Coldstone today!

7/9/2012 04:34:20 am

The next time I do this recipe, it will be Strawberry Chocolate Fudge Swirl. I have Plans...

7/9/2012 04:06:11 am

I love the freak out part -- it's the part of cooking everyone conveniently leaves out and NEVER TALKS ABOUT ;o)

7/9/2012 04:33:31 am

I know, right?! But if you're going to be adventurous in the kitchen, you have to be prepared to freak out and start over after carefully considering every possible thing that could have gone wrong (and doing some basic googling). Because freaking out will happen, because cooking is just chemistry, and that's really just an official way of saying alchemy, which is just an excuse to see exactly how big of an explosion a mixture of chemicals can make.


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