Last spring I was picking strawberries with my sweet babies. I love picking fresh strawberries. I got a little carried away and picked 3 baskets full. It was about 11-13 pounds of strawberries! Yikes! What was I going to do with all these strawberries?
Well my kids ate about 3-4 pounds in 2 days. So it wasn’t too much of a problem to have a ton of strawberries. I froze another 3-4 pounds. Then I set out to make strawberry ice cream.
I must admit, I enjoy making dairy free ice cream more than anything else. But, making fruit ice cream is a little harder than it seems. See fruit contains A LOT of water. And when you freeze water it turns to ice. So, if you just throw fresh fruit into ice cream, you literally have ICE cream. Your creamy smooth ice cream base will suddenly be studded with little fruit ice cubes.
What should you do? Get rid of some of that water in the fruit. You could cook it out, but that would give you a jammy strawberry ice cream. (Still gonna eat it.) Or, you could make a strawberry sauce by mixing fresh strawberries with freeze-dried strawberries and sugar. Both freeze-dried fruit and sugar absorb water. Ta-da!!! The answer!
(Thanks, Dan Souza from America’s Test Kitchen. You’re the genius who taught me this.)
But, one last step to ensure you maintain that fresh-picked strawberry taste. Chill the strawberry sauce and fully chill the ice cream base. You can put a lot of effort into making a fresh strawberry sauce, but if you add it to a warm ice cream base you will end up with strawberry-jam-ice-cream. So, chill everything.
Now that you’re a fresh-fruit-ice-cream genius, go make some strawberry ice cream. And enjoy all the springy, summery feels that strawberry ice cream brings.
Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
- 6 oz. fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 1 cup (1/2 oz.) freeze dried strawberries
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour into a storage container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Ice Cream Base
- 1/2 cup (60 grams) coconut milk powder
- 1/3 cup (76 grams) cane sugar
- 1/4 tsp (2 gram) sea salt
- 3 3/4 cup (855 grams +60 grams) coconut cream, reserve 1/4 cup (60 grams) for the slurry
- 1 1/2 tsp (8 grams) vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup (75 grams) maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp (15 grams) tapioca flour
- Mix the tapioca starch with 1/4 cup of the liquid coconut cream to make a slurry. Set aside.
- In a 4 quart saucepan whisk the sugar, sea salt, and coconut milk powder together to break up any clumps.
- Add the remaining 3 1/2 cups of the liquid coconut cream and cook over medium heat. Bring the coconut cream to a low boil. Boil for 4 minutes. (Whisk frequently to prevent scorching.)
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the tapioca slurry. Return to the heat and stir constantly until it thickens like pudding (about one minute).
- Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract.
- Strain the ice cream mixture through a fine mesh strainer and cool to room temperature. Place in the refrigerator until cold, about 4 hours or up to overnight.
- Pour the ice cream base into an ice cream maker. Allow the ice cream to churn for 1-2 minutes, then pour in all of the strawberry sauce. (It will fully incorporate into the ice cream while it churns.)
- Churn in an ice cream maker until the ice cream reaches soft serve consistency. (This usually takes about 20-25 minutes.)
- Place the ice cream in a freezer safe container and freeze for 4 hours or overnight.
- Allow to soften about 5-10 minutes before scooping. Scoop. Serve. Enjoy!
- Strawberry Stracciatella- drizzle in magic shell during the last 2 minutes of churning.
- Neapolitan- layer the strawberry ice cream with chocolate and vanilla ice creams when putting it in a freezer safe container.
- Chocolate Covered Strawberry- drizzle some fudge sauce on top.