Fourth of July and Strawberry Ice Cream go hand-in-hand and at our Landgrove, Vermont, celebration we make it the old-fashioned way with a hand-cranked machine packed with ice and salt. It requires a lot of patience and a modicum of strength, but there’s something about working hard that makes the final reward even sweeter.
Follow the basic custard recipe below and then choose to make either a strawberry ice cream, or sweet and nutty maple-walnut. Both flavors are as old as the hills, but don’t feel limited! Add your favorite fruit, chocolate chips, or crushed cookies to make your own flavor. Bonus recipe: Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce.
Makes 3 pints
For the Custard:
2 egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and set aside.
In a 3-quart saucepan, whisk together the milk, cream, sugar, and salt over medium heat. Once it starts to simmer, remove from the heat, let cool for 3 minutes, then gradually add the yolks, whisking between each addition. Pour the mixture back into the pan and heat it to 180°F, whisking continuously. This will only take a minute or two.
Pour the custard through a strainer into a bowl. Stir in flavorings of your choice and pour the chilled custard into the container. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate the custard until well chilled, several hours or up to overnight.
Pour the chilled custard into the container of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a storage container and freeze for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve.
Strawberry Ice Cream
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
In a medium bowl, mash together the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Let sit while making the custard. Before churning the chilled custard, stir in the strawberries, then proceed as directed.
Maple Walnut Ice Cream
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
Before churning the chilled custard, stir in the maple syrup, then proceed as directed. Add the walnuts 5 minutes before the ice cream is finished churning.
Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce
1/3 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch process)
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pour the cream into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth and remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and let stand until the chocolate has melted, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla. Serve warm.