I haven't been a big fan of strawberry ice cream since I was a kid, but while I was at the grocery store recently I passed by the strawberry display and was overwhelmed with the unmistakable smell of extremely ripe strawberries. Inspired to make ice cream with them, I bought a large 2 pound basket and took them home.
I scanned our collection of ice cream books looking for an interesting recipe and decided to combine elements from two different recipes. Once recipe called for a heavy custard base, which I thought would lend the smooth creamy texture I was looking for. Another recipe had few eggs, but called for orange and lemon juices, which I believed would help preserve some of the zing of the fresh strawberries many strawbwerry ice cream recipes lack (I think most commercial ice creams use frozen strawberries).
I also opted to pass the mixture through the chinois. The end result was as I imagined: very smooth ice cream with a bright, fresh strawberry flavor. The citrus is barely detectable and helps the delicate strawberry flavor from being obscured.
1 1/4 cups whole milk
5 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 cups hulled strawberries (measure after hulling)
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 orange
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
Prepare the custard base
Heat the milk over medium heat until simmering, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Beat the egg yolks and sugar until well blended and color turns to light yellow. Continue whisking the egg mixture while slowly pouring in the hot milk. Return to saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until temperature reaches about 170° F. Remove from heat and pour through sieve or chinois. Place in ice bath to cool, stirring occasionally. Wait until this cream base has cooled to room temperature before hulling strawberries.
Pureé the strawberries and juices, continue chilling
Rinse the strawberries and then hull them to remove the stems and any green or white bits. Place strawberries in a blender with the lemon and orange juice. Pureé well and pour into chinois or sieve to filter out strawberry seeds. Pour the strawberry puree into the cream base and blend well with a whisk. Continue to chill in the ice bath until less than 45° F before whipping the cream.
Fold in whipped cream and churn
Beat the whipped cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold this into the strawberry-custard base. The mixture will be a little thicker than most ice cream bases. Chill according to your ice cream maker's instructions. Transfer to a dedicated, odor-free container to let ripen in the freezer for several hours.