The battle of the strawberry ice creams

I received a cryptic set of texts last weekend from a friend. Message 1: “Picking up wine” Message 2: “And strawberries if the stand is open” Message 3: “Wanna make strawberry ice cream?” Any message that starts or ends with “ice cream” is good for me. So began my decision – what ice cream recipe to use? The one from Humphry Slocombe (courtesy of Hummingbird High) or Bi-Rite Creamery. Well, I made it easy on myself and tried both!

Humphry Slocombe “No-Fuss Here’s Your Damn Strawberry Ice Cream”

  • 1 pound fresh, ripe strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2 cups heavy cream, cold
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (I think this is way too much and would even cut this down by half or more)

Humphry_Slocombe_Strawberry_Ice_Cream

1. Place 1 pound fresh strawberries in your blender or food processor and process to a smooth puree. Strain into a medium bowl using a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds (you can also leave it unstrained, but your strawberry ice cream won’t be as smooth).

2. Once the strawberry puree has been strained into the bowl, add 2 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar and whisk together until the sugar has dissolved. Once the mixture is smooth, taste your ice cream batter — if it needs more sugar, add a pinch, if it’s too sweet, add a splash of red wine vinegar.

3. Once you’re satisfied with the flavor of your ice cream, transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and spin according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The ice cream will be ready once it looks frozen and the ice cream has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Eat immediately, or transfer into an airtight container and freeze for a few hours if you prefer a more frozen texture.

Bi-Rite Creamery “Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream”

For the strawberry puree:

  • 1 1/2 pints strawberries (3 cups), preferably organic, hulled and halved
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (I only used 1 teaspoon)

For the base:

  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup 1% or 2% milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (I only used 1 teaspoon)

Bi-Rite_Strawberry_Ice_Cream

1. Cook the berries – combine the strawberries, sugar and balsamic vinegar in a nonreactive skillet over medium heat. Stir frequently and cook until strawberries are soft and the liquid released from them has reduced somewhat, 6-8 minutes. Let cool and  blend. I left the chunks of strawberries.

2. Make the base – in a bowl, whisk the yolks with 1/4 cup of sugar and set aside. In a nonreactive saucepan, stir together the cream, milk, salt, and remaining sugar (1/4 cup) over medium heat. When the mixture approaches a bare simmer, reduce the heat to medium. Scope about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture and whisk into the eggs. Then place the egg mixture into the pan and cook, while stirring constantly until thickened. Strain into a container and place in ice bath. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

3. Freeze the ice cream – whisk the strawberry puree and the remaining vinegar into the chilled base. Proceed using manufacturer’s instructions.

I ended up preferring the version from Bi-Rite Creamery because the one from Humphry Slocombe was too salty for me. My friends actually liked the one from Humphry Slocombe because it had a very distinct taste. To each their own. For me, ice cream brings smiles, so it really doesn’t matter which one you eat … as long as you enjoy it.

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