Strawberry Ice Cream
And so it came to pass that the ice cream maker we've have had for nearly fifteen years was finally forced into retirement. Early on she was a dutiful worker, spinning out sorbets and creams and all sorts of experimental iced desserts. Eventually we saw there were quirks in her conduct. Sometimes she wouldn't freeze completely, other times she thawed too quickly mid-ice cream mixing. Our gelatos became icy crystals of yuck.
I hinted desperately each Christmas, Birthday, and Anniversary, telling T, "We sure could use a new ice cream maker." One food processor (which I cannot live without!), one fancy silver toaster, one very fancy silver French press, and one rice maker (no comment) later, and I took things into my own hands.
Enter our new ice cream maker! There were only three color choices in my price range: white, red, and watermelon. I went for the watermelon. Not a popular choice but unique colors makes me happy.
Whenever I make ice cream I remember elementary school when my 4rd grade teacher Mrs. Jordan had us add milk and sugar to a canning jar, then insert the jar into a baggy of ice and salt. After an agonizing half an hour or so of shaking, we produced our very own container of iced milk. Turning liquid into a sweet solid dessert was as miraculous as watching a disgusting runny raw egg fry into a pretty glob of white and yellow. It was as mysterious as watching water boil away into mist. And it was delicious!
To initiate our new ice cream maker I adapted the recipe from the Cuisinart instruction booklet to make T's favorite flavor.
Strawberry Ice Cream
1 pint strawberries, hulled
1 tablespoon Cointrueau or Triple Sec (or aged balsamic vinegar)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups half-n-half
1/2 to 2/3 cups sugar (use more if you prefer a sweeter dessert)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Put the strawberries into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Pulse strawberries until rough/finely chopped (depending on preference). Reserve in bowl and stir in Cointrueau and 1 tablespoon sugar.
In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the half-n-half, sugar, and salt until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the vanilla. Stir in reserved strawberries with all juices. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours, or overnight.
Turn on the ice cream maker; pour the mixture into the frozen freezer bowl and let mix until thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.
*Adapted from http://www.cuisinart.com.