Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

I love strawberry season! In Southern California, you know that summer is just around the corner when you see gorgeous strawberries overflowing at the local farmers market...and the unbelievable fact is that you can get a half flat (6 baskets) of super sweet, juicy berries for 10 bucks. With the berries at their height of their season, there is no better way but to eat them fresh --- no embellishments needed. If the mood strikes to do something with them (besides stuffing my face), I'll make this ice cream. The strawberry is the star of this recipe, but with a little something to take this ice cream over the top:
Yes, balasamic vinegar. Using just a wee bit of high quality, aged balasamic vinegar really brightens the flavor and enhances the sweetness of the berries. Admittedly, it can be a small investment for a good balsamic vinegar (I think I paid $30 for the bottle pictured), but a little goes a long way, and it makes a huge difference in recipes like this. I'll even pour a little of this balsamic over a scoop of vanilla ice cream - believe it or not, it tastes heavenly!
Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream
makes approx 2 qts

1 1/4 lb fresh strawberries- rinsed, hulled, and sliced
1/2 c. sugar (you can increase this to 3/4 C, depending on the level of sweetness you prefer)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp vodka (keeps the ice cream from turning rock hard in the freezer)
1/2 c. creme fraiche (or sour cream)
1 1/2 c. heavy cream

1. Combine the strawberries with the sugar, balsamic vinegar and vodka in a large bowl. Cover and let stand at room temp for an hour or so.

2. Pour strawberry mixture into a food processor. Add the creme fraiche and heavy cream and process until just combined. I like to see chunks of fruit in my ice cream. If you prefer a smoother version, process further until smooth.

3. Chill the mixture, then freeze in an ice cream maker.


Sara said...

Looks amazing! I definitely have to try this. :)

The Food Librarian said...

Wow. Amazing. So delicious! When I buy those fresh strawberries so cheap, I feel like I'm stealing! Oh, love love summer in Los Angeles!

Erin said...

I have some Strawberry Basil Balsamic Vinegar I bet would be GREAT in this!

Erica from Cooking for Seven said...

This looks divine. Strawberry season doesn't start around here for another month or so, but as we grow our own strawberries I am on the lookout for recipes. I'll definitely bookmark this one.

Ingrid said...

Oh, wow! That looks wonderful. That was clever adding the vinegar.

I haven't seen really good strawberries here. They're either under ripe or over riped and mushy, ew!

Digigirl said...

I've been looking for an interesting strawberry ice cream recipe and this looks and sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing. I'll give it a try!

Leah said...

I've heard of using balsamic vinegar on ice cream before and have even made a tasty reduction with it and red wine. I've never actually tried making an ice cream with it, though. Sounds like a good combo with strawberries!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I love it. My favorite way to eat strawberries is with balsamic vinegar and freshly ground black pepper. I love them!

I'm sure this ice cream is delicious. YUM.

pietra said...

Nothing like a great recipe to use on our wonderful Willamette Valley Strawberries up here in Oregon, perfect.

Irene said...

This is beautiful! Gorgeous, gorgeous photos, as always. We are so lucky in California, aren't we? I picked up some sweet strawberries today (though $8 for 3 baskets, but they were too delicious to resist) and made a big strawberry Bavarian cake for Mother's Day.

Mermaid Sweets said...

That sounds soo good, but alas something I can never try. Your photos are great.

Kevin said...

That ice cream is looking good! The strawberry and balsamic combo is a really good one.

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