Monday, 25 October 2010

Blender Strawberry Ice Cream: made in a jiffy

The shops here in Cape Town are overflowing with beautiful strawberries, each one bigger, juicier and more perfumed than any strawberry I remember from my childhood.

Blender Strawberry Ice Cream
Easy Blender Strawberry Ice Cream
It's not often I can say that a piece of fruit I taste nowadays is anywhere near as delicious as the fruit I ate as a child, but I have to make an exception for strawberries. Perhaps the beauties I see in the shops are genetically engineered, or maybe farmers these days just have access to better, bigger, more fragrant hybrids.

Whatever the case, I've been buying cheap strawberries in bucketloads.  Last week, when I found myself facing a mountain of strawberries that I'd bought in a frenzy and forgotten (neglected, actually) to use, I thought I'd better make a batch of my mum's wonderful strawberry ice cream. But I didn't have any custard, and was too hot and bothered to make a custard from scratch. The next option was an ice based on a sugar syrup, but the thought of making such a syrup, and waiting for it to chill, defeated me.

So that's how I came up with this blender strawberry ice cream. It's dead simple to make if you have a liquidiser and, with its lovely deep-pink colour, looks and tastes heavenly piled into cones and topped with sprigs of fresh mint.

Whenever you're choosing strawberries to buy, give them a good sniff by putting your nose to the top of the box.  If a heady perfume drifts from the fruit, buy them without a second thought. If there's little or no scent at at all, stick your nose back in the air and stalk away, with an infuriated air.

How much icing sugar you use will depend on the sweetness and/or tartness of your strawberries.  I suggest that you start out using half a cup of icing sugar, and then add more if the mixture doesn't seem sweet enough.  This ice cream is best made, luxuriously, with fresh cream, but if you're watching your diet, use thick natural yoghurt instead.

You'll need an ice-cream maker to produce a perfectly smooth ice. If you don't have such a gadget, use the freeze-and-beat method, which will result in a slightly crystalline but still most delicious ice.

(And here's another version of strawberry ice cream, this time made with ready-bought custard: Easy Strawberry Ice Cream: a taste of my childhood.)

Blender Strawberry Ice Cream

300 g ripe strawberries, hulled
½ cup (125 ml) icing sugar, or more, to taste
the juice of half a lemon
1 cup (250 ml) cream (or natural yoghurt)

Put the strawberries, icing sugar and lemon juice in a blender and blitz to a fine purée. Taste the purée, and add more icing sugar or lemon juice, if necessary.  Now pour in the cream, turn on the blender, and blend at a medium speed for a minute or so, or until the mixture has thickened slightly. Don't over-blend the mixture, or you'll end up with pink butter.

Tip the mixture into the bowl of an ice cream machine and churn until frozen (or use the freeze-and-beat method; see above).

Serve immediately, topped with sprigs of fresh mint, in sugar cones or in little pre-frozen wine glasses.

Serves 6-8, in cones.

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gibberlicious said...

ooooo. i so want to try this!

Nina Timm said...

Beautiful ice-cream Jane. It looks so creamy and smooth, I am surprised there is no custard in it!!!

Kit said...

I'm loving the strawberry season too. We have our own growing here again this year, so are jamming them as well as making ice cream. Great pic!

Marisa said...

I love the colour! And the fact that it requires almost zero effort? Score.

Steve said...

Whipped cream and pureed strawberries always make a delightful, simple ice cream. Clever idea to just blitz it all in a blender!

This type of 'iced cream' is the oldest of all, according to Caroline Liddell's 'Frozen Desserts'. She provides recipes from 1885 and earlier: well before eggs and custards made their way into ice cream.

I've also made this recipe using, erm, liquid nitrogen. More smoke than a U2 concert, but the smoothest, creamiest ice cream ever. (Apparently it freezes too quickly to form ice crystals)

dining room tables said...

My mouth is watering over the photo! I want to try to make some. That would be really nice.

Juno said...

Thank you for these great comments. One of my friends, an old witch who lives in London, says she thinks I used food colouring in my ice cream. I did not. It's just that South African strawberries are WAY redder and juicier than those pale London ones. Hmmph.

Rose&Thorn said...

I have a deal with hubby, if he plays golf, he has to go to the strawberry farm and buy me strawberries. I love them almost as much as I love him. I like the simplicity of this ice-cream. I often get put off by the thought of making custard or sugar syrup - this is super easy and healthy.