Sunday, July 11, 2010

Beating the Seattle Heat with Strawberry Ice Cream

The weather in Seattle has just been crazy this past week.  The 4th of July was like early winter and then by Wednesday it was 96 degrees !  I needed something refreshing and cooling to take my mind off the heat.  I've been waging strawberry wars with the squirrels in our backyard and unfortunately the squirrels are winning.  Just when the berries looked like they would be ready for harvest,poof, they disappeared.  And since I really am not a war waging kind of gal I decided to allow the little creatures the joy of enjoying my strawberries. Truth be told they were much better at knowing exactly when to harvest them -I think it comes from living so close to the ground !  I just hope they enjoyed those fresh sweet berries as much as I would have enjoyed them.

So instead of my homegrown strawberries I stayed local and bought some Washington  berries from the West Seattle Rotary. Let me clarify some-I bought a 7 1/2 lb bucket of them !!  I just couldn't resist-fresh picked berries from the Skagit Valley. Needless to say we have been adding strawberries to everything , from cereal in the morning to salad in the evening. I'm of the belief that strawberries go with just about everything. But my favorite way to have them is in fresh churned ice cream.. There is nothing like the taste of homemade ice cream with fresh strawberries on one of the hottest days of the year !

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
adapted from Epicurious
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
3 (3- by 1-inch) strips fresh lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 lb strawberries (3 cups), trimmed and quartered
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1.Combine cream, zest, and salt in a heavy saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and discard zest.
2.Whisk eggs with 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl, then add hot cream in a slow stream, whisking. Pour back into saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened and an instant-read thermometer registers 170°F (do not let boil).
3.Immediately pour custard through a fine sieve into a metal bowl, then cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Chill, covered, at least until cold, about 2 hours, and up to 1 day.
4.While custard is chilling, puree strawberries with remaining 1/4 cup sugar and lemon juice in a blender until smooth. Stir puree into custard.
5.Add custard to your ice cream maker and follow your manufacturer's instructions.  At this point, while churning , I was adding little chunks of strawberry-this works better then all the berries don't fall to the bottom of the ice cream -they end up distributed through out .

Sit back with a large spoon and bowlful of strawberry ice cream and enjoy the moment !

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