Strawberries – SF

Posted on September 3, 2010

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I had a whole slew of strawberries in the house.  I have a berry problem, and it’s become exacerbated since moving to SF. 

In California, the land of perpetual Eden, berry season just doesn’t seem to end.  Just when you think it’s over (hello, stone fruit), WHAM! the strawberries are back in full force at the farmer’s market with intoxicating names such as Albion and Seacrest.  Strawberry, you are such a tease.  Please let me move on to another equally deserving fruit.

I’m also having a passionate affair with my ice cream machine.  This is starting to sound a little like food porn.  I use the word machine lightly since it’s some crazy Donvier canister with a hand crank.

The Donvier and I have more of a love/hate relationship since it only works half the time.  Luckily for bakers bi-coastal (and everywhere), I was able to churn out some slightly addictive strawberry banana ice cream.

Strawberry Banana Ice Cream from Haley

Adapted from straight-laced strawberry ice cream recipe from Epicurious, I tinkered a bit to incorporate the pile of overripe bananas languishing behind a watermelon.  Sneaky bananas.  They actually add a nice silky texture without the addition of extra yolks.

Time: about an hour of active time, plus time to chill

1 3/4 cups of heavy cream (splurge on organic, you’ll taste the difference)

dash of salt (I used Maldon ’cause it’s pink)

2 large egg yolks

1/2 cup of sugar

1 1/2 cups chopped up strawberries (make ’em small because pureeing is in your future)

1 1/2 cups of chopped up bananas

Special equipment: ice cream maker

1. Get your yolks ready.  Separate the yolks from the egg (save those whites for an omelet).  Whisk yolks.  Set aside, but close by.

2. Combine cream, sugar and salt in a heavy sauce pan and bring to a gentle boil.  It’s important not to scorch your milk.  Like the way certain coffee shops that rhyme with Smarbucks make their lattes.  Anyways, it’s mostly important because of this next step.

Which is…

3. Pour your warm cream/sugar/salt combo slowly, ever-so-slowly into the egg yolks.  Stir mixture constantly.

4. Once it’s all incorporated, pour it back into the sauce pan.  Make sure your heat is low as you do not want the eggs to cook by themselves.  You want them to get down with their cream counterpart.  No curdling allowed.  To do this, make sure you don’t actually boil the mixture.  Constantly stir until slightly thickened.  It will not look like pudding.  It will just get a little thicker.  It will kind of coat your spoon like you see here.

It took me about 15-20 minutes.  People with gadgets like instant read thermometers say it should read 170 degrees.

5. Once you deem it “slightly thickened” pour it through a strainer into a bowl.  I used a pyrex since everything else was dirty.  It also has a handy lid.  Set aside to cool.

Now onto the star of the show, the strawberry.

6. You want to puree your berries and bananas until its a liquid (as little chunks as possible).  Then pour the stawberry-banana liquid through a strainer into the cooling custard.  Catch all that gunk.  See all that awesome berry offal matter (bottom, left)?  Use a spoon to mush the pulp around to get as much as the juice out as possible.

7. Put in the fridge to chill until cold.  I like to wait 24 hours, but it should be really hurt-your-teeth cold.

8. Dump into your ice cream machine of choice and follow those instructions.

9. Eat your heart out.

PS: The original recipe called for lemon juice and zest, and using whole eggs which is just silly because everyone knows the yolk is the goodness.

PPS: This ice cream will freeze a little harder than other non-fruit ice cream recipes.  I’m pretty sure this is due to the water in the strawberry puree.  You can easily add a tablespoon of booze (vodka, rum, etc.) to the recipe to make it a tad softer.  Or just leave it out on the counter for like 5 minutes.

Strawberry challenge results?

Britt 1, Haley 1, Strawberries 0

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Posted in: cooking, dessert