I love ice cream! Especially homemade strawberry ice cream! But who doesn’t love ice cream?
In 1983, in his stand-up comedy special Delirious, Eddie Murphy talked about the polarizing effect of ice cream on our nation’s youth. Umm…well…maybe he didn’t use those words exactly. But it was a hilarious bit about when he was growing up all the kids in his neighborhood would lose their minds when they heard the ice cream truck coming and the antics that would ensue. His material is funny because it rings true. Kids go a little insane when faced with the prospects of ice cream. It results in some weird firing of synapses that sends the body into a mixed state of euphoria and delirium.
The ice cream effect is not reserved to just kids. Grown ups go nuts over ice cream. Case and point, my grandmother and her life long love affair with ice cream. If you ask her she claims that her love for ice cream is born out of the fact that she grew up during the depression during which time ice cream for her family was a rare treat and you only got a very small amount. Yes, but Grandma, I think you’ve made up for that by now. 🙂 At family birthday parties we used to have to check the bottom of the ice cream container because she would open it early and steal a taste. “A mouse got into it” she would say. Often times we would serve her preposterously large servings of ice cream as a joke. She never would get the joke. She would always eat the entire serving of ice cream with a smile.
Yep, no doubt about it. Ice Cream is magical. Maybe it just reminds us of summer. Of growing up. Of family. Or maybe it’s just freaking good! It doesn’t hurt that it comes in about a bazillion flavors.
The numbers certainly bear out the popularity of ice cream. According to the International Dairy Foods Association, the “total U.S. production of ice cream and related frozen desserts in 2004 amounted to about 1.6 billion gallons, translating to about 21.5 quarts per person.” I wonder how much of that was for my grandmother?
So who am I to try to resist the magical power of ice cream? I wouldn’t dare. Not to mention the strong genetic gravitation towards ice cream that I obviously inherited from my grandmother. So when Melissa suggested that we should buy a homemade ice cream maker I certainly was not about to protest. And strawberry ice cream always has been one of my favorites so that seemed like a great place to start.
Here are the specifics:
Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream
This recipe is a family recipe and is usually enjoyed on July 4th. Cleaning the dasher is one of the best parts of making this ice cream.
1 quart whole milk
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch (slack)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pint heavy cream
4 cups pureed strawberries (slightly sweetened–maybe 1/2 cup sugar)
Scald whole milk. Add sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Cook until slightly thickened (coats spoon instead of just running off). Temper beaten eggs by adding about 1 cup of hot milk mixture and whisk into beaten eggs. Then add this to milk mixture, while whisking constantly. Cook 1 minute. Add heavy cream. Remove from heat and cool. Add strawberries. Makes about 4 quarts of ice cream. Once adding the ice cream mixture to the container for the ice cream maker, we topped off with more whole milk to raise the level almost to the fill line of the ice cream maker (don’t over fill or it will expand and run out of the container towards the end).
Some tips: We did not temper the eggs in our first batch. This led to a few little strands of egg in the final product. It still tasted good, but was a little less appealing. Also, our ice cream came out a little soupy. I think this was for two reasons: 1) the strawberries pieces were a little too big and bunched up in the dasher of the ice cream maker, making it difficult to spin and 2) we ran out of ice and got distracted making dinner while the ice cream maker was running, and when it finished the ice was only 1/2 to 2/3 up the side of the container–I think it would have frozen more if we had added more ice and rock salt.