Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream – Strawberries are cooked with a little balsamic vinegar to enhance their flavor and then added to a creamy, ice cream custard base and then frozen into a yummy ice cream
And just like that, we’re at the end of National Ice Cream Month. It really flew by, didn’t it??? This whole year seems to be flying by. I cannot believe we’re only a couple months from pumpkin season!
But before we move on, we have one last ice cream recipe to get to. For the final recipe of our celebration of all things ice cream and sorbet, I’ve decided to make a recipe that I’ve been wanting to try for years – Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream.
I first saw this combination almost a decade ago. A fancy ice cream shop in Atlanta was serving it. Though I never had a chance to try it, I knew it had to be amazing because the flavor in the strawberries gets enhanced when balsamic vinegar is added. It’s a trick I’ve always practiced when using strawberries outside of their growing season to make them taste sweeter.
And so, to finally get a chance to try these flavor in ice cream form, I made some of my own. I present to you my version of Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream!
How is this ice cream made
This ice cream has a custard base made with egg yolks so the process for making it very similar to other ice cream recipes we’ve featured on the blog. The only part of the process that differentiates it from the other recipes is the addition of strawberry balsamic puree.
Strawberry Balsamic Puree
Adding fruit to any ice cream will water it down and produce ice crystals and thus makes the texture less smooth. To concentrate the strawberry flavor and remove some of the excess water, we will cook them down a little with some balsamic vinegar.
After they’ve cooked for about 10 minutes, they’re cooled and then blended into a puree. However, it’s important not to puree the strawberries too much so you still get pieces of berries in the ice cream.
Making the ice cream
After the custard base has been made and cooled, the strawberry balsamic puree is added and the ice cream is frozen in the ice cream machine. That’s all there is to it!
Tips & Tricks
- Make sure that you’ve read the instructions for your ice cream machine before beginning the process. My machine requires me to freeze the bowl for 8 hours before use so I’d hate for you to go through the whole process and then have to wait overnight because you missed a crucial step.
- This ice cream is actually a custard because it’s made with cream AND egg yolks. The eggs yolks need to be cooked to thicken them up and make them safe for consumption. Because the mixture is warmed up, we need to cool it down to (1) keep it from cooking and getting too thick and (2) to get the chilling process started. We cannot add a warm mixture to the ice cream machine or it will never freeze.
- To ensure you have some pieces of strawberries swirled in the ice cream, make sure not to puree them too much. I only let my blender puree for about 2-3 seconds, which was just enough to break up the cooked strawberries.
Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream
- ¾ cup milk whole
- 1¾ cups heavy cream
- ½ cup + 2½ tablespoons sugar divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- 3 cups strawberries
- 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
For the balsamic strawberry puree:
- Hull and halve strawberries and place into medium saucepan with balsamic vinegar, and 2½ tablespoons of sugar. Stir together and place over medium heat. Cook until strawberries have softened and liquid is slightly thick (about 8 minutes). Remove from heat and let it cool for 10 minutes.
- Once slightly cooled, place strawberries in a blender and blend just until no longer in big pieces (about 3 seconds). I wanted the ice cream to have small pieces of strawberry so I didn't puree until completely smooth.
For the ice cream:
- Place milk, 1 cup of cream, ½ cup sugar, and salt in a medium sauce pan. Heat until the mixture is steaming, but not boiling.
- Remove from heat. Whisk egg yolks in a medium bowl until combined. Very slowly whisk in warm milk. Transfer mixture back to saucepan and set over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture begins to slightly thicken and is 170 degrees. Mixture should coat the back of the spatula. Remove from heat immediately so the mixture doesn't scramble.
- Place remaining ¾ cup heavy cream in a large bowl and place strainer over bowl. Pour thickened yolk mixture through strainer to remove lumps. Stir with cream.
- Chill mixture until completely cold, about 4-6 hours. Once chilled, add pureed strawberries and stir together. Ice cream base is now ready for your machine. Freeze ice cream according to machine instructions.
- Once mixture is ready, scoop into storage container and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze ice cream until solid, about 8 hours.