The recipe for this roasted strawberry buttermilk ice cream is from a cookbook that I have totally fallen in love with, called Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home.
Cover to cover, it is filled with creative, inspired ice cream flavours that each sound totally AMAZING. They’re all variations on the same base, which uses corn starch as a thickener and cream cheese as an emulsifier. I’d only ever made yolk-thickened ice creams before. Jeni’s method yields a less rich-tasting ice cream (perhaps desirable in bikini season?), but one with the creamiest, silkiest mouthfeel of any I’ve ever had.
Buttermilk complements the strawberries in a subtle but thrilling way. It highlights the delicate tartness of a ripe local strawberry, drawing out a more complex flavour in the ice cream than just ‘sweet’. The lemon juice adds another layer to this bright nuance. But the thing is, in tasting it you wouldn’t know either is there! This could easily be called “The Best Strawberry Ice Cream Ever” with the buttermilk and citrus remaining completely secret ingredients.
Another detail that contributes to making this ice cream phenomenal is the roasting of the strawberries before pureeing them. It draws out some of the water from the berries, concentrating their flavour and making a bit of a syrup. BRILLIANT!
The single place I deviated from the recipe was in using the full amount of roasted strawberry puree. Jeni advises you to fill the pan so that they don’t dry out, and to only use a 1/2 cup of the puree, saving the remainder for another use. I just couldn’t help myself, I used them all! And it was fine. Delicious. Not an icy berry in sight (which I assume was her fear).
I also love Jeni’s super-fast chilling method. She recommends pouring the hot ice cream base into a freezer bag, sealing it, and submerging it in ice water, adding more ice as it melts. It works so much more efficiently than stirring a bowl over an ice bath – saves about 3 1/2 hours of refrigeration time!
As you can tell, I’m completely smitten with this woman and her frozen confections. Can’t wait to make the Sweet Corn & Black Raspberry, or the Roasted Pumpkin 5 Spice Ice Cream! And this is not an endorsement. No connection to the author or publisher. Though I wish there was one. Because maybe she’d pay me in ice cream…
Questions for you: Have you ever made homemade ice cream? Do you own an ice cream machine, or is it just “one more gadget” that you don’t think is worth the space it’ll take up?
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced ½ inch thick
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1½ cups whole milk
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 4 tbsp softened cream cheese
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- 1¼ cup heavy cream
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp corn syrup
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- Combine the strawberries and sugar in an 8" square baking dish and roast in a preheated 375 degree oven until softened, about 8 minutes. Puree berries in a blender or food processor with the lemon juice.
- Mix 2 tbsp of the milk with the corn starch in a small bowl until dissolved. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk cream cheese and salt until smooth. Set aside.
- Fill a large bowl with ice water. Set aside.
- Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in cornstarch mixture. Return to medium high heat and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Add the strawberry puree and buttermilk and blend well. Pour mixture into a 1-gallon freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as it melts, until completely chilled, about 30 minutes.
- Pour the ice cream base into the frozen ice cream maker canister and process until thick and creamy. Pack into a storage container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving to soften slightly.