This ice cream has an amazing, old-fashioned taste. The Triple Sec it contains is not there for taste—but to insure that the pieces of strawberry in the ice cream won’t freeze. And the yogurt in the recipe is not there for lightness—but to add a wisp of acidity than enlivens the general flavor. There are all kinds of little ingredient tweaks—adding to a sublime, perfectly balanced product.
Makes about 3 cups of ice cream
1 pint fresh, ripe strawberries, hulled, washed and dried
¾ cup sugar
1½ tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1½ tablespoons light corn syrup
½ tablespoon Triple Sec (or any other mild, clear liqueur that’s about 34 proof)
3 large egg yolks
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
⅓ cup strawberry preserves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅓ cup plain yogurt
1. Place the strawberries on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, chop the fruit until it is almost a purée. Each little piece of strawberry should be no larger than half the size of a green pea. You should have 1 cup of chopped strawberries; if you have less, you will need to chop more strawberries.
2. Place the chopped fruit into a bowl and add 1/4 cup of the sugar, 1/2 tablespoon of the lemon juice, 1/2 tablespoon of the light corn syrup and the 1/2 tablespoon Triple Sec. Using a spoon, stir the mixture until it’s well blended. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight.
3. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, the remaining 1 tablespoon corn syrup, the egg yolks and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Using a whisk, mix until well blended.
4. Pour the milk into a small saucepan, place over medium heat and bring almost to the scalding point (175°F). Immediately whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture in the mixing bowl, dribbling it in slowly to avoid cooking the eggs. When the milk and eggs are combined, return the mixture to the saucepan and cook again over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 175°F.
5. Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a medium-sized bowl. Immediately add the chilled heavy cream, strawberry preserves, vanilla extract and yogurt. Blend well with a whisk. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight before freezing.
6. Freeze the cream mixture in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions. Once the mixture looks like ice cream, add the cold strawberries; this will loosen the texture of the ice cream, making it runnier than ice cream should be. Keep churning the ice cream in the machine until it assumes an ice cream texture once again (5 minutes or so, depending on your machine.)
photo: Alan Sheffield