Spring is in full swing, and it’s the perfect time to make use of springtime produce that is in season. Though frequently thought of as a summer fruit, strawberries are going to be ripe for the picking here in a few weeks. And there's no better way to kick off warmer days than by making this fruity frozen strawberry custard.
Depending on which region you live in the United States, the best time to harvest strawberries will vary. Throughout most of the country, June is usually the sweet spot for picking strawberries. However, strawberries can be harvested in the deep South as early as late April and early May. Once you get your hands on those sweet, sweet berries, this custard recipe is exactly what you need to highlight them.
To make the custard, you’ll need sugar, lemon juice, whipping cream, eggs, milk, vanilla extract and of course, the main ingredient — strawberries. First, you’ll want to add sugar, lemon juice and strawberries to a medium bowl and then add it to a food processor after letting it stand for 30 minutes. To remove the seeds, pour your mixture through a mesh sieve.
Then you will need to heat the whipping cream and milk. After that, blend the eggs with sugar and vanilla extract before pouring in your hot cream mixture. Cook the egg-cream mixture for about five to 10 minutes. Once that’s done, pour the mixture through a sieve and let it cool. Add your pureed strawberries to the custard and then pour it into an ice cream maker and let it freeze until the custard begins to thicken. If you like your ice cream with extra fruit bits, you can add finely chopped strawberries while the machine is still running. When your custard is finally firm, all that’s left to do is grab a spoon and eat your cool creation.
Of course, this recipe is easy to swap out for other ingredients if you’re craving something other than strawberries. You can add in blueberries, rhubarb and raspberries to stick with the fruity flavors. Or you can mix in cocoa powder for a chocolatey route. Also if you can’t have dairy, you can substitute the milk and whipping cream for coconut or almond milk. And if custard isn't your jam, don't worry, there are plenty more frozen fruit desserts to make when it gets warmer.
2 1/2 pints strawberries, hulled and halved lengthwise
1 cup sugar, divided
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Step 1: Finely chop 1 cup of the halved strawberries and set aside.
Step 2: In a medium bowl, sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice over the remaining strawberries. Let stand for 30 minutes, and then process the strawberries in a food processor until completely smooth. If you prefer no seeds, pour through a fine-mesh sieve. Set aside.
Step 3: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 2 cups whipping cream and 1 cup milk, and heat until scalded. Remove from the heat.
Step 4: In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 4 eggs until frothy. Slowly add 3/4 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and beat until thick and a pale lemon color.
Step 5: Gradually whisk 1 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture. Then gradually pour the egg-cream mixture into the saucepan while whisking constantly. Cook slowly over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thinly coats the back of a wooden spoon, 5 to 10 minutes. Do not overcook or the mixture will curdle.
Step 6: Remove from the heat, pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, and let cool.
Step 7: Add the pureed strawberries to the cooled custard and mix well.
Step 8: Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions just until the ice cream begins to thicken. With the machine running, add the finely chopped strawberries. At this point, the ice cream will be firm but not hard. You can either spoon it into a container and place in the freezer to harden or serve it immediately.