Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream – House of Nash Eats

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Video Strawberry ice cream homemade

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream is made with juicy ripe fruit and fresh cream for real strawberry flavor. It’s perfectly creamy and scoopable thanks to the custard base. Enjoy this bright and sweet classic flavor on its own in cones, sundaes, milkshakes or ice cream sandwiches!

Summer is the time to bust our your ice cream maker and churn up something delicious! If you love to make homemade ice cream, be sure to try some of our other favorite flavors like Blackberry Swirl Ice Cream, Butter Pecan Ice Cream, Graham Canyon Ice Cream, or Old-Fashioned Fresh Peach Ice Cream.

a close image of scoops of homemade strawberry ice cream

This strawberry ice cream recipe makes me think of my Grandpa. The classic flavor with its sweet, summery strawberries and creamy texture was his favorite. Homemade strawberry ice cream is pretty divine stuff although I feel like it gets overlooked for flashier alternatives with chocolate, cookies, or cookie dough in them.

My grandpa and I shared a love to two very important things: dancing and ice cream.

Scoops of homemade strawberry ice cream on sugar cones next to a container of ice cream.

In college I did ballroom dancing and learned to do the Lindy Hop and the Charleston. When I started dancing, my grandpa told me about his WWII days when he was in the navy and used to spend his spare time swing dancing in ports like Australia. When he got home from the war, he would go listen to all the big bands like Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman. I would have loved to have been at some of those performances!

But my grandpa was also the person who first taught me how to make ice cream. We used an old-fashioned ice cream maker where we packed rock salt and ice around a metal drum filled with our ice cream base. Then we hand-cranked that thing on the back porch until we had homemade ice cream.

a bread pan filled with strawberry ice cream

The best strawberry ice cream uses a fresh strawberry puree to flavor the custard base, with a little added vanilla to bring out the all the flavors of the cream, fruit and sugar to really make them sing.

I love that there are little bits of fresh of strawberry all throughout this lovely, naturally pink ice cream. It’s custard based, which means it is made with eggs. But for those of you who prefer an eggless ice cream, I have an alternative approach that is almost just as good! See the recipe notes for an egg-free version of this strawberry ice cream recipe.

a small dish of strawberry ice cream surrounded by fresh strawberries

I love this ice cream just as it is – scooped into a bowl or cone and eaten plain – but it is also perfect for a milkshake or as a filling in ice cream sandwiches, especially between soft molasses or chocolate cookies. Or use it along with chocolate and vanilla ice cream and make banana splits!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

scoops of slow-churned homemade strawberry ice cream

Strawberry Ice Cream Ingredients

Just six simple ingredients stand between you and the strawberry ice cream of your dreams! Really, this strawberry ice cream recipe could be used as a base for any fruit recipe you can think of like blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, mango, and more. You just might need to adjust the amount of sugar depending on the sweetness of the fruit or strain the fruit after blending to get rid of seeds, if they bother you.

  • Strawberries: I recommend using fresh, ripe strawberries in this recipe. Those farmer’s market strawberries are so juicy and sweet and give the absolute BEST strawberry flavor, which makes for the best strawberry ice cream.
  • Heavy cream: For the creamiest ice cream, you really want to use heavy cream, not just half-and-half like you might see in other recipes.
  • Milk: Whole milk is best for ice cream, although you can compensate for lower fat percentages by decreasing the milk a bit and adding some extra cream to make up for it.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar gives just the right amount of sweetness. If your strawberries are a little on the tart side, go ahead and add a little more sugar as needed.
  • Egg yolks: This is a custard based ice cream, which means we cook the ice cream base and add egg yolks. This makes it supremely scoopable and keeps it from getting icy in the freezer.
  • Vanilla extract: I love using my homemade vanilla extract which adds wonderful depth of flavor to our strawberry ice cream.

How to make homemade strawberry ice cream

Modern ice cream makers have made it super easy to churn your own small-batch ice cream. I have a Cuisinart ice cream maker, which I love. It comes with a spare bowl so I can always double the batch if needed.

  1. Heat the liquid ingredients: Combine the milk, cream and about half the sugar and in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally until the mixture is hot, but not bubbling, about 5 minutes.
sugar being added to milk and cream in a saucepan
  1. Whisk egg yolks: While the cream and milk are heating, whisk the egg yolks with most of the remaining sugar until they lighten in color (see images below for how the color lightens after about 2 minutes of whisking). I like to hold 2 tablespoons of the sugar in reserve to blend with the strawberries, but it’s all ultimately going into the same ice cream base so there is no need to be super exact with the measurement at this point.
  2. Temper eggs: Once the cream mixture is hot, whisk about ½ cup of it into the whisked egg yolks to temper the eggs. The point is to gently raise the temperature of the eggs without shocking and scrambling them by adding them directly to the hot milk and cream. Whisk in another ½ cup of the hot liquid, then pour all of this mixture back into the pot with the remaining cream mixture.
  1. Heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon: Continue to stir the custard base for 2-4 minutes or until the temperature is between 170-175 degrees and the liquid is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. If you are worried that you accidentally scrambled the eggs, you can strain the custard base through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl, but usually I find this is unnecessary. Chill thoroughly either by placing in the fridge for 4 hours or by setting the pot over an ice bath and stirring frequently until completely cold.
  2. Puree: Meanwhile, blend the strawberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar in a high speed blender or food processor (affiliate link) until fairly smooth with just small chunks remaining. Any larger pieces of strawberry will freeze hard and can give the ice cream a less creamy, more icy mouth feel, so I tend to stop just short of completely pureed. Pour the strawberry puree into the chilled custard and stir to combine.
  1. Churn and cure: Pour the strawberry custard base into the frozen bowl of an ice cream maker and churn for about 20-25 minutes until the ice cream is about the consistency of soft serve. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container (I like using a 9×5-inch bread pan) and cover with plastic wrap. Place the ice cream in the freezer to cure for at least 4 hours to harden until it is scoopable.
scooped strawberry ice cream in a freezer-safe container

Recipe Tips

  • Soften slightly before serving: Let the ice cream sit out for 5-10 minutes to soften slightly before scooping. Not only will it be easier to scoop this way, but the flavor is actually even better when the ice cream is at a slightly warmer temperature.
  • Mash strawberries for chunks of fruit: If you prefer larger chunks of strawberries in your ice cream, I recommend using a potato masher to mash the strawberries with the sugar and letting them sit at least 10 minutes to macerate before adding to the custard base. You will still likely end up with some slightly icy bits of strawberry, but they shouldn’t be as bad as if you were to add slices of strawberry to the ice cream.
  • Thoroughly freeze your ice cream maker bowl: Make sure to put your freezer bowl in the freezer at least 12 hours prior to churning your ice cream.

Frequently Asked Questions

a scoop of homemade strawberry ice cream in a glass dish

More Strawberry Recipes You’ll Love

  • Strawberry Pretzel Icebox Pie
  • Homemade Strawberry Milk
  • Fresh Strawberry Pie
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake
  • Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
  • Summertime Strawberry Shortcake
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

This post was originally published August 6, 2016. It has been updated with new photos and additional information to make it more helpful and reader-friendly.

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