Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Strawberry Buttermilk Ice Cream (with homemade buttermilk) and Fresh Strawberry Sauce
Strawberries topped with toasted almond slivers and drizzled with honey, strawberry ice cream, strawberry sour cream coffee cake, strawberries at their pique ripeness, more sweet than tart, washed and allowed to come to room temperature, totally naked in a bowl, sigh. I LOVE strawberries! Wouldn't it be great if raindrops tasted like strawberries. Okay, so maybe that's pushing it, but rain does helps strawberries to grow. So in essence, strawberries taste a bit like rain.
That time of the year, when everything springs to life, ostensibly instantaneously, is a welcomed occasion here in New England. Colors and smells and tastes that have hidden themselves away from our finding become new and available to us again; Fresh and locally grown! Two days ago, I planted my first strawberries of the season. They've already begun budding. The reason I mentioned the rain earlier is because that's what we've been experiencing the past few days, and nearly all of April. Though, for some, this may be a downer, I offer for your consideration one glorious bright side...Strawberries! And the vast many things that grow verdant, plush, sweet and fragrant. Come in out of the rain, pull up a chair and I'll make you a sundae. You'll have no choice but to smile. And after one bite, you'll have a whole new appreciation for the magic of what falls from those April gray skies.
Making your own buttermilk is really simple.
All you'll need is:
1 cup whole milk
and either 1 & 3/4 tablespoons cream of tartar OR 1 tablespoon white vinegar OR 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Add one of the three to milk (cream of tartar, or white vinegar, or fresh lemon juice), stir and let stand for fifteen minutes at room temperature. After fifteen minutes the milk should have begun to curdle. Stir well before using.
*For this recipe, I used buttermilk made with lemon juice.
Homemade Strawberry Buttermilk Ice Cream
Recipe courtesy and Adapted from Joythebaker.com
2 cups cream or half and half Plus 1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup whole milk (to be mixed with cornstarch later)
1/2 cup buttermilk
Scant 3/4 cup sugar (just under 3/4 cup)
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup strawberries, cut into small cubes
2 Tablespoons sugar Plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (for macerating strawberries)
Fresh Strawberry Sauce
To make strawberry sauce, simply repeat the method of cutting strawberries into small cubes. Once you've cubed 3/4 cup of strawberries, place them in bowl with 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice. Stir until incorporated. Cover bowl and refrigerate until needed.
Clean strawberries under cold water. Cut strawberries into small cubes. Place strawberries in bowl with 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, stir. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
Pour 1 1/2 cups of cream plus 1/2 cup of whole milk into a small sauce pan. Add the sugar and salt and heat the cream over medium low heat. Stir cream often to prevent it from scalding.
Now that your cream and 1/2 cup of milk is heating on the stove, measure out buttermilk and vanilla extract and set aside. Also measure out the remaining 1/2 cup of milk. Stir the cornstarch into this 1/2 cup of milk until smooth and all the lumps are dissolved.
At this point, the cream you've been heating should be gently steaming. You do not want it boiling, just hot and producing a gentle steam. While the cream is over medium low heat, add the milk and cornstarch mixture to same pan as cream. Stir continuously until cream starts to thicken. It should feel heavier on the spoon and appear thicker to the eye. *See picture below.
Once the milk and cornstarch mixture is added to the cream, it should only take a minute or two to thicken up. If not, keep stirring until it does.
Once the cream mixture is thick, remove from the heat, Add vanilla extract and 1/2cup of buttermilk. Stir to incorporate.
Strain the cream milk mixture into a large bowl, cover with plastic and allow to cool in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Once the mixture is cooled, remove from the refrigerator and stir in ONLY the accumulated juices from the strawberries and NOT the strawberries. Stir to incorporate juice and add cream mixture to your ice cream maker. *See pictures below.
Five to ten minutes before ice cream is done churning, add the remaining small cubes of strawberries to ice cream machine. When ice cream is done churning, place in freezer safe container, cover and allow to freeze for up to four hours.
Homemade ice cream always tastes best after it's been allowed to "ripen". This is when the flavor has deepened.
My budding strawberry plants.