18 July, 2010

Rustic Strawberry-Balsamic Ice Cream

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I first saw this flavor offered at Molly Moon's ice cream shop in Seattle a while back. Since then, I've seen it everywhere. It is THE flavor pairing of the year.

I was intrigued by it, because back in the 90s, when I bought one of my (still favorite) cookbooks "The Splendid Table" by Lynne Rossetto Kasper, she mentioned that the people of the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy put balsamico on top of their ice cream. At the time, I remember turning up my nose at the idea, but over the years, I've come to realize what a great ingredient a good balsamico is, even for sweets!

For this recipe, I used the Gold Quality small jar from Trader Joe's, but I'd suggest even getting a better quality than that. The finer the balsamico, the tastier your recipes will be. Just like with wine, balsamico varies greatly by producer and with age. A really old balsamico from a good producer? Gold, Jerry. Gold!

I can't tell you how incredible the flavors of this ice cream are. The balsamico really brightens up the flavor of the strawberries, much like lemon does to fish, or lime does to cocktails.

You do not need to make a custard for this recipe, which makes me love it even more. It's just about the easiest homemade ice cream recipe ever. Enjoy!

Ingredients.
  • 2 cups (over a pound) fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced 
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used 1 TB stevia and almost 1/2 cup xylitol)
  • 2 TB good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 3 TB kirschwasser (brightens the berry flavor and keeps the ice cream from freezing too hard)
  • 3 drops raspberry extract (optional)
  • 2 cups heavy cream (or 1 1/2 cups cream and 1/2 cup sour cream)
    Instructions.

    Mix the strawberries with the sugar (or sugar substitutes), balsamic vinegar, kirschwasser, and raspberry extract in a large bowl. Cover and let marinate at room temp for one hour.

    Add half of the cream and process strawberry mixture in a food processor or a blender. I leave the mixture somewhat chunky, as I like pieces of fruit in my ice cream. But if you want it smoother, puree and then strain through a fine-mesh strainer to remove and seeds and bits. Mix in the rest of the cream (and sour cream, if using).

    Chill the mixture for one hour and then freeze according to the instructions for your ice cream maker.

    Gallery.

    Fresh berries

    Ingredients, and strawberries soaking in them

    Good old-fashioned chunky ice cream
    Who needs perfect scoops? 

    4 comments:

    1. interesting combination. I hadn't heard of it. Might have to try it.

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    2. Beautiful! This is my all-time favorite flavor at Molly Moon's :)

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    3. I had this when I was in Seattle and have been looking for a recipe ever since! I'll give it a try!

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