Every year on Valentine’s Day I try to create a special family dessert. One year I made chocolate cupcakes with pink buttercream decorated with chocolate hearts. Another year I made heart-shaped biscuits and got the kids to ice and decorate them.
This year, my creative mojo is languishing from stiflingly hot Adelaide summer weather that makes the thought of turning the oven on about as exciting as counting the worms in my worm farm. In this weather I don’t want to cook at all. I want to lie on a couch with a damp cloth on my brow and have someone bring me mojitos.
And then it struck me: ice cream. Strawberry ice cream would be perfect. And I could serve it with chocolate-dipped strawberries. What could be more perfect on a summery Valentine’s Day?
If you want a good traditional ice cream made from milk and cream and egg yolks and fresh strawberries, then this recipe is sure to be a winner.
- 250 g (1 punnet) strawberries + 1 tablespoon sugar
- 250 ml whole milk
- 250 ml pouring cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 egg yolks
- ½ cup caster sugar
- Hull and halve the strawberries.
- Put strawberries into a bowl and stir through 1 tablespoon of caster sugar.
- Whisk the egg yolks, vanilla and ½ cup caster sugar in a bowl until thick and creamy.
- Heat milk and cream in a heavy-based saucepan until nearly boiling, then take it off the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, slowly pour warm milk mixture into egg mixture, whisking constantly.
- Return milk and egg mixture to rinsed-out saucepan and slowly heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard thickens, then take it off the heat and refrigerate in a bowl until cold. Note: the mixture must not boil or it will curdle.
- Puree strawberries and any juices in a food processor then fold into cold custard.
- Finally, either churn custard in an ice-cream maker following the manufacturer's instructions or chill in a metal cake tin in the freezer. If you do the latter, take the icecream out every hour for three hours as it freezes and beat well in an electric mixer or food processor. This will prevent ice crystals from forming and ensure you end up with lovely, smooth ice cream.