Thursday, May 10, 2012

Strawberry fields forever: Part III

I'm pretty sure you're sick of me complaining about the weather all the time. I'm sick of me too. But I can't help it. In Greece, I used to complain that it was always too hot during spring, now that I'm living in Holland, I'm complaining about the opposite.

The thing is, though, that the weather plays a huge part in what I want to eat, what I'm in the mood for to cook, what I'm able to enjoy, or what I can't be paid enough money for to put anywhere near my mouth. Not to mention what an impact it has on my mood. The lack of sunshine is seriously getting to me. I'm so cranky.

I guess it wouldn't surprise you then if I told you that the weather is still bad here, right? Bleak skies, rain, terrible humidity. Still, I am in the mood for ice cream. It's the only thing that can get me out of my funk. Food always does that for me.

The one ice cream I always start ice cream season with, is strawberry. I have been making this one for years and years and it never fails to impress, not only S who is a strict judge of ice creams, but also anyone and everyone who has ever tasted it.

What I want from anything that promises to be a fruit dessert, is that concentrated flavor. That punch in the face and that intensified fruit taste which sometimes is elusive in desserts and especially ice creams. I want that pure, unadulterated strawberry kick and that's exactly what I get every time I eat this ice cream.

The addition of lemon juice, or lime juice if you prefer it, gives the ice cream a little tartness to counterbalance the sweetness of the strawberries and icing sugar, and the absence of eggs makes it particularly light. It is smooth and creamy but without that sticky feel that eggs give to the top of your mouth, making every spoonful even more irresistible.

Ice cream season, here I come!

By the way, have you seen my new header? I realized I was bored with the old one and decided it was time for a change. I played around a little with a photograph I had taken for this post and ended up with this. What do you think?

Strawberry Ice Cream

I used to make this ice cream by hand, i.e. place it in the freezer and whisk it every half hour until completely frozen, but ever since I got my ice cream machine two years ago, I never looked back. Not that you can't make it by hand (I give instructions below on how to do it) but as you can understand, the result will be creamier and smoother.
I have also served this as popsicles (like these cherry sorbet ones), where I just poured the ice cream mixture into the molds or shot glasses and placed them in the freezer to set.

It goes without saying that the more flavorful and aromatic the strawberries you use are, the more flavorful and aromatic the ice cream will be. There is no cream or eggs in this ice cream so the flavor is solely dependent on the quality of the fruit. Bad strawberries will have nowhere to hide here, so take care to choose some good ones for this.

You can intensify the flavor of the ice cream further by adding some tiny, fresh strawberry pieces to the churned ice cream, or you can go a different way and add chocolate chips/chunks. Strawberry and chocolate, the perfect combination. Speaking of which, I'll be back with a special accompaniment for this ice cream in a few days, so stay tuned.

Yield: about 670 g of ice cream

300 g fresh strawberries*
190 g icing sugar
375 ml fresh, whole milk, cold
½ tsp lemon or lime juice, freshly squeezed

*I haven't tried it before, but I guess you can make this ice cream with frozen, and thawed, strawberries as well.

Special equipment: fine sieve, small food processor or blender, ice cream machine (optional yet preferable)

Rinse the strawberries under cold running water, hull them and cut them in half. Place them in a food processor or blender and purée them. Pass the strawberry purée through a fine sieve to get rid of the seeds.

In a large bowl, add the icing sugar and the strawberry purée. Combine using a wire whisk until you have a homogeneous mixture that doesn't have any icing sugar lumps in it.
Add the cold milk and whisk well.
Add the lemon (or lime) juice, whisk, and give the mixture a taste. You can add a little more lemon juice if you think it needs it.

Pour the mixture into your ice cream machine and churn it, following the manufacturer's instructions.

Alternatively, if you don't have an ice cream machine, empty the strawberry ice cream mixture into a container suitable for the freezer. Place the mixture in the freezer, take it out after 40 minutes and whisk it very well. You can also use a blender, or even a stick blender.
Continue doing the same thing every half hour, until it's too thick and frozen to beat or whisk. The whole process will take 2 to 3 hours, depending on how strong your freezer is.

You can keep the ice cream in your freezer for a week but I doubt if there'll be any left after a couple of days.


  1. Such a lovely shade of pink. I can definitely relate to the weather issues. It's been strangle here too. Nothing this ice cream wont fix ;>)

  2. If your ice cream tastes as intensely strawberry as the color looks, than it must be sublime. Our strawberry season has been one of the best in recent memory--due to a mild winter and cool spring. Would love to try your recipe--and add some bittersweet chocolate chunks to it.

    Hope your spirits lift soon. The new header looks great.

  3. oh my. Look at that beautiful colors. Strawberries are so wonderful!

  4. It looks so appetizing in that gorgeous pink. Love it!!

  5. I think your header is great' it is cinnamon or cocoa powder?
    I feel bad that your weather is bad; here it is sunny but what gets to me is the noise in the city and also the pollution in the air. My only respite is going up to the mountains in the weekend, thankfully it is only 30 minutes away/ Love your ice-cream will make one soon we are beginning to see big strawberries all over.

  6. Magda perfect! I loved those pink scoops. Bookmarked this recipe; just waiting for our trip to the farms.

  7. SO beautiful, Magda - I can almost smell it here (where it is definitely ice cream weather!). I like the new header, too - is that cocoa powder? ~David

  8. What pretty strawberries and ice cream! Homemade strawb ice cream is the best. I like how you made it without eggs, too. I hear you on the bad weather... we get the lack of sunshine in Portland as well. Hope the sun comes out soon!

  9. El — oh yes, this ice cream can fix just about anything.

    Nancy — in Holland, as you may know, we have the sweetest, juiciest strawberries. They indeed taste sublime.

    Ahn — I love that color too!

    Nisrine — thanks!

    Joumana — it's cinnamon!! My favorite spice. I'm glad you like it, I needed the change.
    Mountains huh? I live in the flattest country in the world right now so I miss the mountains terribly, especially the Greek ones! You're lucky to be able to escape the hustle and bustle and go there.

    Shri — if you do try it, come by to tell how you liked it. I would love to know!

    David — thanks David! Does it really look like cocoa? Cocoa is much darker. It's cinnamon!! :)

    Anna — it did come out today for a couple of hours, then quickly disappeared again. The weekend is looking promising though! Fingers crossed.

  10. I love the new header! It definitely looks like cinnamon to me- and I like the bit of chaos on the edge of the bowl and in the corner- makes it real. I used to make ice cream (with my machine) in the USA and miss it. One of those appliances that I choose not to bring here because of anticipation of lack of kitchen space and lack of hot days. Thanks for a tasty looking recipe to try!

  11. Oh, this is exactly what I need as we enter winter!

    I empathize with your feelings about the Dutch weather. Life in Amsterdam was beautiful, but 200 rainy days per year was a bit more than I was ready to handle long term. But with fruity concoctions like this you're sure to feel lifted! Simple elegance. Love it.

  12. Oh poor you, suffering without sunshine. It has been quite nice here recently, although yesterday was hot and stuffy, followed by thunderstorms. I have yet to eat ice cream this year and am not really an ice cream fan in fact but I love the colour and texture of yours - so pretty - and feel inspired to give it a try, although without a machine. Oh and the new banner is great by the way.

  13. It is very hard for a Greek to live in Norhtern Europe. I know exactly how you feel! I would have felt the same. In fact when I decided to go abroad for completing my studies I avoided England only because of the climate! This ice cream may not be appropriate for Holland but is sure absolutely necessary for Greece! Looks yummy!

  14. For someone in a funk, you still manage to create such beautiful posts. Wish I had a bowl of this ice cream right now!!

  15. Expat in the Netherlands and married to a greek, I discovered your blog a few months ago ! I did the ice cream yesterday ! Great and so easy. Thanks and well today we may have some sun ! For the heat, we'll wait.

  16. I like the header - very meditteranean or is that just me? Natural, spicy and heartwarming all at once. And I love strawberry icecream - nothing like it to say 'Hello Summer'! A few months ago, I made a strawberry-white chocolate icecream which was nice, but the finish was a bit grainy on the tongue - maybe something to do with the cocoa butter in the white chocolate. Take care

  17. Meredith — the ice cream machine is a tough one to move around. I bought mine here so I didn't have to bring it from Greece. During the summer it's the appliance I use quite often!

    Yasmeen — yes, it's difficult. My Mediterranean blood is yearning for the sun constantly!

    Emily — I'm sure you're gonna love it. It's so light and full of strawberry flavor. Thanks!

    Katerina — I know that in Greece is really hot right now so I would agree with you that this ice cream must be perfect to make :)

    ms — I'm thrilled you liked it! It is so easy, that's what I love about it.
    Let's hope we see some good days this month :)

    Oz — strawberry-white chocolate, that's a great combination but I know what you mean, white chocolate can make desserts a bit grainy. That's the only drawback of using it.

  18. Oh, Magda. This looks so good. I wonder if a bowl of your ice cream will appear before me if I close my eyes and wish strongly enough...

  19. I am the same as you when it comes to weather; makes such an impact on my mood. This is why I miss the islands but fortunately the sun has been out a lot here (as opposed to fog, but then there is still June- Aug to look forward to).

    I wish I had an ice cream maker, so badly. I have a bunch of strawberries left from picking the other day so I may suck it up and make this ice cream the old-fashioned way. Thanks for the recipe and instructions, will keep you posted ;)