Thursday, June 29, 2017

Quick strawberry and rosewater ice cream

Lately, I’ve been eating strawberries and fresh fruit like a crazy person and I can’t get enough of them. Most of the times, they are so incredibly tasty, sweet and aromatic that I can’t even fathom using them in any sort of recipe because it’d feel like a waste. There’s nothing better than eating fresh, seasonal, scrumptious fruit straight up.

After a whole month, however, of eating strawberries, the time has come to use them in the most memorable for me way. In ice cream! Strawberry is among my favorite ice cream flavors together with chocolate and coconut, and I have the recipes to prove it.

This version of no-churn strawberry ice cream is amazing and the quickest you’ll ever make. It is made with only a few ingredients and the result is a creamy and smooth ice cream that’s perfect eaten straight after you’ve made it, like a soft-serve.

What you have to do is pretty simple. You take some fresh strawberries, the sweetest and most aromatic you can find, you hull them and cut them in half. You then place them in the freezer until they’re rock hard and then you puree them in a food processor together with some sugar, buttermilk, rosewater and vanilla extract. It is like the well-known way of making ice cream with frozen bananas, but with strawberries.

I love the smooth, velvety and fluffy texture when it has just been processed, even if it is melting all over the place after a few minutes on a hot summer day, but you can certainly put it in the freezer for an hour or two to get a firmer set, and of course you can leave it in the freezer overnight where it will set hard.

It has an intense strawberry flavor so needless to say the quality and ripeness of the fruit is key here. Strawberry and rose is a match made in heaven as they both have a floral aroma and flavor, and this is clearly evident in this ice cream.

The rosewater flavor is subtle, making nevertheless its presence known without being overwhelming in any way, the vanilla adds a pleasant, sweet note, and the acidity of the buttermilk balances everything well. It’s a very refreshing, light and aromatic ice cream that you must definitely try before strawberry season is over.

Quick strawberry and rosewater ice cream
Adapted from Fast Cooking by James Martin

Choose ripe and sweet strawberries for this ice cream as you want the maximum amount of flavor.

In contrast to most no-churn ice creams that contain sweetened condensed milk, cream or coconut milk, this is a very light version and it actually has a much more intense and fresh strawberry flavor as it doesn’t have those heavy ingredients masking it.

By the way, this ice cream is perfect with a chocolate magic-shell poured over the top that hardens when it hits the ice cream, or a hot chocolate sauce that remains soft. Here, I served it with the magic-shell.

Yield: about 550 g

400 g fresh, whole strawberries (or you could use frozen strawberries)
150 ml buttermilk
50 caster sugar
½ tsp rosewater
½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Special equipment: medium-sized baking sheet, large food processor (or blender)

If you are using fresh strawberries, rinse them briefly to get any dirt off, place them on paper towels and gently pat them dry. Hull them, cut them in half and place them on a medium-sized baking sheet, spacing them apart so they don’t become one solid mass that will be difficult to break up. Put them in the freezer (no need to wrap or cover them) for about 4 hours or until completely frozen.
If you are using frozen strawberries, continue from here.

Just before you want to serve the ice cream (see note below), empty the strawberries in the bowl of your food processor together with the rest of the ingredients and process until you have a smooth ice cream. There will be tiny pieces of strawberry visible but if there are large pieces, you need to keep processing so they dissolve and you have a creamy, cold and fluffy mixture. Just make sure to be as quick as you can with this process because the ice cream will begin to melt faster the more you work it, especially if it’s very hot the day you make it.
Serve immediately or see note below for alternatives.

Note: I’d like to reiterate some facts here that I briefly touched in the main body of this post. This ice cream can be served straight away after you have processed it in the food processor. At this point, it will be super smooth and creamy, and for me, it’s perfect, but it won’t take long before it starts to melt. You can also put it in the freezer straight after you have processed it for 1-2 hours to set a bit, at which point it will be still creamy but won’t melt as fast. Finally, you can put it in popsicle molds or in a freezer-suitable container and leave it overnight. It will set hard, but if you leave it outside for half an hour, it will be scoopable.


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