Monday, June 28, 2010

No-Cook Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

At the beginning of my fickle, sputtering, on-and-off-again relationship with my ice cream maker, I discovered that most recipes for ice cream begin with a flavored egg-based custard, which you must gently cook in a double boiler in order to...I don't know, like kill bacteria or get good consistency or something. I don't exactly know, so don't repost that somewhere and be like "oh well Fresh Brioche said it so haha".  In any case, it's kind of a pain because who wants to cook when you're making ice cream.

But then I bought this book...

 ...which is AWESOME because: (1) Ben & Jerry make the process seem so fun and approachable; (2) it is filled to the brim with illustrations (not helpful ones, but this girl needs pictures in her books); and (3) most importantly, they *do away* with the whole egg-cooking thing. And guess what? I haven't died from salmonella.* Hooray.

Oddly that book doesn't have a lot to do with this post, although I recommend it to anyone who just got an ice cream maker because it's super approachable and fun to read/skim.

The book did help me appreciate the ease of no-cook ice creams, which comes into play because last week I was looking to make something for dessert last week for guests.  I decided that the dessert would involve strawberries because that's the fruit that tastes best now at the supermarket (in between the sugarless, acrid pebbles they call blueberries and the green monstrosities they are touting as peaches).  So I flipped through a cookbook and found this recipe for strawberry cheesecake ice cream.

Oh holy ice cream grail.  Not only did it not require cooking eggs, but it didn't even have eggs! I wouldn't have to worry about food-poisoning my guests! Sweet.

It's basically all this stuff:
  • 3/4 pound (1 quart) strawberries
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
blended together in a food processor (although they stir the cream in after everything's blended, presumably so you don't make whipped cream).  I just made a few changes.  Por ejemplo, I used half and half, about a tsp of grated lemon rind, and a tsp of vanilla extract.  Next time, I will put in more lemon rind.  I would like to put in more lemon juice, but the more liquid there is, the icier your ice cream will be, which is already a problem for fruit-based ice creams (the water content in the fruit--some people macerate the cut fruit with sugar for about 15 minutes and then put only the fruit into the custard and leave the seeped juices behind, but I didn't want to take another step and I feel badly for the poor juices).

Strawberries and cream cheese, the star ingredients:

Everything blended together:

After cooling the mixture in the fridge (this is an important step because if you put it in your ice cream maker at too warm a temperature, the ice cream will not get cold enough and incorporate a sufficient amount of air, and become very dense/hard as opposed to a fluffy ice cream), put it in the ice cream maker and have it whir at a surprisingly high decibel for about 25 minutes.

I don't know if you can tell the difference in consistency, but it starts kinda like this:

And ends like this:

Yeah, you can't tell. And yeah, that's a swipe left by my finger.  That's okay. So it is ready to eat? NO! Jeez they make you work for this thing. You then have to put your freshly aerated and chilled ice cream into another container and into the freezer for a few hours before eating.  Making ice cream is easy but there's a lot of waiting time. Bastards.

But then you end up with this:

I can't tell you how tickled I was when one of the guests held up his plate to me, like Oliver at the orphanage, asking me please, Miss, may I have more strawberry cheesecake ice cream? I practically cried.

It's been a long, long, long time since I used the ice cream maker. I'm surprised it still works.  However, after this recent success, I may have to re-explore our relationship.

*If your immune system is compromised or you're pregnant, obviously don't take chances, and cook the base.


  1. That looks delicious. We have two cartons of strawberries from our CSA. Might have to take out the trusty Kitchenaid and make some icecream.

  2. no raw eggs! makes it safe for pugs.

    a technique I use for the macerated berry juices is something rose levy beranbaum (of pie and pastry bible fame) does with her fruit pies -- reduce the juices over medium heat to a dense syrup, and stir THAT concentrated goodness into the ice cream base.

  3. That looks so delicious!! And, I'm starting my blog post now about how Fresh Brioche told me that I don't have to cook my eggs when making ice cream. Thanks for the tip!! :)

  4. Yesss... I found your blog! I didn't know where you had gone :) Now I shall stalk you (by adding you to my reader). SDL - D'orsay

  5. I want to eat that!! But I can't. I'm just staring at it on my computer. I might have to put my pants on and run down the street to get some ice cream.