Strawberry Balsamico ice cream
No summer is truly complete without a good strawberry ice cream! And this is one of the tastier (and easy to make) strawberry ice creams that I have tested – and this regardless of what you normally think about balsamic vinegar!
Philadelphia (or American) style: a perfect choice for fresh fruit-ice creams
Italian and French style custard-based ice creams may well appear to be more ‘prestigious’, but when it comes to harbouring and complementing fresh fruit, the American (or Philadelphia) style of ice cream-making really shines. And Strawberry ice cream is a splendid example: lucky for us, since this also makes it very easy to make the ice cream: no eggs, no cooking – just combine the ingredients and churn!
Balsamic vinegar is an Italian vinegar prepared on a base of white wine grapes. This noble vinegar characterised by its rich, complex flavour dates back to the Middle Ages. It comes in a range of types, and prices range from the extremely expensive to the more affordable. Balsamic vinegar of Modena is probably the most widespread (affordable) type. While not really a “true” classic Balsamico but more of an imitation, it will still serve well enough for this recipe.
You will notice that this recipe, apart from the balsamic vinegar, basically only consists of strawberries, cream and sugar. Since the strawberries contain quite a lot of water, however, the overall result still won’t come across as overly fatty – only very ice cream-pleasant! In fact, the fat of the cream, together with the sugar(s), will not only make the ice cream delicious to eat, but will also ensure a great overall consistency and texture.
Begin by slicing the strawberries in (large) pieces and macerate them (mix them with some sugar) for at least about 30 minutes.
You may also add the balsamic vinegar at this stage, since it mainly serves to accentuate and boost the flavour of the strawberries themselves. Since many recipes recommend the addition of some (alcoholic) kirsch [or other suitable hard liquor] to accomplish exactly that, using balsamic vinegar is a very good alternative for those who want to avoid adding any alcohol.
Once the maceration has run its course (preferably in a cold place, like your refrigerator), it is time to purée the strawberries.
Now, all that is left for you to do is to blend all ingredients (the purée, the cream and the remaining sugar) together, and then churn this base in your ice cream machine. If you have no ice cream machine, follow the advise in this post and still-freeze the ice cream using only your freezer.
You may be surprised to see how pale the just-churned ice cream turns out. If you leave it to mature for a few hours in the freezer after the churning, however, the ice cream will take on a more reddish shade.
As noted, the balsamic vinegar added so far mainly serves to enhance the overall strawberry flavour. This is all very good, and could well be something to consider for use also in 0ther strawberry ice creams.
But especially adults are likely to be extra thrilled by a more accentuated balsamic vinegar touch. While this could be accomplished by simply adding more balsamic vinegar to the base, another practical way to cater for all tastes at serving time is to simply serve the ice cream with some balsamic vinegar drizzled over the scoop(s). That way, you can also easily adjust the amount of vinegar to be added to each portion, maximising tasting pleasure for all 🙂
For many, strawberry ice cream is probably the perennial number 1 summer favourite. And the delicious flavour of fresh strawberries is truly difficult to beat! This recipe is built largely upon a tried and well-tested easy-to-make ice cream recipe. Some of you may even have tried it already. But if you have not done so before – give the addition of balsamic vinegar a careful thought when you mix together your next batch of strawberry base. If you do not overdose the vinegar, the general effect will mainly be a nice boost to the strawberry flavour.
And if you like the delicate flavour of balsamic vinegar on its own, it pairs very nicely together with strawberries. In other words, if you should “overdose” on the balsamico, at least the adult crowd is likely to be positively intrigued by the tasty combination of strawberry and noble vinegar!
- About 450 gram strawberries (= about 500 ml/good 2 cups purée)
- 150 gram sugar
- 1 tablespoon inverted sugar (like Agave nectar, corn syrup or the likes)
- 400 ml (1¾ cup) cream
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (of good quality) + additional quantity for the serving
- Cut the strawberries in large pieces, add the sugar, shake well and let macerate for at least 30 minutes (in the refrigerator, preferably).
- Purée the strawberries (a hand mixer would do fine) and mix with the cream, the inverted sugar and the balsamic vinegar.
- Churn in your ice cream machine according to instructions, or (without a machine) still-freeze in your freezer (see the post on making ice cream without an ice cream machine for good advise on how best to do this).
- Store in a freezer-safe container and cover with plastic film and a lid.
- When serving, splash about 1 tablespoon (or according to taste) additional balsamic vinegar over the scoop(s): this will significantly highlight the balsamic vinegar-touch (which otherwise would remain rather low-key, and more boost the strawberry flavour as such).