Saturday, May 5, 2012
Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. With summer approaching, it is time to extract the ice cream maker from the back of the pantry and put it into action. Not sure why I don’t make more ice cream during the winter months – note to self – need to change for this year.
My first real job was working at the local ice cream parlor when I turned 16. It was an old fashioned ice cream store with table service and a candy counter. All of the ice cream was made locally, full of fresh cream and delish-is-ness. We had a full menu and I still remember how to make 99% of the sundaes listed. The menu included everything from thick milkshakes, old fashioned ice cream sodas to the traditional hot fudge sundaes.
Life is full of lessons and if you take a moment to reflect what you have learned thus far, you will discover that lessons can happen daily. From my days at the ice cream parlor, I learned the art of organization, customer satisfaction and teamwork.
The art of organization came from taking an order from the local little league where it would be 20 different orders, all with customized requests and being able to deliver in a timely manner, so as not to have all melted sundaes. Customer satisfaction came from enhancing the ability to really listen, understand and solve any issues as they arose. Finally teamwork was learned. You are thrown into working with individuals you would have never probably interacted with and need to accomplish the company’s mission, vision and goals.
To this day, I have fond memories of my ice cream scooping days and take those valuable lessons into the present. In addition, I still have a love for really good ice cream. I think the simple flavors that are enhanced by a unique ingredient often create a special flavor, such as the Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream I am sharing with you today. I took the basic vanilla ice cream recipe from David Lebovitz’s book – The Perfect Scoop and created my own strawberry balsamic infusion mixture to add to it. The result – a delightful sweet taste of summer!
Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream
About 1 quart
Vanilla Ice Cream
1 cup whole milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Strawberry Balsamic Mixture
2 Cups Strawberries, diced small
2 T. Sugar
1 T. Balsamic Vinegar
In a medium skillet over medium heat, add the strawberries, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Stir mixture and heat for about 3 to 5 minutes until strawberries are soft. Set aside to cool.
Making Ice Cream
Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, and then add the bean pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for one hour.
In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Re-warm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
Strain the custard into the heavy cream and add the vanilla extract. Stir in the cooled strawberry balsamic mixture and refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight.
Remove the vanilla bean and freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.