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.


  1. Oh this looks fantastic! I too worked at an ice-cream place at 16 :) I still love ice-cream and I never tired of it. I will have to try the balsamic strawberry ice cream soon.

  2. I love topping vanilla bean ice cream with fresh strawberries and fruity balsamic, so this ice cream is my idea of heaven. Love that we are still in strawberry mode :). Have a great weekend!

  3. what an awesome first job. one day, i want my kids to work summer jobs in the service's a hell of a lot of hard work, but you learn tremendously!

    i think i may be the only food blogger without an ice cream maker :( time to put it on my list, so that i can make yummy strawberry balsamic treats like this! have a good weekend!

  4. Your photos, your recipes, your writing - everything is 100% beautiful :D
    Thank yoU!

    Choc Chip Uru

  5. What a fantastic summery ice cream!! Nothing beats home made ice cream.

  6. strawberry and balsamic? in ice cream? this, i gotta try.

  7. That must be an amazing flavor pairing in ice cream. Love that idea!

  8. YUM!! I love homemade ice cream, and this version with the strawberries and the balsamic sound delicious!

  9. Wow..that looks so delicious! I would love it right now..

  10. YUM!!! Balsamic and strawberry is a great match, but never thought of making into ice cream! How awesome. Speaking of awesome...I wish I could work at an ice cream shop when I was young. :-) I love how you style the ice cream...looking so delicious. This weekend was warm and this would have made my weekend much happier. ;-)

  11. I would have never thought about balsamic in ice cream, Lisa! Love the sweet/savory combination:)

  12. What a fun first job!! I love the strawberry balsamic combination. I must try this one soon. :)

  13. Only you can take a simple vanilla ice cream and turn it into an ultra-elegant treat! I love, love the strawberry-balsamic component here. Well done, Lisa, but I'm not a bit surprised. :)

    Hope you're having a great week so far. :)

  14. I absolutely love strawberries with balsamic vinegar! I would have to really take out my ice cream maker. This is a great recipe!

  15. your first job sounds like lots of fun! so many sweet memories!

    Love your balsamic berry ice-cream, have never thought of pairing them into a sweet summer-y treat!

  16. Those first lessons definitely can carry through life! What a fun first job (tasty too!).

    I would have never thought to do a strawberry balsamic ice cream, but it makes total sense! LOVE this!


It simply makes me smile when I receive a new comment and I look forward to hearing from you!