Strawberry ice-cream #weekendcooking

For too long, I despised strawberry ice-cream. Probably because it was the cheap kind of strawberry ice-cream that was more food coloring and less strawberry. Growing up in Singapore, we ate mostly Magnolia ice-cream I think (?) and it was not very good.

I probably only had a decent strawberry ice-cream when I had a Haagen-Dazs one. Thanks to the kids who really wanted strawberry flavor. I was surprised that it actually tasted fresh like strawberries and had strawberry pieces in it.

Then again, led by the kids, I tried a homemade strawberry ice-cream at a farm in Watsonville (which makes amazing pies). And really enjoyed it.

Perhaps the highlight of my strawberry-eating life was the strawberry dessert at the French Laundry in July 2013. It’s possibly that the strawberries were grown across the street in that little farm they had. I actually preferred it to the chocolate dessert – and that’s coming from a chocolate lover.

Since there were still organic strawberries at our local farmers market – farmers market strawberries really are the best! – I had thought about making strawberry ice-cream. Also I knew the kids would love it. But as I read up about strawberry ice-cream, I wondered about all that liquid from the strawberries, would it make for a good ice-cream? I wasn’t all that convinced.

However, something that had been in my pantry for a while was a bag of freeze-dried strawberries from Trader Joe’s. This was something I had picked up (pre-pandemic) to make my older boy’s birthday cake. He had asked for a funfetti cake with strawberry frosting and I love the kind of strawberry frosting you get from using freeze-dried strawberries, it’s a favourite in our family for the past few years.

Putting it in the fridge to cool overnight.

It wasn’t easy finding a recipe for strawberry ice-cream using freeze-dried strawberries though, is it not a popular idea? But it just seems to make life so much easier. I just wasn’t sure about the proportion of freeze-dried strawberries needed. I was about to wing it and try adding freeze-dried strawberries to a vanilla ice-cream recipe when I found this one on Baking Sense, which called for 2 cups of freeze-dried strawberries. Luckily I had enough.

The recipe calls for the freeze-dried strawberries to be crushed so that you are left with pieces of strawberries, not blitzed like in the frosting, as a result, the colour of the ice-cream won’t be very pink. But I decided to add one drop of a magenta food colouring gel I had, and it made a nice subtle difference.

This was a really delicious strawberry ice-cream. I did decrease the sugar a little – to about 200g – and added a really big pinch of salt, but otherwise, stuck to the ingredients.

Now I have to brave the queue at Trader Joe’s to get more freeze-dried strawberries for another batch of ice-cream!

Weekend Cooking was started by Beth Fish Reads and is now hosted by The Intrepid Reader and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, beer, wine, photographs

10 Comments

  1. Flavoured strawberry milkshake is pretty bad. Not as bad as flavoured banana though. I think it’s hard to get the strawberry flavour anyway with real strawberries because they are so wet, which can interfere with the texture of whatever you are making, so you are doing really well to make such nice strawberry goods.

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  2. These ice cream and strawberry dessert pictures are making me hungry! I also never liked strawberry ice cream. Whenever anyone bought the vanilla, chocolate and strawberry combo pack of ice cream, strawberry was the last to go. I should try some using fresh or freeze-dried strawberries. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. We had some really good strawberry ice cream recently (whole foods’ brand, I think), and I hadn’t thought about how bad old-time artificially flavored strawberry ice cream was. You are so right. It didn’t have anything resembling a strawberry in it.

    be well… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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