21 June 2011

Strawberry Ricotta Ice Cream

The time has come again that Chris and I were visiting his grandmother and picking strawberries; and let me tell you, I thought nine quarts last year was a lot, but this year we picked fourteen quarts in one day. So now I have at least five cups frozen, four cups just to eat, and ten cups all cut up and just waiting to be used. That's a bit much just for jam and pie, and I just couldn't resist the thought of homemade ice cream, even though I don't have créme fraîche. Fortunately, there was some ricotta just wanting to be used in the fridge.

Now, I don't have an ice cream maker, so this was a bit tedious, I'll admit. I had to pour it into a large pan to increase surface area and give it a good stir every 15-25 minutes. Next time, I'm going to cut back on the alcohol, 'cause that added on extra hours of freezing time my way. It was, however worth it.

Strawberry Ricotta Ice Cream
makes 3-4 cups
adapted from Tigress in a Jam

2 cups washed and cut strawberries (~1 pound)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup ricotta
1/2 to 1 tablespoon alcohol (I used vanilla brandy)
1 teaspoon (fresh) lemon juice

1. Wash and hull about one pound strawberries. This should give you your 2 cups cut berries.

2. Macerate the strawberries briefly in the sugar.

3. Place everything in a food processor or blender and give it a whirl. The end consistency is up to you, so let this go until you have the strawberry chunks the size you'd like.

4. If everything was already cold, you can go onto freezing it now, if not, place in the fridge overnight.

5. If you have an ice cream maker, follow the instructions, otherwise, you can proceed one of two ways:

5a. Pour the liquid into a large sheet pan. You're going for surface area, as the quicker this freezes the smoother the product. Place the pan in the freezer so that it is fairly flat. Every 15-25 minutes, stir with a fork fairly well to break up and distribute ice crystals. Do this until it has reached soft serve consistency, then scoop into a quart-sized container, cover with wax paper, and let finish freezing.

5b. Pour into a quart-sized ziplock bag, place this bag into a gallon-sized bag and fill that with ice and a teaspoon salt. Shake the bags until the ice cream reaches soft serve consistency (at least 1/2 hour), then scoop into a quart-sized container, cover with wax paper, and let finish freezing.

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