Ahhhhh, strawberry season! I have gone relatively crazy with strawberries in my kitchen lately. After forcing my children on our annual strawberry picking adventure at the start of summer vacation, we've been up to our ears in fresh strawberries. Not a bad place to be, really.
Anyways, I've made gluten-free strawberry shortcake, strawberry-rhubarb compote, gluten-free strawberry-rhubarb coffee cake (adapted from my friend over at HealthyGlutenFreeFamily), and now this Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Mascarpone Ice Cream. I have a soft spot for ice cream. And, the weirder the flavor, the better. Like, I'm the person who is like, "Yes, give me three scoops of that celery ice cream and how about some lavender ice cream on the side," I know there are weirder flavors than that out there... I've got Jeni's cookbook and I can't wait to try the recipe that calls for gorgonzola cheese. Like I said, the weirder, the better
To be honest though, this isn't actually that weird of an ice cream flavor. The balsamic is just hinted at and, when you think about it, mascarpone is basically a really thick, slightly richer heavy cream... all the same, this isn't a flavor that you'd find at your local 31 Flavors. And, it most definitely is a flavor worth making. Especially, if you forced your kids to go strawberry picking and they surprised you by actually helping and you ended up with pounds and pounds of fresh berries that must. get. eaten. now.
Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Mascarpone Ice Cream, makes about 1.5qts
- 1.5 lbs fresh strawberries, washed & (if large) cut in half
- 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 2 TBSPs balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 large egg yolks
- pinch of salt
- 1.5 cups heavy cream
- 6 oz. mascarpone
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash & slice strawberries, placing berry pieces in a lasagne-style baking dish. Toss with balsamic vinegar & 1/4 cup sugar. Roast in oven for approx. 30 minutes. After about 30 minutes, scrape this delicious mess into your blender and puree until smooth. Press puree through a fine mesh sieve, collecting the sweet (now seedless) puree in a large spouted measuring cup. Set puree aside.
On the stovetop, over medium-high heat, whisk together the milk, salt & remaining granulated sugar. Heat until just steaming, stirring to help dissolve the sugar. Meanwhile, separate the two eggs, placing the yolks in a small bowl and saving your egg whites for something else. Whisk the two yolks together and while stirring, add about 1/4 cup of the warm milk mixture to the yolks. This is the first step of the egg tempering process. The second step is pouring this slightly warm yolk/milk mixture back into the pot on your stovetop. Whisk constantly and bring the mixture just to a boil. Don't let it come to a full boil or let it sit on the edge of boiling for too long or your egg yolks will cook. Trust me. It has happened to me and it is not pretty.
Remove from heat, add mascarpone to the pot and stir until smooth and fully combined. Do the same addition and stirring with the heavy cream. Pour this entire mixture into the large spouted measuring cup full of strawberry puree and stir to combine. This is your ice cream base. Cover and place base in the fridge until fully chilled.
Once your ice cream base is cold, pour it into your ice cream maker and churn according to your ice cream maker's instructions. Once thickened or about the consistency of soft-serve, transfer ice cream to an air-tight container and freeze for at least 6 hours. Ice cream will last one week in the freezer.