It’s strawberry season here in England and those little red gems could not be any sweeter as they are now. I love strawberries so much that adding them to every possible meal of the day is a must in this house. Since I am on my crazy venture of 30 days of ice cream this month it was only a matter of time until this popular flavour showed up on my list. So here it is, my triple strawberry ice cream.
There is no such thing as too many strawberries, especially in ice cream. That is why I flavoured the base with strawberries and added strawberry swirls to it. Just because that is clearly not enough and because I might have a strawberry addiction I added freshly chopped ones as well which is why it’s called triple strawberry ice cream.
I could name very grown up reasons and rationalise with all sorts of health benefits why I would use these many strawberries in an ice cream. Trust me there are many valid reasons. They are considered to be one of the healthiest fruits. Packed with antioxidants they can lower your blood pressure and protect your heart. 6 large strawberries cover your daily need of vitamin C and only contain a total of 35 calories. That same amount also provides you with 30% of your daily need of manganese. When thinking of minerals that can be found in food calcium and iron are usually mentioned but manganese is very important. It is a vital factor when it comes to collagen production in the skin and skin regeneration and if there is a time of year when you are in dire need of this then it is the summer months.
Strawberries being a healthy fruit and beneficial to our wellbeing is all good but let’s face it, none of the above is the real reasons for this fruit overloaded ice cream. Strawberries are as delicious as it gets. That is the only legitimate reason needed for using 1 kg (2lb) of strawberries in this ice cream. Just look at this delicious bowl of triple strawberry ice cream.
- 2 cans full fat coconut milk*, can size: 400ml (13-15oz)
- 4 tbsp cane sugar, or any other light coloured sweetener
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1kg (2 lb) very ripe strawberries, cleaned
- 3 tbsp cane sugar, or sweetener of your preference
- Pour the contents of the coconut milk cans into a saucepan. If it is the first time you use coconut milk in cans then don’t be alarmed by seeing a thick layer of a cream and a big part of milky water. That is normal. It happens because the coconut milk separates inside the can. Take a whisk and stir until everything is evenly combined.
- Take about 125 ml (1/2 cup) of the coconut milk out of the pan and set aside in a small bowl. Add the arrowroot powder to the small portion of coconut milk in the small bowl. The arrowroot powder will make sure the base thickens once this is added to the bigger pan. Mix until it is perfectly combined and place aside for now.
- Return to the saucepan and add the 4 tbsp of cane sugar, salt and vanilla. Gently heat over low to medium heat and stir until the sweetener is dissolved and all is well combined. Heat until warm but not boiling.
- Pour the arrowroot powder and coconut mixture into the warm coconut milk and whisk. Increase the heat to medium and keep whisking – don’t leave the pot now. Make sure to whisk it every now and then while making sure the heat is not too high. It is crucial to never let it come to a boil.
- In about 5-7 minutes the arrow root powder will thicken the mixture and you will be left with a beautiful ice cream base that only needs chilling in the fridge. You will know it is done when you can draw a line with a fingertip on the back of a wooden spoon.
- I chill my ice cream base in a small metal bowl and place a plate on top of it. You will have a small layer of skin forming on the top of the mixture though you can prevent that by stirring it every 10 minutes while it cools down. It is not necessary though because the processing in the ice cream machine usually takes care of it.
- While the ice cream base is cooling down in the fridge split your strawberries into two portions. Reserve 250g (1/2 lb ) of the strawberries and place them in the fridge. Place the remaining 750g (1½ lb) in a blender and the 3 tbsp of cane sugar and process until very smooth. Strain the juice through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth and discard the seeds.
- Pour the puree into a saucepan and simmer on low heat until it is reduced to about 250ml (1cup). You can measure it in between to be sure if you want. There is no need to constantly watch it but you should make sure to stir it every now and then and make sure the heat is not too high. Remove the puree from the heat and let it cool down. It will be a very thick sauce at this point.
- Once both the ice cream base and the strawberry puree have cooled down, peel and chop the 250g (1/2 lb) of the strawberries that you stored in the fridge and cut them into little cubes, they will be added to the ice cream.
- Pour the ice cream base and half of the fruit puree into the ice cream maker and follow its instructions. When the ice cream is nearly done add the fruit chunks and let the ice cream maker mix them in.
- Transfer the soft ice cream it to a container and pour the other half of the strawberry puree over it. Gently fold it in with a fork, creating a swirly pattern. Don't overdo it or it will turn uniform in colour. Scatter a few pieces of chopped strawberr on top if you want and cover it with wax paper**. Leave the ice cream in the freezer for another 2 hours. Doing this will give you the perfect ice cream that can be scooped neatly. To serve take it out of the freezer for a few minutes to soften. Scoop it into bowls and serve with fresh fruit if you have.
**Covering the ice cream base with wax paper or baking paper prevents ice crystals from forming on top of it.
*** Nutritional information is based on the products and brands that I use.