Spring comes early to southern California and one of the perks of living here is the gorgeous strawberries that are grown right down the street from our house. Before I even had a chance to pick some up at the farmer’s market I came home to find a box of perfectly ripe berries left at our front door by a former neighbor who was thanking us for a favor.
Of course I immediately began snacking on them, but soon realized that there were more than we could eat in a day or two. Knowing how fast strawberries over-ripen I decided to puree them. Right then I knew that there would be strawberry ice cream in our future. I’m happy to say that there’s still some left in the freezer, at least I think there is. J. has been known to sneak a bowl when I’m not around…
Strawberry Ice Cream
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 lb strawberries (3 cups), trimmed and quartered
6-8 large strawberries, quartered
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Special equipment: an ice-cream maker and an instant-read thermometer
Combine cream and salt in a heavy saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat.
Whisk eggs with 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl, then add hot cream in a slow stream, whisking. Pour back into saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened and an instant-read thermometer registers 170°F (do not let boil).
Immediately pour custard through a fine sieve into a metal bowl, then cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Chill, overed, at least until cold, about 2 hours, and up to 1 day.
While custard is chilling, purée strawberries with remaining 1/4 cup sugar and lemon juice in a blender until smooth, then force through fine sieve (to remove seeds) into chilled custard. Stir purée into custard. Add chopped strawberries.
Freeze in ice-cream maker, then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden.