Hi dear friends, do you ever have a moment – doesn’t have to be related to food – when you have this genius idea, but then realize it’s not quite so genius because even though it’s a great idea, it’s been done before?? Well, that happened to me. Hehe. It’s rather silly, too, because how the heck did I think it hadn’t been done before? Roasting strawberries and putting it in ice cream? Still a genius idea, but definitely not the first time it’s been done. David Lebovitz has a seriously amazing version incorporating MISO. MISO!!!!! And he goes into why roasting strawberries is good for ice cream, so you should go read it.
My version has a slight twist. I made the base ginger ice cream. Given my love for infusing things like for this ice cream, and this panna cotta, I infused the heavy cream and milk mixture with huge chunks of fresh ginger and steeped it for 30 minutes. You should be able to taste the ginger flavor after it is done seeping.
I used to hate ginger. Whenever I’d get even a sign of the sniffles (this included the start of allergy season), my mom immediately brewed up a cup of scalding hot ginger tea with some rock sugar dissolved in. It was so strong I could taste the ginger even before taking the first sip. At the first gulp, I felt like there was a line of fire left in its wake, stretching from the base of my tongue all the way to the deep inners of my abdomen. It was effective in the most agonizing way possible. My sinuses immediately cleared, I started sweating, and I was left with the unwelcome aftertaste of ginger. For the young me, it was the worst. I would hide my sniffles around my mom so she didn’t know, which never worked, of course. Now that I’m all grown-up, I love ginger tea and all its variations. A sick day means inconvenience, breaking appointments with lovely people, and walking around doing work with a headache and a box of tissues. A strongly brewed ginger tea works. It’s not the cure but it definitely keeps me warm and my sinuses clear. I now also appreciate the taste of ginger, especially in the right amounts. I used to wonder why my parents always put ginger in dishes with fish or pork, but now I know. I’m telling you, it’s a grown-up thing!
I served this ice cream to my dear friends who came over. One of them told me (I’m blushing here) that it’s better than the Haagen-daz strawberry ice cream sh e grew up with. Ok, now, I’m not sure that’s true, but I certainly do love this ice cream!! Plus, since the strawberries are roasted, the chunks that remain if you roughly puree the strawberries do not freeze. YAY.
I use the base that I always use – see it here. For this, though, I infused it with fresh ginger. I also have used this technique of incorporating a puree – with this cranberry orange zest ice cream. It works like a dream for both coloring and flavor. I also ran out of granulated sugar so I used half brown sugar – and wow, I LOVE it. I think it perfectly complements the deep flavor from roasting strawberries with balsamic vinegar.
RECIPE: Roasted Balsamic Strawberry Ginger Ice Cream
Ginger Ice Cream
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3 large slices fresh ginger
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
5 egg yolks
2 cups fresh strawberries, halved
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
1| Prepare the night before: Stick freezer bowl in the back of the freezer the night before you plan to make ice cream.
2| Toss strawberries with sugar, balsamic vinegar and roast at 350F for 25 minutes. Cool slightly. Puree roughly when cool enough to touch. Set aside.
3| Heat milk and heavy cream until it begins to simmer – do not let it boil. Remove from heat and add in ginger. Cover. Let it steep for 30 minutes. You should be able to taste the ginger in the milk/cream mixture. If it’s too ginger-y, don’t worry. When you churn it and freeze it, the ginger’s flavor will be more subtle.
4| In the meantime, whisk yolks and sugar until thick. When milk mixture is done steeping, remove ginger and stir in freshly grated ginger, gently stream into yolk/sugar mixture, whisking constantly after each addition. This is called tempering – the point is to prevent cooking of egg yolks. Have patience, and do this slowly.
5| Pour mixture back into a saucepan and heat until custard is thick. I like to use the spoon test – dip a wooden spoon into the mixture, and remove it. Run a finger in a line down the back of the wooden spoon. If the line remains visible, then the custard is thick enough.
6| Stir in puree. Stir in extract.
7| Cover with plastic wrap and immediately chill in fridge for at least 2 hours.
8| Pour into ice cream maker and churn according to instructions.
9| Pour churned ice cream into an airtight container and freezer for another few hours.