Summer generally means a few quarts of ice cream. Not all at once of course, throughout the season. I put my ice cream maker bucket in the freezer a few days ago. Unless it’s in use, that’s where it lives all summer, ready to churn at a moment’s notice. A fresh quart of strawberries from the Park Slope CSA pushed me over the edge. As soon as I picked up the small carton, I knew they would soon be turned into ice cream.
I like to keep my recipes simple. If there’s an easier method, I’ll usually opt for it and ice cream is no exception. Sure, custard style ice cream is fantastic, rich and creamy, made thick by the addition of egg yolks, it’s cooked on the stove over very low heat until it thickens enough to coat your spoon. Aside from the time it takes to make, it also needs a lot of attention. Step away for just a minute and your yolks will overcook, leaving you with a milky scramble and ruined ice cream.
The alternative is Philadelphia-style ice cream. A tad less creamy and a bit harder when frozen, you’ll probably want to take it our a few minutes before serving to make it easier to scoop. This ice cream is eggless and generally uses a 2:1 cream vs. whole milk combination. If you like it rich, like I do, push the ratio a bit more in cream’s favor. I always knew custard vs eggless cream. It was only recently that I learned the eggless blend was dubbed Philadelphia-style. It was named for the overabundance of dairy farms that once operated around Philadelphia. The ice cream demands superior ingredients to achieve perfect results. I was leaning towards an eggless cream anyway, but being a Philly girl at heart, the decision was made.
Strawberry ice cream is by far my favorite. I often find myself debating ever unique flavor I can find at a creamery, but still go with the old faithful strawberry. That being said, a twist is always appreciated. My urban garden (read: fire escape pots) is thriving thanks to our soggy summer so far. I’ve been fairly diligent about using the basil that is now overflowing it’s already large home, but have neglected my other herbs. The rosemary looked especially bushy and in need of a trim. I’ve always loved the idea of sweet and savory combinations. Something I don’t do enough in my own cooking. With a fresh branch of rosemary in hand, it seemed like the perfect combination.
Strawberry Rosemary Ice Cream – Philly Style (Makes about 1 quart)
- 1 1/2 c strawberries, chopped
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 c heavy cream
- 1/2 c whole milk
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
In a small bowl mix strawberries and honey. Let macerate for at least 1 hour at room temperature.
In a medium saucepan whisk cream, milk, sugar and salt over low heat. Cook until sugar is completely dissolved and cream is just below boiling. Stir in rosemary, cover and let steep for 30 minutes.
Strain cream mixture into a medium metal bowl, discarding rosemary. Stir in strawberries and juice. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 6 hours or overnight. Churn mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.