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Summer Strawberry Ice Cream

Summer Strawberry Ice Cream
Why is ice cream so soft if it is frozen? Liquids usually turn hard as ice when frozen, but ice cream stays smooth and soft. The secret lies in constantly stirring the cream as it freezes. When a dense liquid like cream freezes, ice crystals form and grow in it. But if the crystals are constantly disturbed, they stay small and separate and the liquid doesnt solidify into a rock-solid hard block of ice.

Ingredients:

  • 2 baskets fresh strawberries (4 cups)
  • 2 cups sour cream (not reduced fat)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Ice and rock salt if needed for the ice cream
      maker

Directions:

Before you start
Be sure an adult is nearby to help.

Read the instructions for your ice cream maker so you will know how it works.

If your ice cream maker has a canister that needs to be frozen, put it in the freezer to chill for at least 8 hours before you plan to make the ice cream.

Prepare the berries
Put the strawberries on a cutting board. Using a paring knife, cut a thick slice from the top of each berry to remove the green stem. Using the knife, cut the berries into small pieces.

Blend the ingredients
In a blender, combine the strawberries, sour cream, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla and salt. (The salt helps intensify the berry flavor.) Cover the blender with the lid and hold the lid down while you blend on high speed until the mixture is smooth. You may need to stop the blender from time to time and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula to get everything evenly blended

Get ready to freeze
Pour the berry mixture into the chilled canister of your ice cream maker. Use the spatula to scrape out every last bit. Attach the hand crank if your machine has one. Fill the bucket with ice and sprinkle with rock salt if your ice cream maker needs it.

Freeze the ice cream
Freeze the berry mixture according to the manufacturers instructions. Some ice cream makers require you to crank the handle of the machine the entire time, while other machines do all the work for you.

Ripen the ice cream
Using the rubber spatula, scoop the ice cream into a freezerproof storage container with a lid and place it in the freezer to get firm (or ripen) for 4 hours. (The ice cream can be eaten before this, but ripening it will give it a better texture and keep it from melting too quickly in your bowl.)

Scoop and serve
The ice cream is ready when it is firm and scoopable but not overly soft.

Dip an ice cream scoop into hot water and warm briefly. Pull the scoop across the ice cream to form a ball. Release the ball into a bowl, repeat to add more balls, if you like, and serve immediately. Makes 1 quart.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Sweet Treats, by Carolyn Beth Weil (Simon & Schuster, 2006).