Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Balsamic Ice Cream with Strawberry Sauce

I had no idea that Sunday was National Ice Cream Day. I didn’t even know that such an event existed until I read about it on several other bloggers’ posts from Sunday. Apparently in 1984, Ronald Reagan decreed the third Sunday in July would be National Ice Cream Day. I have no objection. As far as I’m concerned every day could be an ice cream day.

But as it happened, we had already made ice cream on Sunday, even before I learned of the day’s special status. I had been eyeing a recipe for Balsamic Ice Cream in a new cookbook acquisition, Oils & Vinegars by Liz Franklin. After loving the olive oil and black pepper gelato at Pacciugo’s, I thought we might like balsamic ice cream as well. Unfortunately, I left the whole milk off the grocery list and since I only drink non-fat milk, we had to do a little improvising. No harm done. A mixture of non-fat milk and heavy cream worked nicely instead. We used    1 5/8 c heavy cream and 3/8 c non-fat milk.The resulting ice cream was delightfully rich, creamy and smooth. Is your mouth watering yet? Here is the recipe with some editing based on what I know about ice cream making.

Balsamic Ice Cream with Crushed Strawberries

½ c sugar
3 egg yolks
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 ¼ c cream
¾ c whole milk
Coarsely ground black pepper to taste

Crushed Strawberries (I made a far smaller amount of sauce for just the two of us, so this is my version)

6 large strawberries hulled
½ tsp sugar
2 tsp framboise

Beat the sugar, egg yolks and vinegar with electric mixer until thick and creamy. Heat the milk/cream mixture in saucepan until simmering. Remove from heat and stir into the egg mixture, starting by first whisking a tablespoon at a time of the simmering milk so as not to curdle the eggs. After a few spoonfuls, continue to slowly add the warm milk mixture to the eggs while continuing to whisk. Return to the pan and stir over very low heat until slightly thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat, pour into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap pressed onto the surface of the liquid mixture to prevent formation of a skin. Chill in the refrigerator for about two hours.

Before transferring mixture to ice cream maker, add coarsely ground black pepper to taste. Transfer to ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s directions to churn, etc. You may need to remove from ice cream maker and store in the freezer prior to serving.

For the strawberry sauce, put the strawberries in a small blender and puree to desired consistency. Add sugar and framboise. Serve sauce over ice cream in chilled glasses.

The strawberry sauce is interesting. I’d never used framboise before and I have to say I’m not sure it was worth the expense. For the small amount that I used, $9 seems pretty excessive. I mistakenly thought framboise was strawberry liqueur and would keep for a while, but it turns out it’s a malt beverage with raspberries added. The bottle says, “..a beer of exceptional flavor and complexity."  I don’t like beer so that could be part of my hesitation. Topping the balsamic ice cream, the tart, fizzy sauce was almost eerie. It had a serious bite to it. I think I would prefer one of my standard fruit sauces, or even just pureed fruit. I like peaches and blackberries with balsamic vinegar, so they would be great on the balsamic ice cream also. But I must admit I made the strawberry sauce again tonight for a second serving and my husband is actually drinking the rest of the raspberry beer.


  1. Judy... this looks wonderful! Balsamic is one of my favorite flavors, never thought to put it into ice cream though. Our Farmer's Market is this afternoon and I've had a request to buy "lots of strawberries, Mom", but I think I will add extra for this recipe.

    My Dad's peach tree is getting close to having peaches, maybe we will give that a shot in a few weeks for the sauce. Thanks so much for this post!

  2. Weird but I'm loving it and that strawberry sauce is looking mighty good ;]