"Destiny shapes our end...desserts shape our middles!!"
Strawberries are not really my cup of tea...but I must admit its very definitely my (BIG) bowl of ice-cream! Talk about being caught unaware! I have never fancied eating strawberries, having eaten the fruit a couple of times and then dismissing it off as an over-rated, albeit very pretty fruit. This seasonal fruit is supposed to taste best when plucked ripe, but unfortunately also has a very short life. Which probably means, folks who live in areas where the fruit is grown get to savor the fruit at its best. I had once asked a fruit-vendor how long would the fruit stay fresh and he had told me that the fruit is like ice-cream - eat it immediately or it will no longer be the same thing.
I wanted to make something with strawberries before the season's gone - just because I have never earlier made anything out of it. Ice-Cream with strawberries seemed like a better idea and one with mascarpone seemed even better. I loved mascarpone when I made it for the Tiramisu Cake and got lured into making ice-cream with a fruit I am not really crazy about. I set about making the mascarpone and took pictures of the fruit enjoying the visual treat of the bright fruit against white...consolation enough in case even if I absolutely would not enjoy the ice-cream. I ate humble pie as I thoroughly enjoyed the Strawberry Mascarpone Ice Cream - creamy, smooth, luxurious and very very delicious...
A small tour of the super-markets and fruit vending carts and I was back home with strawberries in my hand. The precious fruit was safely hidden in the fridge behind boring containers - as a precautionary measure against my little imp of a daughter letting her curiosity getting the better of her.The pleasures of baking and blogging with a hyper-active 4 year-old - this deserves another lengthy and boring separate post in itself:-). So lets move on to how I made my first real ice-cream at home and a sensational one at that!
Recipe adapted from Deeba's Passionate About Baking, original recipe from Indulge by Claire Clark. As I had 600 ml of cream I have reduced the proportions of the rest of the ingredients. I was a little apprehensive about making my own deductions, but I need not have had any fear as the ice-cream set really well.
Mascarpone - 400 grams (Made from 600 ml of 25% low fat cream)
Strawberries, fresh - 400 grams
Granulated Sugar - 200 grams
Vanilla Bean - 1 (optional)
Vodka - 1 teaspoon (optional)
Procedure: Make the mascarpone the previous day and let it set in the fridge over night. The weight mentioned here is the weight after draining the cheese over night.
Wash and hull the strawberries. Puree in a food processor till smooth. Strain to remove the seeds. You could leave the seeds in the puree if you wish. I have strained the puree.
In a heavy and broad saucepan, mix half the sugar with the mascarpone.(If you would be using cream, mix half the sugar with the cream and bring to a boil) On low heat, bring the mixture to a simmering boil. The mascarpone was quite thick and firm and at this point it was thick semi-liquid state. All the while, make sure you do not allow the mixture to burn. Turn off the heat. Scrape a vanilla bean and add to the mixture.
Pour this mixture over the fruit puree and stir in the rest of the sugar. Leave the mixture to cool completely. Add the vodka if using. The vodka, Deeba says, helps prevent the ice cream from becoming very hard, but does not change the taste of the ice-cream.
Set the mixture in an ice-cream maker according to the instructions. I have set the ice-cream in a freezer-safe container, churning in the mixer 3 times, each time after the mixture has semi-set. Soften the ice-cream slightly before serving.
The vanilla bean (and a whole one at that) was added after some deliberation. But it tasted amazing in the ice-cream. The ice-cream was just a wee bit tart and uber yumm. It had set very well and me in my attempt to get 'perfect scoops' for the pictures ended up messing it a bit, melting the ice-cream slightly.. well.. melting moments, I have to say!!
I had to make an effort to not keep eating some of the ice-cream every time I churned the mixture:-). Am happy to be a convert, from being a ho-hum strawberries person to oh-yum-strawberries person, at least for the ice-cream. Needless to say, am going to greedily stash away some berries in my freezer and look forward to the strawberry season too..
And if you haven't tried this ice-cream yet, you just have a little more time to grab some berries and INDULGE!! Thanks Deeba for this fantastic recipe!
The ice-cream goes to Ally's Delicious Desserts Event