I have a confession to make.
I used to be totally weirded-out by strawberry ice cream. Though, admittedly, I can’t resist a ripe and perfectly red, fresh berry, I have carried this strong aversion to all things strawberry-flavored for most of my life. From ice cream to jam, I just couldn’t deal.
I’m getting over it now and with dreams of spring and summer evenings on the horizon, I’ve been picking up less-than-perfect berries from the store. Mostly I’ve been blending them into smoothies, but last weekend I roasted a pint with a split vanilla bean and the smell was just perfect. Sweet, vanilla-scented, strawberry heaven.
This ice cream starts with syrupy, heady, roasted berries which get stirred into a creamy, custard base, there’s a long chill where everything mingles, followed by a churning in an ice cream maker, and finally, near the end of churning I drizzled a bit of homemade “magic shell” in for a stracciatella effect. The chocolate/coconut oil combo vs. straight-up melted chocolate makes for extra-crisp little bits of chocolate in every spoonful of ice cream. It really is like ice cream magic.
Roasted Strawberry Stracciatella
For the berries:
1 pint strawberries
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2-4 Tablespoons sugar, depending on the sweetness of your berries
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Pick through the berries, rinse, drain, and hull. Toss berries in a baking dish with vanilla bean and sugar. Roast for 30-40 minutes until berries are dark pink, and the juices are bubbling. Remove from the oven and set aside.
For Ice Cream:
2 cups half and half
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
3 egg yolks
Set a mesh strainer over a large bowl and set aside.
In a medium sauce pan heat half and half over medium-low heat to scald.
Meanwhile, whisk sugar, salt, and yolks in a heatproof bowl until pale and thick. Slowly add the hot half and half to the yolk mixture and scrape back into the saucepan. Heat over medium-low, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the mesh strainer into the bowl and stir the mixture over an ice bath until cool.
Mash the roasted berries coarsely with a fork and stir into custard base. Cover with plastic and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
For the Stracciatella:
4 1/2 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
1/2 ounce coconut oil
Right before you are ready to churn, melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water until smooth and combined. Process in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. At the very end of churning, drizzle in the melted chocolate/coconut oil to form crackling ribbons of chocolate throughout the ice cream. Scrape the ice cream from the ice cream maker into a airtight container and freeze.