A little-known fact about me: My first job as a 16-year-old was at TCBY. Which sounds like heaven on earth until you come home absolutely covered in yogurt splatters, after handling a line comprised of half the town all by yourself on a hot July night. Still bitter 15 years later? No, not me.
I lasted eight months there, though, before taking a cashier job at the CVS in the same plaza – and adding some killer anecdotes about condom sales and scandalous one-hour photo lab pictures to my bank of awesome life stories.
There is a point to this trip down memory lane, I swear. My tenure behind an ice cream shop counter dulled my appetite for frozen treats for quite some time, and it’s never fully recovered. I don’t really ever crave ice cream, and when I eat it, it’s in small portions.
(Don’t mistake this for me being virtuous – I make up for that restraint in other areas. For example, I should never be left alone with a pizza.)
But as the all-too-brief Connecticut strawberry season rolled around, we started thinking of ways we could highlight the beautiful berries in a recipe with some lasting power. I’m not a big fan of pies or crisps. Margaritas would be gone in a gulp or two. It was finally time to crack open the ice cream attachment for our KitchenAid mixer (a Christmas present) and turn the ruby-red beauties into rich, smooth sweetness.
We used this recipe from Williams-Sonoma, using two cups of organic half-and-half and one cup of Farmer’s Cow whole milk (our eggs were Farmer’s Cow brand, too.) I pureed half of the strawberries and swirled them into the ice cream mixture at the custard stage, then added the berry chunks toward the end (with about a teaspoon of lemon juice.)
For a first attempt, we were pretty pleased with our efforts. The recipe produced about a quart of ice cream, and it’ll probably take us all summer to finish it.
If you have the time, patience and equipment to make your own ice cream, it’d be a fabulous addition to a summer party or barbecue.