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Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream

Paige Green © 2012

Yield: Yields about 1 quart

In the United States, peanut butter and jelly are considered a perfect match. In Italy, it’s the same thing with strawberries and balsamic vinegar, a classic combination that makes a simple, refreshing dessert. If you’ve never had this stellar pairing, give this frozen version a shot. The vinegar is subtle and adds depth to the bright sweetness of the strawberries.

This recipe is excerpted from Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones. Read our review here.


For the strawberry purée:

  • 1-1/2 pints strawberries (3 cups), preferably organic, hulled and halved or quartered
  • 2-1/2 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

For the base:

  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup 1% or 2% milk
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar


Cook the berries:

  • Combine the berries with the 2-1/2 Tbs. sugar and 2 tsp. vinegar in a large nonreactive skillet. Put the skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the strawberries are soft and the liquid they release has reduced somewhat, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Let cool slightly, then transfer the berries and their juice to a blender or food processor. Purée until smooth and refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the base:

  • In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks just to break them up, then whisk in half of sugar (1/4 cup). Set aside.
  • In a heavy nonreactive saucepan, stir together the cream, milk, salt, and the remaining sugar (1/4 cup) and put the pan over medium-high heat. When the mixture approaches a bare simmer, reduce the heat to medium.
  • Carefully scoop out about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture and, whisking the eggs constantly, add the cream to the bowl with the egg yolks. Repeat, adding another 1/2 cup of the hot cream to the bowl with the yolks. Using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir the cream in the saucepan as you slowly pour the egg-and-cream mixture from the bowl into the pan.
  • Cook the mixture carefully over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is thickened, coats the back of a spatula, and holds a clear path when you run your finger across the spatula, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
  • Strain the base through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container. Set the container into an ice-water bath, wash your spatula, and use it to stir the base occasionally until it is cool. Remove from the ice-water bath, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the base for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Freeze the ice cream:

  • Whisk the strawberry purée and the remaining 2 tsp. vinegar into the chilled base.
  • Freeze in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. While the ice cream is churning, put the container you’ll use to store the ice cream into the freezer. Enjoy right away or, for a firmer ice cream, transfer to the chilled container and freeze for at least 4 hours.

    sweet cream and sugar cones cookbook


Reprinted with permission from Sweet Cream & Sugar Cones by Kris Hoogerhyde, Anne Walker,  and Dabney Gough, copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.


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Reviews (4 reviews)

  • cozette | 05/12/2014

    I agree with the previous reviewers. This is absolutely delicious! My husband made this for me for Mother's Day dessert. He added the Tbsp of vodka as suggested by the previous review and the consistency was perfect.

  • sALTYGAL | 07/01/2013

    wow, perfecto!. The balsamic really heightens the flavor of the strawberries. I made one change which was to add a Tablespoon of vodka to the puree before churning , this was just enough to keep it scoop-able even after spending the night in the freezer.

  • LindaRose | 06/17/2013

    Gets hard. Have to leave out a while before serving or make day of serving

  • RickyBobby89 | 12/06/2012

    So this ice cream is off the chizzy, fo' shizzy! I never had strawberries and balsamic together before, and it is goooood! Taste so fresh like you won't BELIEVE! If a sunny, early summer day could have a taste, it would be this. Only thing I wish is it wouldn't get so hard after being in the freezer (that's what she said!) I can't eat more than a bowlful though. So if you got some spare strawberries lying around doin' nothin, make this fo' sho'.

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