The reviews* are in:
This ice cream is so good! It tastes like strawberry cheesecake.
– unbiased family member #1
You made this?!? It taste just like the ice cream you buy at the store.
– unbiased family member #2
I didn’t think I liked fruity ice cream until I tasted this. I love it!
– unbiased family member #3
*Yes, the reviews are from my family, but none of them were compensated for their opinions.
I can’t take credit for developing the recipe; that belongs to Jeni Britton Bauer. However, I bought all the ingredients, roasted the strawberries, mixed the ingredients, churned the ice cream, and scooped it into cute little bowls for my family’s enjoyment. I’d say I did a lot! ☺
Honestly, this Strawberry, Buttermilk, and Mascarpone Ice Cream is a winner! It is one of the creamiest and smoothest ice creams I’ve ever made. It’s because Jeni’s method does not use a custard base, but, rather she boils milk and cream to remove some of the liquid and then she adds cornstarch, to thicken and to absorb the remaining liquids and eliminate ice crystals. She also adds cream cheese, or in this case, mascarpone cheese, as an emulsifier. I prefer Jeni’s method for fruit-based ice creams, as eggs in French-style ice creams tend to overpower the fruit.
If you haven’t roasted strawberries before, do it right now. Seriously. Roasting intensifies and deepens the strawberry flavor. The heat releases moisture, making the roasted strawberries slightly syrupy, and almost jam-like. (Not only can you make this ice cream, you can also make this Roasted Strawberries, Nutella, and Brie Sandwich. Yummy!!) Imagine all that flavor in your ice cream. To complement the strawberries’ sweetness, buttermilk and the mascarpone cheese are added to give the ice cream a subtle tangy and tart taste. The mascarpone also gives the ice cream a touch of richness it needs and the lemon juice adds the right amount of brightness.
I did make a few tweaks to the Jeni’s recipe, for my taste preference and for necessity:
- The strawberries I had were very ripe and sweet, so I decreased the amount of sugar I used to roast them to about 1 ½ tablespoons. I recommend tasting the strawberries first and making your own determination on how much sugar to add.
- I added some vanilla bean extract and lime zest to the strawberries before roasting and I roasted them for about 35 minutes at 300 degrees F for a deeper roasted flavor.
- I added about ¼ cup more pureed strawberries than the original recipe.
- I substituted mascarpone for cream cheese because I was lazy and I didn’t want to go to the store to buy just one item.
Today happens to be National Ice Cream Day and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than by sharing this recipe.
Roasted Strawberry, Buttermilk, and Mascarpone Ice Cream
Yields 2 pints
For the roasted strawberries
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
zest of one lemon
1 pound strawberries, washed and hulled, cut in half (or fourths if strawberries are big)
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the ice cream base
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 teaspoon xantham gum (optional)
Heat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or silicone mat (Silpat). Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Set both aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, salt, vanilla paste, lime, and mix well. Add the strawberries and stir with a spoon until strawberries are well coated with the sugar/vanilla mixture. Place strawberries in the prepared baking sheet and roast for about 35 minutes, or until they are soft and slightly syrupy. Let cool slightly.
Transfer the strawberries in a food processor. Add lemon juice and purée the berries until smooth. Measure 3/4 cup of the puréed berries for the ice cream and transfer the rest in a airtight container for another use.
Mix two tablespoons of the milk and the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the mascarpone and salt in a medium bowl until smooth.
Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 4 minutes. Then remove from heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture to a boil again over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the mascarpone these until smooth. Add the reserved 3/4 cup reserved roasted strawberry purée, buttermilk, and xantham gum, if using, and mix until well incorporated. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon zip-top freezer bag and squeeze out excess air in the bag. Submerge the sealed bag in the prepared ice bath and let stand until cold, about one hour, adding more ice as necessary.
Pour the cold ice cream mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Store ice cream in an airtight container and press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
Adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, Jeni Britton Bauer, Artisan Books, June 2011.
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