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Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

This Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream is super creamy and full of bright strawberry flavor. I use a secret ingredient for the best flavor and texture.

a dish of homemade strawberry ice cream with fresh berries

To learn all about the basics of making homemade ice cream, check out my Vanilla Bean Ice Cream post. But first, let’s talk about this fabulous Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream.

I absolutely adore fresh-from-the-field, in-season strawberries. Don’t you? I could gobble up a quart in one sitting.

As much as I love strawberries, and as much as I love ice cream, I’m not always a big fan of strawberry ice cream. The problem is, strawberry ice cream often doesn’t really taste that much like strawberries.

I don’t want ice cream that tastes like strawberry jam and I definitely don’t want ice cream with big hunks of rock-hard frozen berries.

I challenged myself to make strawberry ice cream with a distinctive, fresh-strawberry flavor, but without chunks of icy, tasteless berries.

Scroll through the step by step photos to see how to make the creamiest homemade Strawberry Ice Cream:

a handful of freeze dried strawberries.
Freeze dried strawberries add pure berry flavor without the additional water that can dilute the ice cream flavor.
crushing freeze dried strawberries to add to ice cream
Crush the dried berries as you add them to the ice cream base. The powdery bits will mix into the custard and the larger pieces will stay intact.
before and after soaking freeze dried strawberries in a custard base.
When you add the strawberries to the custard they will float. As the custard chills, the strawberries will absorb moisture, add flavor and turn the custard a pale pinkish color.
pouring strawberry ice cream into an ice cream maker.
Run the strawberry ice cream according to the directions for your machine.

How to make super-creamy homemade Strawberry Ice Cream:

  • The first step is to figure out how to reduce the amount of water in the strawberries. Too much water from the berries not only dilutes the flavor, extra water will give the ice cream an icy, crystalized texture.
  • Cooking the berries is one way to do reduce the moisture. This is the approach I use for Roasted Strawberry Hand Pies and Roasted Peach Ice Cream. But cooking changes the flavor of the berries. I wanted fresh strawberry flavor.
  • When I created my Strawberry & Rosé Wine Macarons I used freeze-dried strawberries to get fresh strawberry flavor without extra water.
  • Freeze dried fruits have fresh, concentrated flavor so they work perfectly to make an ice cream with great berry flavor.
  • The freeze dried berries are added to the warm custard. Crush the berries as you add them. The powdery bits will mix in and the bigger chunks that stay intact.
  • As you churn the ice cream the rehydrated berries will mix through, leaving pretty little berry -its visible.
  • The color won’t be super pink because the ice cream base is slightly yellow from the egg yolks. I like the natural color.
  • You can add a hint of red food coloring if you want your ice cream to be a darker pink.

For a truly spectacular dessert, layer this homemade strawberry ice cream into a Baked Alaska Cake Roll.

a bowl of homemade strawberry ice cream with fresh berries
a spoonful of homemade strawberry ice cream

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I would really appreciate a 5-star review.

a bowl of homemade strawberry ice cream

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream that is super creamy. Use freeze dried strawberries to get all the berry flavor without the extra water that can ruin the ice cream texture.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (12 oz, 360 ml) whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 oz, 360 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (8oz, 224g) granulated sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (1.2 oz, 34g) freeze dried strawberries
  • Red Food Coloring (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine the milk and cream in a small saucepan and heat over medium high heat until scalding hot. While the milk heats up, whisk together the yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla in a small bowl.
  2. Once the milk mixture is scalding hot, pour it into the bowl with the yolks and whisk to combine
  3. Return the entire mixture to the saucepan and heat over medium low heat, stirring constantly. Cook the custard until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spatula or wooden spoon. Do not allow it to come to a boil. Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl.
  4. Grab a handful of the freeze dried berries and crush them in your fist over the bowl. Toss the handful into the bowl and continue adding the rest of the freeze dried berries. Stir the berries into the custard. They'll start out floating but will sink as they absorb moisture.
  5. Cover the bowl and chill until very cold. At least 4-5 hours or over night.
  6. Churn the ice cream according to the directions for your ice cream machine. The strawberries should have softened while the mix was chilling and will break down as the ice cream churns. You can add a few drops of red food coloring to enhance the color if you'd like.
  7. When the ice cream is ready, scoop it into a container and smooth to an even layer. Lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ice cream, cover tightly and freeze until firm.

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