Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream

This dessert is a new favorite and a combination of two of my latest obsessions: strawberries and ice cream.

Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream

This ice cream was a delightful indulgence. The texture was thick, soft, and creamy, the ice cream a light pink, studded with bright red wedges of strawberry, flecked with dots of vanilla, and the taste: oh the taste! Just like it appears, the ice cream was rich and creamy with a full, fresh strawberry flavor throughout and the sweet, soft element you get from fresh vanilla. All things combined, this dessert was really amazing and my wife’s new favorite when it comes to ice cream (even supplanting floral mango, the one which she previously declared the best ice cream ever)! The flavor was further complicated by the presence of a small amount of balsamic syrup, which is one of those strange sounding but magical combinations that makes strawberries just sing.

Strawberry Seduction LogoThis ice cream is a part of my efforts to take advantage of the abundant and amazingly fresh local strawberries that are in my neck of the woods, and it is also one of my entries in Strawberry Seduction.

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 lb strawberries
  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Scald the milk and steep with vanilla

Like with most ice cream custard bases, set the milk out in a saucepan and scald it, taking care not to boil. As it is warming up, slit and halve the vanilla bean, scraping out the insides into the milk along with the vanilla pod itself. Once the milk has warmed, turn off the heat and let the vanilla steep for 30 minutes.

Macerate the strawberries

Now, while you have this down time, macerate the strawberries. Hull, slice thin slivers, and toss the berry slices in 1/4 cup of sugar. Set this aside in a bowl, giving the strawberries time to surrender their delicious juices. Squeeze the lemon juice over them as well to keep them fresh and give a pinch of tartness.

Strain the strawberries juice into the custard

And now, onto the usual ice cream custard making procedure: scald the vanilla milk mixture again.

Pour the heavy cream into a good sized bowl and put this in an ice bath with a strainer set up over it.

Meanwhile, in another bowl, whisk the egg yolks and remaining sugar until the color lightens. Temper the yolk mixture with a small amount of the hot milk to prevent the yolks from scrambling, whisking all the while. Then, transfer the yolk mixture into the hot milk pan, stirring continuously over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Once the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (figure no more than five minutes), pour this through the strainer into the chilled cream bowl to stop the eggs from cooking any further and scrambling. Take the empty vanilla pod out of the strainer and put it into the cream bowl (so it can continue to impart its luxurious flavor). Mix in the vanilla extract and salt, mixing well.

Now, rinse off your strainer, discarding any scrambled egg (or whatever). With a clean strainer, pour the macerated strawberries into the strainer so that juice strains through into the custard but leaves the strawberry chunks in the strainer.

Mix the custard well and let it rest in the fridge for several hours

Once most of the juice has strained through, set the strawberries aside and whisk the custard until well mixed.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap (pressed against the custard surface to prevent a skin from forming) and set this in the fridge for 6-8 hours.

Simmer some balsamic down to a syrup and toss the strawberries in it

And what to do with the leftover strawberry chunks? Macerate and complicate! In a clean saucepan over medium/medium-high heat, warm up the balsamic vinegar. Reduce this until sweet and syrupy, about five minutes, and then, pour this over the strawberry chunks and the balsamic syrup in a bowl, cover, and set this aside in the fridge as well.

Finally, follow the directions that came with your ice cream maker. For me, this meant churning the custard base (don’t forget to remove the vanilla pod from the custard before you add it to the ice cream maker!) in the well chilled ice cream maker bowl for 20 minutes, after which, I poured in the balsamic strawberry chunks, letting this churn for another 2 minutes. Once this is done, pour into an airtight container and transfer to the freezer for several hours, preferably overnight so that the flavors can develop and further ripen.


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40 Responses to “Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream”

  1. Deeba Says:

    Hey Mike…the seductions are getting more & more seductive with each passing post! Love them & all the strawberries…..I’m in heaven just drooling over each one of these. Strawberries here have disappeared & are making way for mangoes! Do you think I can post an earlier one for the event? Am still keeping my eyes peeled for the odd box that might surface though! Cheers

  2. Peter Says:

    Balsamic vinegar and fruit go well tongether, so why not in ice cream? I love the powder pink colour…looks like a Hagen Dasz product and that’s a complement.

  3. Meeta Says:

    very seductive indeed. i love strawberries with crema di balsamico – but making an ice cream of it is an awesome idea!

  4. JennDZ_The LeftoverQueen Says:

    What a GREAT idea! I was just talking to Roberto last night about our next ice cream endeavors, and strawberry came up…I am gonna add balsamic to mine too! Thanks for the tip!

    You can email me from my “contact me” page if you want to talk about local produce in Ocala. I also responded to your comment on my blog, but I’d be happy to talk more about it!

  5. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) Says:

    This actually combines two of my obsessions, strawberry and balsamic. In fact, this is a very traditional Italian dessert, folded into an ice cream. What could be better?!

  6. Bellini Valli Says:

    You really are trying to seduce us with all these delicious strawberry dishes. The icecream would be so good with an Italian biscuit or maybe just a bowl of macerated strawberries:D…can never get enough strawberries:D

  7. brilynn Says:

    You’re killing me with the gorgeous strawberries! Lousy never ending winter…

  8. noble pig Says:

    OkAY, do you have stock in strawberries? Looks wonderful! I have to try this one.

  9. Sandie (Inn Cuisine) Says:

    My husband is going to love me (I mean you) for sharing this recipe. Now I get to break out my electric ice cream maker and oh how sweet it will be (ice cream is one of his favorites — strawberries are mine!)

  10. Kevin Says:

    Strawberries in balsamic vinegar are good by together but then put them in an ice cream…mmm… This sounds really good.

  11. mike Says:

    Deeba — thanks! I’m happy to say more are coming–I can’t help myself. 😉 Sorry to hear strawberries are phasing out around you, but I certainly can’t feel bad for you with fresh mangoes! 😉 As for submitting a prior post, go for it–I’d be glad to include it.

    Peter — balsamic and fruit is one of those things that is amazing but never made any sense to me. I considered making some extra syrup for drizzling on top, but it was definitely not necessary. And thanks! I was pleasantly surprised with how nicely the strawberries colored the final result–I couldn’t have asked for better.

    Meeta — I’d never heard of crema di balsamico, but after reading about it, that sounds like it would be delicious.

    JennDZ — thanks and no problem! The weather around here is finally ice cream appropriate so I don’t need to make excuses for myself any more! 😉 Also, I appreciate the follow-up–I’ll be sure to check in with you. :-)

    Lydia — thanks! And I entirely agree…I’ll have to make another batch of this while the strawberries are abundant. :-)

    Bellini — haha, I try! 😛 A biscuit sounds like it would be a nice thing–I’d considered serving a scoop of this alongside some of the other strawberry desserts (e.g. the next one that will be posted) but thought it might be too much seduction for one photo shoot–this is a family blog, after all! lol

    brilynn — thanks! Summer will be here soon 😉

    noble — haha, just a sweet tooth for them! Wish I did, though… 😉 Thanks :-)

    Sandie — haha, hope you guys enjoy it! Thanks!

    Kevin — I was quite pleased with the results–thanks! :-)

  12. Pixie Says:

    I’d love to have this later on after dinner…you’re honestly killing me with your ice cream posts- I refuse to make ice cream by hand again….hmmmm….I will now have to order my ice cream machine this week and squeeze it on top of my fridge.

  13. Deb Says:

    You are over the top on this one Mike! Perfect for spring evenings. Now add a glass of nicely chilled Riesling and you definately have a seductive dessert!

  14. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy Says:

    Mike, This is brilliant! I always splash a little balsamic in fruit salads. Putting it in ice cream is a great idea.

    And by the way, I was going to make strawberry ice cream for this event. I can’t top this so I’m making something else. If you beat me to the punch again, I’ll have to pummel you with my whisk! 😉

  15. RecipeGirl Says:

    Good job Mike- balsamic and strawberries are the way to go. I’ve never thought about putting them together in an ice cream recipe. I did make recently a recipe for a balsamic strawberry sauce to put on top of ice cream. I’ll be posting my strawberry seduction recipe sometime next week. I look forward to the round up!

  16. pam Says:

    I have bookmarked this, getting ready for strawberry season here (in May).

  17. aforkfulofspaghetti Says:

    You really have got a strawberry thang going on, haven’t you? Mind, this sounds delicious, and I’m looking forward to giving it a whirl when I get my much-longed for ice cream maker in a couple of months’ time… Bookmarked!

  18. White On Rice Couple Says:

    What?! We just saw this beautiful strawberry dish two days ago! We want more! :)
    We want the next one get past the rated PG-13! 😉

  19. Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from Mike's Table Says:

    […] Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream […]

  20. Joy the Baer Says:

    You have gone strawberry crazy! This ice cream looks incredible! I love the balsamic vinegar addition!

  21. tbc Says:

    I recently discovered that strawberries with balsamic vinegar made a delightful combination.
    I love all your strawberry creations especially the mousse.

    I have sent you an e-mail with the required details for the event.
    Now I’m off to explore your blog some more. :-)

  22. mike Says:

    Pixie — haha, glad you enjoy the ice creams! I’ll get you posting some of your own yet. Expect many more 😉

    Deb — thanks! Riesling sounds like it go splendidly.

    Susan — I’ve also come to love the combination–it just makes the strawberries so much punchier. And lol, sorry about the idea collision. Looks like you made some pretty awesome desserts nonetheless! *dodges whisk*

    RecipeGirl — thanks! Lately, I have all sorts of odd ice cream ideas…just not enough time or freezer-space to get to them in time! And thanks again for the entry–that’s my kind of bread pudding!

    pam — let me know how you like it! Thanks!

    aforkful — haha, gotta enjoy it while I can! Let me know how it works out for you

    white on rice — lol, coming! coming!

    Joy — lol, yea, I kind of did. I get very into various fruits when they’re in season and start hoarding and stockpiling as if they’ll never be coming back again in a year. Thinking back, its kind of funny…I did it with cranberries, persimmons, figs, papayas, …lol

    tbc — its definitely an odd sounding one but a great one and it looks like you definitely got to appreciate it firsthand with your entry! Also, thanks, I’m glad you’ve been enjoying the strawberry posts. :-)

  23. Cecily Says:

    Hi Mike
    I’m game to try making this and have been reading the instructions given. It’s also my first time using balsamic vinegar. Would like to ask you how much of the balsamic vinegar did you use to reduce it to a syrup. Would it be half a cup? Your ingredients stated as 1/2 a tsp. So I’m wondering if it’s typo error here.
    Please advise. tia

  24. Quadruple Berry Crumble from Mike's Table Says:

    […] by this mix, but I also wanted to add a few other subtle flavors to the mix. I love the mix of strawberries and balsamic vinegar, so the dark, sophisticated sweet flavors of balsamic were in. I also chose to enhance the […]

  25. Sweet Cherry Pie from Mike's Table Says:

    […] Everybody loves pie, and almost everybody loves cherries, and all together, you’ve got a treat that will be gobbled up in no time. With a delicious, flaky, buttery crust, and that seductively dark, juicy cherry filling, there’s a reason this pie is a classic. There’s one surprising ingredient in the mix though: black pepper! Ironically, you won’t be able to detect it much in the finished pie, however it serves to give the cherries an even sweeter, flavorful intensity than they would have on their own (sort of like balsamic and strawberries). […]

  26. mikky Says:

    lovely recipe…yum

  27. Lisa Says:

    Hi Mike,

    I was directed to your blog from a friend when I mentioned to her I needed to find some excellent ice cream recipes since I received an ice cream maker as a wedding present recently. Well I couldn’t be happier to have found your blog! It’s terrific! :)

    I am dying to try this ice cream as my hubbs is a huge strawberry ice cream fan, but I’ve got a question.. you list the balsamic as just 1/2 tsp. is that correct?

    Thanks, Mike!

  28. Miriam Says:

    Sounds delicious!

    Will try it as soon as I finish this reply! I’ve heard of freshly cracked black pepper complimenting strawberries/balsamic, ever given that a go?

    I think I may implement that into my attempt. :)

    Ohh oh…or also….a wee tad bit of rosemary!

    My how the possibilities are endless lol

  29. Chrysilla Says:

    ___Mike, the ice cream sounds wonderful and I want to make it but is the amount of balsamic vinegar called for in the recipe accurate (1/2 tsp)?
    Can’t imagine cooking that in a saucepan for 5 minutes.
    Maybe you meant a half a cup.? Can you help me here?
    Thanks, Cricket Watson

  30. jeannie Says:

    Hey Mike,

    Made this a few days ago and it was delicious! Thank you for the recipe. I have the same question as a few others—is 1/2 teaspoon the correct amount of balsamic? It cooked down to basically nothing & definitely didn’t look like your photo…but the ice cream itself was incredible & a great one to make for my first homemade ice cream effort. Thanks again for the recipe!

  31. Balsamic Strawberry Stracciatella Ice Cream | bake me away! Says:

    […] just plain ol’ strawberry.  I can’t even remember how Google led me to this recipe of Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream, but it clearly had to be […]

  32. Jessica @ bake me away! Says:

    I actually found your blog via this recipe and made it last week (ha, the pingback is just above!). Anyway, I saw the few comments regarding the amount of balsamic and went with 1/2 cup instead of 1/2 tsp. This seemed perfect in case anyone else is wondering! Thanks for this recipe, Mike. It’s fantastic!

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