I don’t know if you know, but ice cream is my jam. My desert island food. I used the heat of the last couple days as an excuse to make a batch – strawberry-rhubarb, since the best part about the pie is the ice cream pairing. You can skip the pastry and the baking and get the job done all in one go. Also – there’s something about pure pink ice cream that digs deep into the best part of your childhood. It reminds me of digging the thick stripes of strawberry and chocolate out of the tub of neapolitan.
I sometimes roast strawberries and rhubarb for ice cream, but that would require turning on the oven, and it hit 31 degrees at dinnertime last night. You can use fresh, uncooked strawberries, lightly mashed, but I find those combined with heat and sugar become the best form of themselves, and are easier to distribute throughout the cream. Bonus: it’s easy to simmer some rhubarb alongside.
It takes about ten minutes on the stovetop to break down the fruit and sugar – the only part that will slow you down is the chilling – you want everything to be nice and cold when it goes into your ice cream machine – but you can speed it up by tucking it into the freezer.
(I sometimes put my cream in the freezer too, to get it extra-cold, even slushy – it makes for a bit of a head start.)
Now – custard or no custard? If you like the egg-based custard kind of ice cream (which is delicious), you could add the chilled, jammy fruit to that, but generally I’m impatient when I make ice cream – I want it now, or soonish – and so rarely bother to make custard on the stovetop which then must be chilled. My fallback formula is a cup of heavy cream and a cup of half and half, which happens to work perfectly with the simmered fruit, which can lie in wait in the fridge for up to a week.
Pink ice cream! Put all that you don’t eat straight from the machine into a container and freeze for a bit to make it more scoopable.
I think we can go ahead and officially declare it summer.