No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream

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No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

Certain phrases are like a siren’s song for a person who loves to cook.

Well-marbled sirloin. Fresh peaches. Double-thick pork chop.

They make you salivate. They make you drop what you’re doing and drive you into the kitchen on a single-minded mission. “Perfect No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream”—a recipe in this month’s Gourmet magazine—did just that to me.

When I finished the short article, I hunted around until I found my clogs, then made a bee-line for the back door to go track down some berries. No matter that we just moved and could barely see each other over the sea of boxes at the new Mouse House. I needed to make some ice cream. It was urgent.

The Angry Chef protested. “Ice cream? But Mouse, shouldn’t we be…?” (Fill in the blank. Unpacking. Organizing. Putting away my 10,000 pairs of shoes.)

“Yes! Right after I make this stuff. Gourmet says it doesn’t take long. Like 10 minutes. They say it’s perfect!”

(Have I mentioned that, even though I work in advertising, I’m ridiculously susceptible to suggestion?)

Happily, the article was accurate. This ice cream is really easy to throw together. The hard part is waiting for it to freeze completely, which takes a few hours.

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

I managed to locate the closest grocery store (thanks to the magic of GPS navigation on my iPhone), and made it back with a pound of good-looking strawberries in no time.

While I was out, The Angry Chef kindly fished around and found my ice cream maker, which is cherry red, making it relatively easy to locate in the mountains of cooking gear stacked in our back room.

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

About Philadelphia-Style Ice Cream

So, ice cream falls into two basic categories.

There’s custard-based ice cream, which starts out with a cooked egg custard. It’s rich and delicious, and is the stuff that most Americans think of first when they think of ice cream. It takes a little longer to make, and involves babysitting a mixture of eggs and milk over a water bath to be sure that it thickens enough—but not so much that it breaks into a curdle-y mess.

Then there’s Philadelphia-style ice cream—a.k.a. American-style or New York-style—which skips the custard altogether and is made from a simpler, uncooked mixture of cream, sugar, and flavorings. This kind of ice cream is completely eggless, which makes the texture lighter and the flavor more delicate than custard-based ice cream.

This particular No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream tastes exactly (no, really…exactly) like frozen strawberry whipped cream. I suppose because that’s basically what it is. And because you only puree half the mixture, it’s dotted with bonus bits of luscious berries.

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

Since there are only a few ingredients, be sure to use the ripest strawberries you can get your paws on.

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

A tip for serving No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream

While delicious, this ice cream is a wee bit chalky (weird, I know) when it’s frozen rock solid. Before serving, leave it on the counter for a few minutes to let it soften up, and it will loosen up a wee bit, making it much easier to scoop.

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream

Recipe from Gourmet Magazine, August 2009

1 lb. strawberries, trimmed + cut in half
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. lemon juice
pinch of salt
2 cups heavy cream

Makes about 1 1/2 quarts

Make the strawberry ice cream mixture

Grab your berries. Nip the stems off, cut them in half, and put them in a medium-sized bowl.

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

Toss in the sugar and the salt.

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

Add the lemon juice.

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

With a potato masher (a couple of forks would work, too), mash the berries up with the sugar.

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

Let the mixture sit on the counter for about 10 minutes, mashing occasionally. After a few minutes, the berries will start to let out their juice, which will combine with the sugar and make a heavenly syrup.

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

After about 10 minutes, your berry mixture should look about like this:

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

Pour about half of it into your blender. Add the cream.

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

Blend until smooth.

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

Combine the puree and the rest of the berry mixture in a bowl.

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

Mix to combine well.

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

At this point, Gourmet tells you to chill the mixture for 3 to 6 hours.

This is to be sure that your ingredients are thoroughly cold when they go into your ice cream maker. Now, my cream was cold. And so were my berries. Which meant that my mixture was cold. So, I skipped this step. (If your mixture isn’t cold, pop it in the fridge until it is.)

Plus, I really didn’t want to wait. Siren’s song, and all that.

Freeze the strawberry ice cream

Pour the berries and cream mixture into your ice cream maker.

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

Process according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, this means running the machine for about 25 minutes.

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

After a while, the mixture should get thicker, and look kind of like soft serve ice cream.

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

When it’s done, it should look about like this. Give it a taste or two. (If you’re like me, you’ll need a whole custard-cup full to ensure that it’s, um, good.)

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

Scoop the ice cream out into freezer-safe container. I like to use a stainless steel 1-lb. loaf pan.

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

Smoosh it down with a rubber spatula so that it’s relatively flat.

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

Press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface and pop it into the freezer.

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

In a few hours (overnight, at worst), your ice cream should be frozen solid.

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

Enjoy your ice cream!

Like I said earlier, this stuff is a little chalky in consistency when it’s frozen solid. Leave it out on the counter for a few minutes to let it thaw slightly to normal ice cream consistency.

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

Inhale and enjoy!

No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream at The Hungry Mouse

 

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

16 COMMENTS

  1. Oh man, it’s a good thing I don’t have an ice cream maker. That looks wicked good, I don’t think I’ve ever had that kind of ice cream before. I like the idea of lighter texture/flavor.

    • Hehe, thanks, honey pie. And seriously…get yourself an ice cream maker if you’ve got the space to store it! I put it off for years, and now I use mine all the time. It’s probably the best $40 I’ve ever spent.

      +Jessie

  2. Yum! Would adding vodka (or alcohol of your choice) help with the chalkiness? I’m going to make a mango version of this now.

    • Oh, mango! Let me know how it turns out?

      Adding vodka is an interesting idea. Because alcohol won’t freeze in a normal home freezer, adding booze will likely keep the mixture from freezing completely solid–which is what makes this ice cream a little chalky when you go to scoop it straight out of the freezer. That said, I’m not sure how much vodka would be *too* much, though (you don’t want to wind up with soup).

      One thing to note…It doesn’t *taste* at all chalky. And letting it soften for a few minutes after taking it out of the freezer really does solve the problem. The consistency is only strange when you try to scoop it when it’s frozen rock solid. I’m guessing that that’s because this recipe has more water and less fat than regular ice cream, since it doesn’t have any eggs.

      Let me know how it goes!
      +Jessie

      • Hi again! Typing as I taste…yum….
        I thought lime might add a nice zip to the mango, so used the juice of one smallish lime instead of the lemon juice. Also, I added a little over 1 tsp vodka (extra splash) and 1 Tbs dry un-oaked French chardonnay. Thought it might add another level of zip/enhance the mango, if detected.

        It was scoopable right out of the freezer. I think the little bit of alcohol was just enough to allow the ice cream to firm up (no soup 😉 ) while keeping it immediately scoopable (for those of us who don’t like to wait).

        With mango, I think it is key to use extremely ripe fruit to keep the mango flavor forward and bright and not to be dulled by the dairy.

        If you like mango, I highly recommend playing with it. I’m getting another mug-ful now.

        p.s. congrats on the coverage in saveur as well!

  3. uh I just about died because I love strawberry ice cream! I can’t believe how simple and easy it is to make. I think if I had an ice cream maker it would cause serious damage to our diets because we’re huge ice cream fanatics here

  4. Do you have an extra spoon?
    I love Philadelphia-style ice cream…. I’m not terribly patient waiting to get the custard just right and all that. I like the straight forward approach better. This ice cream looks like perfection in a bowl.

  5. Beautiful! One tip I’ve found useful: when making ice creams with a preponderance of heavy cream, you have to be careful not to overchurn. Otherwise you can end up with butter! Even if it looks fine, when you taste it, your tongue gets kind of coated as if you were eating buttercream frosting. I find it is better to err on the side of stopping a bit earlier and letting the freezer finish the job.

  6. Hi Jessie,

    I love the idea of mango and maybe a hint of alcohol tip Bladegirl suggested,would it help the texture you think? BUT before I buy an ice cream maker~ can I use yogurt instead of heavy cream. Even half cream and yogurt.

    let me know ~~~

    • I love *your* idea of using yogurt! I’ll be making another batch of mango with yogurt next.
      I’m going to keep the vodka, but maybe skip the wine b/c the tartness (yum!) from the yogurt may overpower the wine.
      Last thought on the yogurt – I think straining might be necessary. I have no idea how the liquid/whey would freeze. Since I’m adding vodka to keep the texture nice and smooth, seems silly to keep additional liquid that might counter those efforts.
      Now get yourself an ice cream maker and join in the tasty fun!

  7. That’s always great when a recipe works out.
    Love that you have a red ice cream maker: I have a red Cuisinart food processor/blender and a red ceramic jar for holding spoons, etc. Makes a kitchen more fun!

  8. *waves* I’m super busy at work, so I’ve not been commenting much, but I am keeping my eye on your recipes and insights!

    This recipe is well timed because I was just thinking of using some strawberries I have frozen in my freezer (too many from my CSA and garden). I’m wondering how you think they’d work, given that thawed berries are quite different than fresh ones.

    Thanks,

    Lisa

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