Creamy Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream
The only thing better than local strawberry season is making Creamy Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream! Fresh, bright, and full of flavor, this is the best strawberry ice cream you’ll ever make at home. No ice cream maker? No problem!
Both my mom and mother-in-law were summertime berry pickers. My mom and her sister picked to earn money to buy fabric that my grandma would turn in to school clothes. My mother-in-law’s earnings went to buy fabric for her mom to sew clothes, and then two store-bought outfits.
My mother-in-law picked outside of Portland, Oregon and told me that on Sundays the city pools had free admission to anyone with berry-stained hands. They knew the youth berry pickers were the broke kids, and an afternoon of swimming was a great way to relax after toiling in the fields all week.
What does one do when you have eaten as many fresh strawberries as you can handle? When your hands are so pink that it is liking a walking badge of berry gluttony. Why you make strawberry ice cream of course.
And you look at yourself in the mirror and say “sack up. Strawberry season is short. There is no such thing as too many fresh berries”!
What Ingredients are in Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream?
- Heavy cream
- Egg yolks <—-this is happening. Deal with it
- Strawberries (doy)
- Vanilla Extract (related: try homemade!)
- Almond extract
- Kosher salt
- Sugar (just a wee little bit. Seriously, not a lot considering this is dessert)
What kind of strawberries you use in this ice cream matters. Storebought strawberries with their sad white cores and “bred for shipment and not taste” flavor does nothing for this recipe. Farmers market or backyard strawberries that are so ripe they may burst – that is what you want to use for homemade ice cream.
Why Does Homemade Ice Cream Take Soooooo Long?
I am not someone known for my patience. I have screamed at microwaves before for being too slow. But I promise you with everything in my heart, if you give this recipe 4-12 hours to sit in your fridge, it will pay dividends.
Allowing the strawberries to macerate in their own juices and combine with the sugar, will result in something magical. Also, by spending that time letting the flavors develop, you get away with using so much less sugar than is called for in normal ice cream recipes.
With the absence of all that sugar filler, the strawberry flavor is intense, bright, and summery. The kind of utter strawberriness that will punch you right in the gallbladder with flavor.
But, if you want to speed up this process a bit, there are ways. The base needs to be ice cold before it is put in the ice cream maker. You can put the base in the freezer for 2-3 hours to cool after cooking it.
You could also prep the strawberries the day before you plan to make the ice cream. It will give them plenty of time to release their delicious juices.
When I want to serve strawberry homemade ice cream, I make the base the night before, churn it in the morning, and then freeze it until I am ready to serve. A lot of “hurry up and wait” time, but always worth it!
Here’s How to Make It:
- Combine cream, milk, salt, 2 tbsp sugar, and the extracts in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Blend or mash some of your strawbs and chop up about 1/3 cup. Set Aside.
- Whisk your eggs, and pour a bit of the hot milk mixture slowly into the eggs, whisking the whole time.
- Return the egg/milk mixture to the pan and cook on low for another 5 minutes.
- Pour it through a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Refrigerate for 4-12 hours. Ugh, I know. Giant pain in the ass. Waiting is hard!
- Take the base out of the fridge and add the puree and chopped berries to the milk mixture and stir to combine.
- With your ice cream maker running, add the ice cream base to the machine, churn until it looks like, well, ice cream.
- Transfer to a freezer-proof bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper pressing down on top of the ice cream until it makes contact. Cover and freeze until solid.
Pro Tips/Recipe Notes:
- Need to make more or less of the recipe? Click and slide the “servings” number on the recipe card and the ingredients will adjust as needed. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
- It’s super important in step 3 to slowly add the hot cream mixture in a little at a time. This is called tempering which is a fancy term for warming up the eggs slowly so they don’t scramble. Cause nobody wants scrambled egg ice cream.
- Want to use frozen strawberries? Defrost fully and set aside the liquid that is produced. Add sparkling water to it and have a refreshing summer spritzer.
- Using strawberries that may not be as juicy as you’d like? Add 1/3 cup of strawberry jam to punch up the flavor (related: Three Ingredient Strawberry Freezer Jam).
- The ice cream will be a soft-serve texture when you’re initially done churning it. Eat it right then if you can’t wait (who can?), or freeze for a few hours until solid.
- Having plastic wrap or waxed paper make contact with the surface of the ice cream and then covering with a lid is one of my favorite tips for keeping homemade ice cream from getting icy.
- No ice cream machine? Freeze and stir the base every hour until frozen and creamy. For more details, check out this post from David Lebovitz on how to make ice cream without a machine.
More Recipes Like This:
- Homemade Creamy Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- The Ultimate Homemade Peach Ice Cream
- Strawberry Bark
- Easy Strawberry Jam (tutorial to learn to make and can jam)
If you find yourself with too many berries this summer (a happy accident), I would strongly recommend lining a rimmed baking sheet with parchment, and freezing them overnight. Remove from parchment, and store in a freezer bag.
There are few moments in life that make you more grateful for thinking ahead, than opening the freezer in February and having the ability to make fresh strawberry ice cream. When there is one more night of root vegetables and casseroles to choke down, who will be the unlikely hero that brings a bowl full of summertime goodness to the table?
You. That’s who.
Making this recipe or others?
Fresh, bright, and full of flavor, this is the best strawberry ice cream you'll ever make at home.
In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the heavy cream, milk, kosher salt, almond and vanilla extracts, and 2 tbsp of sugar. Cook until sugar is dissolved. Do not let it boil. Remove from heat.
Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl, and whisk well with a fork.
Chop 1/3 cup of the strawberries in to bite-sized pieces. Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, combine the rest of the strawberries, plus 1/4 cup of sugar, and puree until smooth. Add the diced strawberries in to the pureed mixture. Transfer to the fridge.
Using a 1/3 measuring cup, add some of the hot milk/cream mixture to the egg yolks, and whisk while you combine. Add another 1/3 cup - mix. Then a final 1/3 cup - mix. Whisk the egg mixture into the rest of the milk, and return the pan to the stove. Cook on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat, and pour the mixture into a heatproof bowl fitted with a sieve/fine mesh strainer. Transfer to the fridge for 4-12 hours (preferably) or until completely cooled.
Just prior to adding to your ice cream maker, add the strawberries to the milk mixture and stir to combine.
Add the ice cream base to your ice cream maker of choice, churning until it has reached your preferred level of "doneness". Transfer to an air-tighter container, pressing a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the ice cream, ensuring it makes contact with the ice cream. Freeze, and enjoy at your leisure.*
*Everyone knows you're going to eat it on the floor of your kitchen. No one is judging.
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