Last week I told you about my favorite commercial ice creams, but nothing short of manna from heaven could compete with the tidal wave of flavor and goodness that is Ample Hills Creamery—a tiny family-owned ice-cream shop in Brooklyn, New York. If you’re going to be in NYC this summer (or ever) put this spot on the top of your list. If you aren’t, you’ll need their book, Ample Hill Creamery: Secrets and Stories from Brooklyn’s Favorite Ice Cream Shop.
I know, I know what I said about homemade ice cream. But, and I realize this is a big but, you really must try their recipe for strawberry ice cream. Here’s why: First, it’s made with fresh strawberries (in season right now), or even faster, frozen ones, already washed and hulled. Second, it requires no making of finicky custard or crème Anglaise—just a blender, and five ingredients. Only five! And, if you’ve chilled your ice cream maker bowl overnight (oops, I forgot), it really is a 35-minute project—okay, 40 if you’re feeling sluggish. 40 minutes for homemade ice cream? It’s pretty hard to top that. Except, maybe with whipped cream and a cherry (sorry, couldn’t help myself).
Strawberries and Cream
Recipe slightly adapted from Ample Hills Creamery by Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna, with Lauren Kaelin
1 pound fresh or frozen (and defrosted) strawberries
1¼ cups organic cane sugar
1½ cups cold whole milk
¾ cup skim milk powder
2 cups cold heavy cream
Place the strawberries in a medium heat-proof bowl and sprinkle ½ cup of the sugar over them, tossing to coat them evenly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside over a bowl of slowly simmering water for 5 minutes (you can also set them aside on the counter for 8 hours). Unwrap the bowl; the strawberries should be sitting in a pool of red sugary water. Drain the strawberries and discard the syrup. Stick the strawberries in the freezer 5 minutes to cool.
Combine the milk, skim milk powder, remaining ¾ cup sugar, and cooled strawberries in a blender. Puree until smooth. Add the cream and stir (don’t blend) to combine. Transfer the “strawberry cream” to an ice cream maker and churn it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a storage container. Serve immediately, or harden in your freezer for 8 to 12 hours for a firmer (read: more scoopable) ice cream.