Strawberry-Vanilla Swirled Ice Cream

Adapted from: Canal House Cooking: Vol. 1 Inspired by: Gourmet
Makes a little over 1 quart

Making ice cream at home is no big deal. It’s both therapeutic and satisfying, plus- nothing compares to homemade ice cream.

You could stop after you’ve made the vanilla base, but you’d be missing out on summer in a bowl.

Let’s face it, vanilla beans can be pricey, a good substitute would be 2-3 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste (which is affordable and is just as good) or 2 teaspoons of good-quality vanilla extract. Try not to put more than a scant tablespoon of the vanilla bean paste or the extract because you don’t want the vanilla over-powering the strawberries.

I suspect that other types of berries will work well, if prepared in a similar manner.

You will need an ice cream maker to make this recipe, but if an ice cream maker is something you don’t have, worry not: Make the vanilla ice cream first. Every hour for three hours into freezing the vanilla ice cream, blitz it in a food processor or blender (if you have neither, whisk it). Then, put it back in the container. Do so until it is the consistency of soft-serve; swirl in the strawberry sauce, and let it solidify a bit. Then, you’ve yourself some kick-butt strawberry-vanilla swirled ice cream.


Heat the cream:
1 ½ cups / 355ml / 12 oz heavy cream
1 ½ cups / 355ml / 12 oz whole milk
½ cup / 100g / 3.55oz natural cane sugar (can use granulated)
1 vanilla bean split lengthwise (alternatives in the headnotes)

Whisk the Egg Yolks:
6 Egg Yolks
¼ cup / 50g / 1.75 oz natural cane sugar (can use granulated)
Pinch Salt

Make the Strawberry Sauce:
1 lb / 454g / 16 oz strawberries, hulled and halved
½ cup / 100g / 3.55oz natural cane sugar (can use granulated)
Zest of ½ a lemon
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


Make the Custard:

Put the cream, milk, and ½ cup (100g / 3.55oz) sugar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the plump vanilla bean into the pan, add in the whole bean, as well. Simmer the cream over medium-heat, gently stirring until the sugar dissolves.

Meanwhile, whisk together the bright orange egg yolks, salt, and ¼ cup (50g / 1.75oz) sugar in a large mixing bowl until the yolks are thick and are a a beautiful, pale primrose.

Gradually ladle about 1 cup of the simmered cream into the yolks, whisking constantly. Stir the warm yolk mixture into the vanilla-freckled hot cream in the saucepan. Reduce the heat to low (kamran note: if you’re cursed with an electric stove, as I am, up the heat to around medium-low) and cook, stirring constantly, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, registering between 175ºF and 180ºF on an instant-read thermometer, about 10-15 minutes. Constantly stirring the custard as it cooks prevents it from coming to a boil and curdling (something you don’t want!)

Strain the custard into a bowl, and add the vanilla bean. Set the bowl in a ice bath, and whisk the custard frequently until it has cooled off. Cover the custard with cling film (have the cling film touch the custard, so it doesn’t form a skin after it’s chilled) and refrigerate until completely chilled, about 4 hours (the custard base can be refrigerated for up to 2 days).

Make the Strawberry Sauce:

In a large skillet or saucepan, mash together the strawberries, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a heat-safe bowl and refrigerate, covered.

Make the Ice Cream:

Discard the vanilla bean, and churn the custard in an ice cream maker (I’ve included instructions in the headnotes if you don’t have an ice cream maker), following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Scoop the ice cream, which will have the consistency of soft-serve, into a large container with a lid. Dollop spoonfuls of strawberry sauce all over the ice cream. Gently swirl the venetian-red sauce into the vanilla ice cream with a butter knife or a spoon.

Cover, and freeze for a couple hours until it is just firm. If you’re serving the ice cream after it’s completely frozen, let it soften a bit before serving. Enjoy!