It’s no secret, I LOVE ice cream!! I mean, I have a serious addiction. Now, thanks to this Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream my addiction has become increasingly worse. This is probably my favorite ice cream flavor to date. I truly love making homemade ice cream. Despite being a cold, frosty treat ice cream is one of those things that I eat year round. Summer time brings ice cream flavors like Lemon Curd Ice Cream with Lavender Whipped Cream. That was a late night brainstorm I had to immediately make and I was so glad I did. Summer is also a wonderful time for sorbets like boozy (or un-boozy) Cherry Almond Sorbet.
But even as autumn cools things down with crisp air and falling leaves, I still have ice cream on the brain but flavors like Pumpkin Ice Cream emerge. And if you’re really a hardcore ice cream fan then the snow and cold of winter doesn’t stop you from eating chilly frozen treats. In that case, Marshmallow Peppermint Bark Ice Cream has your name written all over it.
One of the things that I have a small (read: BIG!) addition to is balsamic vinegar. If that balsamic vinegar happens to be paired with strawberries then I am over to moon with happiness. Strawberries and balsamic vinegar can make excellent jam, a reduction to be paired with any number of desserts or even to fill a cake, like I did with that Chocolate Cake with Balsamic Strawberry Whipped Cream Filling.
Balsamic vinegar when paired with fruit seems to just bring out the sweetness and elevate the tasting experience. So that got my wheels turning and I decided to try my hand at making ice cream with balsamic and strawberries. It’s pretty safe to say that I’ve officially created my very favorite ice cream flavor. The balsamic vinegar enhances the strawberry flavor ending with the best smooth and creamy fresh strawberry ice cream.
I’ve also made a slightly healthier ice cream too, thanks to Zulka. Now, I certainly can’t call this a “skinny” ice cream recipe given the high fat content BUT I had the opportunity to sample this Morena sugar and thought this ice cream would be the perfect place to give it a try. When I received an email to see if I’d like to give Zulka a try, I was thrilled to learn that it was Non-GMO and that it comes from sugar cane grown on smaller family owned farms. Morena sugar is a term used to describe granulated sugars that do not undergo conventional refining processes, which remove the complexity and depth of flavor present in raw sugar cane after it has been pressed. Zulka is made from freshly harvested sugar cane that is a better-tasting, unrefined, minimally processed and sustainably farmed.
I loved using Zulka because it quickly dissolved and measured cup for cup, just like the refined granulated sugar I’m used to using. It also seemed to add a more complex flavor to my ice cream base, almost a caramel taste. Even tasting the Zulka alone I noticed that it tasted so much different from white sugar, in a very good way. I loved using it in this Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream and I think that it would seamlessly work in any recipe. I fully intend to continue using it in place of white sugar from here on out.
*Disclosure: I was provided with one (4 lb) bag of Zulka sweetener at no cost to me. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own. Love the stuff!
Smooth, creamy fresh strawberry ice cream.
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled and chopped
- 1/2 cup Zulka Pure Cane Sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, divided
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine strawberries, 1/4 Zulka and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer strawberries for 10 minutes until reduced and juices become syrupy. Cool to room temperature then puree in a blender until smooth. Set aside in refrigerator.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup Zulka.
- In a large saucepan mix together heavy cream, milk and salt. Bring to a simmer. Immediately remove from heat. Using a ladle, slowly drizzle hot cream mixture into egg yolks while whisking quickly and constantly until half the cream mixture has been incorporated.
- Return saucepan to medium heat and slowly add the tempered egg mixture back into the remaining cream in pan while whisking constantly. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
- Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl over an ice bath. Stir until mixture has cooled and is barely warm to the touch. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Whisk strawberry puree and remaining 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar into custard base and churn according to manufacturers instructions. After churning, transfer to an airtight freezer-safe container and freeze at least 2 hours before serving.