Around my birthday, I inevitably start thinking about strawberries. Shortly after May begins I debate which dessert to make for myself, sometimes believing I'll stray from tradition and choose chocolate cake or pecan bars. But in my life, strawberries have always been one of my first food loves, and there's no sense in changing things now.
There is, however, some room to play. Last year, I made a strawberry cake with pink frosting that was very festive, but ultimately too much for two people to handle. I considered a cupcake version for this year, but even that seemed over the top. With a busy spring underway, I've been drawn to simple things, like salad with warm goat cheese and spaghetti with kale. So, in a way it was no surprise when I decided that strawberry ice cream was exactly what I wanted for my birthday.
STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM
Some recipes wait to add the strawberries until the ice cream is churning, but to extract as much flavor as possible, I like to add them while the custard chills.
Recipe adapted from Everyday Food
Makes 1 1/2 quarts
3 cups sliced chopped strawberries
8 large egg yolks
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar into the bowl with strawberries and gently mash them with your hand. Let sit while you make the custard.
In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and salt until blended. Gradually whisk in milk.
Cook over medium, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard thickens slightly and evenly coats the back of a spoon (it should hold a line drawn by your finger), 10 to 12 minutes.
Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl set over ice. Stir in the cream and strawberries, then place the bowls in the refrigerator and chill at least 30 minutes.
Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer ice cream to a resealable plastic container and freeze until firm, about 2 hours (or up to 3 months).