It’s June in the Northwest which is like the best month EVER. The monsoon season is behind us, the sun is out, flowers are everywhere, farmer’s markets start to fill, and u-pick farms open their gates. We’re huge u-pick fans, and over the years, we’ve developed a lot of tricks. We love picking peaches because they are so easy–reach, pick, and not a lot of prep to freeze. Blueberries are idiot-proof: Pick, rinse, freeze. We also do a lot of cherries.
But there’s something about the first crop of the season: strawberries. They are hard to pick. Messy. Dirty. Back bent, knees in rocks. But there’s also something transcendental about re-communing with the earth this way, getting one’s hands dirty for the first time in months, children with red streaked faces, and the sublime pleasure of perfectly ripe fruit.
Tonight I made something new & ridiculously easy for anyone with access to a strawberry patch or a couple of cheap cartons on sale & with an ice cream freezer. We did it old school in a ice-packed one that we picked up from a yard sale. If you’re using an electric one that takes the bucket from the freezer, you might want to do a smaller batch.
Roughly 8 cups of strawberries or 1 heaping quart basket. Less would work fine too.
1 can Coconut Cream (Trader Joe’s or other unsweetened brand)
2 cups coconut milk
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons of Stevia (I use Sweet Leaf)or other sweetener to taste.
Pinch of sea salt
Set aside in the fridge 2 cups of sliced strawberries, sweeten if desired–ours were ridiculously sweeten so I just wafted the stevia bottle over.
In a blender, combine remaining strawberries (should fill blender about 2/3 full) & can of coconut cream, salt, and stevia. Set aside.
On the stove, bring two cups of coconut milk just until it first bubbles–it doesn’t have to boil. Very, very, very slowly drip this into 4 beaten egg yolks. I used my stand mixer for this, but if you don’t care about raw eggs, you could totally skip the heating step. Dump in the blender mix. Mix well. Taste. Add more sweetener as desired.
Cool well in the fridge, then freeze according your manufacturer’s directions. We used the old-fashioned machine which is more forgiving–if you are using a newer model, you’ll want to chill the mixture at least several hours until really cold. I called it good after about an hour b/c I knew we had plenty of ice 🙂
When the ice cream is done, swirl in the reserved strawberries then set in the freezer to “ripen” for an hour or so, depending on how firm you like your ice cream.