We didn’t do very much for Valentine’s day this year, since both Eitan and I were studying for our respective tests, but I did manage to whip up a bunch of brilliantly pink strawberry spice ice cream, which seems to suit the spirit.
This was quite a gamble for me — I’m usually quite hesitant to do anything with strawberries aside from eating them straight from the market, washing optional. Generally speaking, I think they’re the perfect fruit and that you can’t really improve upon strawberries in their natural state. Fortunately, this ice cream came out at least as good as the berries themselves.
The spices aren’t really such a leap — the ice cream doesn’t taste peppery per se, but the black pepper does tingle the taste buds in the back of the mouth, while the more dominant sweet cream and strawberry flavor is focused in the front. They also taste out much more muted once the mix is frozen, although the clove flavor is still a bit prominent.
I decided to crush my strawberries instead of blending them, so that there would be some small chunks in the ice cream. I should note that these strawberry chunks come out a little more solid (i.e. frozen) than the rest of the ice cream, due to their water content. If this bothers you, just blend the strawberries instead.
For about 1 liter of ice cream:
250 g strawberries
1 c whipping cream (I used 32%)
1/4 c sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
3/8 t nutmeg
3/8 t black pepper
3/16 t clove
1/16 t cinnamon
Whip the cream for a minute or two until it doubles or triples in volume — it doesn’t need to be stiff enough to make whipped cream, but the air bubbles do make it fluffier.
Meanwhile, clean and quarter the strawberries, and add the spices and sugar. Crush the strawberries into a thick pulp (I used the bottom of a glass to do so) or blend them, if you want a smoother ice cream. Fold the strawberry mixture into the whipped cream.
Let the mixture cool to refrigerator temperature (if it isn’t already), and give a whirl in the ice cream maker until it’s thick and fluffy — mine doubled in volume. Put into the freezer to firm up (our freezer needed an hour or two, but it depends on how efficient your freezer is).