Summer certainly took it’s time finding us this year. Now that it is here, in all it’s hot, steamy, Upstate New York glory, there is no better time for some Strawberry Cheesecake Ice cream.
The strawberries have been really good this year – sweet, juicy and, locally at least, huge. Strawberries like things cooler, and a bit on the rainy side. Certainly better than we do.
If there are no more fresh strawberries where you live, this is easily made with frozen berries. Just take care that the ones you buy are not already sweetened, or the ice cream will be much too sweet. things like this, are why it’s a really good idea to buy lots of strawberries in season, and get them in the freezer to enjoy later on. Getting some into this ice cream to enjoy later on is a really good idea too.
This does require an ice cream maker to get the luscious, creamy texture. I have a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. I will probably upgrade to a larger capacity when this one wears out, but I have been using it for years with no sign of it doing so. You can also make sorbet, sherbet and Italian ice in this machine.
It is important to make sure the cream cheese is completely warmed to room temperature before you begin – otherwise you will end up with little unblended flecks of cream cheese – not the end of the world, but it will look nicer if your cream cheese is completely softened. If you need to cheat, you can soften it somewhat in the microwave, set to low power – just a few seconds at a time, to be sure you don’t get it hot.
Other than that, this does not take a long time to cool off before churning – it is a Philly-style ice cream, with no eggs, so it’s not cooked at all before freezing. Fast and easy!
- 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 & ⅔ cups half & half
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1 pound of rinsed, hulled and sliced fresh strawberries
- Make sure the cream cheese is completely softened.
- Using a sturdy spoon or whisk, stir the cream cheese until it is smooth.
- Stir or whisk in the sugar, until the combination is very smooth - a couple minutes of stirring.
- Add the cream gradually - a half cup at a time, stirring or whisking well after each addition - it is much harder to stir it all in at once, so do it a bit at a time.
- Once the cream is incorporated and smooth, stir in the vanilla, berries and salt.
- Chill for about 30 minutes.
- Churn the mixture in your ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Remove immediately to a freezer safe container, and keep in the freezer until serving. We liked the flavor better after a day or so, but it's really good in just a few hours too. Keep frozen until serving - if you press plastic wrap on the surface to keep out air, it will keep a month or so.
You can trust me when I say that while people being very very good will wait until after dinner to have some, it makes a very satisfying summer supper all on it’s own. Preferably on the porch swing after enjoying a refreshing beverage or two. [Hey – we’re grown-ups around here – we can do whatever we want!]Happy summer!
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