You know how the whole country went through a rash of quarantine hobbies this past year? There was bread baking. Then when the yeast ran out, there was sourdough making followed by banana bread.
Well, I’ve always been a bit of a rebel. (Lies. 100 percent lies. I’m probably the most obedient person you’ll ever meet.) Anyway, I didn’t follow those trends. Instead, in our family we had the Month of Biscuits followed by the Weeks of Ice Cream.
Making ice cream doesn’t seem to me like one of those things that should require a quarantine to figure out. After all, I helped write a tutorial about how to make homemade ice cream for an English project when I was in high school. And I’ve owned several ice cream makers over the course of my adult life. But honestly, I’d always found the process of assembling them so intimidating that I never actually used them.
Enter quarantine. And YouTube, which boasts multiple tutorials for how to use my make and model of ice cream maker. So stuck my freezer bowl into the deep freeze and started collecting recipes to try.
The first ice cream I made was strawberry. I chose it because the recipe I selected did not require making a cooked base ahead of time, so I thought it would be harder to mess up. The whole family loved it.
So then I made some with cooked bases: chocolate. Banana pudding flavor with vanilla wafer mix-in. Coffee. Orange sherbet. Then, later, I invented a lemon frozen yogurt made with homemade lemon curd and homemade Greek yogurt. (Stop judging me. I never said I was normal.)
At the end of the ice cream-stravaganza, the consensus from my family was that strawberry was still the favorite. The strawberry was also the only one that hadn’t required a cooked base, so it took less than half the time to make.
That means I’m more likely to make it again and again in the years to come as life returns to normal. Who knows? Maybe that’s why they chose it.
EASY STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM
1 ½ cups strawberries (washed well, hulled, and diced)
2 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup half-and-half (OR substitute 1/4 cup milk and an additional 1/4 cup heavy cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla
■ Mix strawberries, honey, sugar, and lemon juice together in a mixing bowl. Allow to rest for about 20 minutes.
■ Mash the mixture with a fork or potato masher until there are no longer large chunks of strawberry. (If you prefer no chunks at all, you can use a blender to make a puree instead.)
■ Add cream, half-and-half, and vanilla to the strawberry mixture. Stir to combine.
■ Use your manufacturer’s instructions to freeze the ice cream. (This recipe will easily fit into a KitchenAid freezer bowl, which is about the same size as the Cuisinart models with freezable containers. You may be able to double it if you are using a traditional machine that requires ice and salt.)
■ Eat immediately for soft-serve ice cream. Place in a freezer-safe container for at least 4 hours to create a harder ice cream.
(Source: Amelia Plair)
Amelia Plair is a mom and high school teacher in Starkville.