No-Churn
Strawberry Ice Cream |
the custard version

No-Churn Strawberry Ice Cream | the custard version

August 5, 2021

|

© 2021 Biterkin

cover photo for recipe no-churn strawberry ice cream custard
cover photo for recipe no-churn strawberry ice cream custard mobile
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email

You only need fresh strawberries, cream, egg yolks and sugar to make this lovely No-Churn Strawberry Ice Cream. 

The process is as simple as that: first you cook the strawberries with some sugar until they are reduced to a jam-like consistency. Then you make a custard by boiling the cream with sugar and pouring it over the egg yolks. After chilling both the custard and the jam, you whip the custard with the mixer and add in the strawberry jam. You then put the mixture in the freezer until it sets; and your patience is rewarded with the simplest no-churn strawberry ice cream you can make at home with fresh strawberries. 

What you will love about this no-churn ice cream is that with just four ingredients plus a hand-held mixer you can make an ice cream that everyone will adore. What is more, it’s the perfect choice for making ice cream pops and ice cream cakes, as its rich body makes it easy to pour into moulds and un-mould after setting.

 

The Biterkin tricks for a perfect No-Churn Strawberry Ice Cream:

When making custard-based ice creams at home, you may be asked to use an instant-read thermometer to check if the custard has reached the right temperature, which is around 80ºC/176ºF. This is the temperature at which the custard is thickened; also, at this temperature, the eggs are perfectly safe to eat. But! While it is good to have a thermometer, it is only natural that you may not have one at home.

For this reason I have developed a very simple method, which uses the laws of physics to guarantee that the custard is cooked to the right temperature. It is also the least labour-intensive one, as it does not require you to stand over the stovetop stirring until the custard is thickened. 

Instead, you only need to bring the dairy and sugar to a full boil and then pour the mixture onto the cold egg yolks, while whisking vigorously. It works every time, because by combining the right amount of boiling dairy with the right amount of fridge-cold egg yolks the custard comes to the right temperature.

For this method to work, you have to make sure that:

  1. the ingredients are properly measured; it is important that the ratio of “cold egg yolks to boiling dairy” is right
  2. egg yolks are cold from the fridge (4ºC; 39ºF), and
  3. you bring the dairy to a full boil (100ºC; 212ºF) and immediately pour it over the egg yolks, while whisking vigorously. 

Well, the answer is: don’t. Straining removes part of the strawberry pulp along with the seeds. This strawberry pulp is strawberry flavour and it is very much wanted in our final ice cream. It is also needed in the recipe to maintain the perfect balance of sugars in the final ice cream mixture.

If you were to strain the ice cream mixture to remove the strawberry seeds, you would have to alter the proportions of the ingredients. So my advice is to avoid straining in this strawberry ice cream recipe; this ice cream is so delicious that no one will be bothered by the seeds. And in their defence, they do add a natural and homey essence to this homemade strawberry ice cream which everyone will love.

The ingredients:

This is what you will need:

Every single ingredient plays a vital role in the recipe. Ice creams are all about balance, both in terms of ingredients, as well as their quantities. Do not play around changing the proportions of the ingredients or trying to use low-fat versions of dairy and sweeteners, such as stevia/other decreased-calorie sugars. Look out for these:

The recipe at a glance:

This is a quick overview of the recipe. If you are new to making no-churn ice cream this way, do not rely only on this, but rather read the recipe before proceeding. 

No-churn Strawberry Ice Cream | the custard version
Ingredients:

For best results, use a scale and measure the ingredients directly into the utensils, when you need them.

Avoid weighing in one utensil and transferring to another, as this causes a small, but important loss of quantity, especially in liquids.

use fresh, juicy, in season strawberries. The taste of this strawberry ice cream will be determined by the taste of the strawberries themselves. So, if you want a fragrant, wonderful ice cream, so should your strawberries be.​

Use heavy cream suitable for whipping, with 35-40% fat content.

Do not use lower fat versions, or else the custard may not whip.

Do not use any kind of non-dairy cream. 

If you live in the UK where heavy cream is not available, you can combine double cream and milk to create heavy cream.

For 400 gr heavy cream (14.1 oz.) you will need:

  • 285 gr double cream (10.1 oz.) (with 50% fat)
  • 115 gr/ml regular milk (4 oz.) (3.5% fat)

To make the heavy cream, put the double cream in a bowl, then pour in the milk, a little at a time, whisking smoothly after each addition until just incorporated. Do not over-whisk, or else it will turn into whipped cream; stop when the cream is smooth and preferably with a pourable consistency.

Proceed with the recipe, just as if you had the 400 gr heavy cream (14.1 oz.) needed. All the other ingredients in the recipe -milk included- remain the same.

Use regular sugar (white granulated sugar).

Do not use sugar substitutes, such as table sweeteners or stevia. Also, do not use confectioner’s sugar, it is not suitable for this recipe. 

Using raw cane sugar, such as Demerara or Turbinado, is not recommended in this recipe, as it tends to cover the delicate strawberry flavour.​

it is recommended to weigh the egg yolks, because egg sizes (and their yolks) may vary from my country to yours. If you do not have a scale, use only egg yolks from eggs which are in the range of around 65 – 75 gr; 2.3 – 2.65 oz (whole egg, in its shell). The weight of the eggs is written on their packaging and they may be labelled as “large” or “extra large”, depending on the country they are sold.

The egg yolks should be cold when you pour in the boiling cream, or else they may be cooked.

TIP: to separate the egg yolk from the white, do it when the eggs are cold from the fridge, as the egg yolks are firmer and are easy to handle.

A flexible rubber spatula is useful for:

-wiping the bottom of the saucepan when cooking dairy on the stovetop

-scraping residues which would be otherwise left behind in bowls, saucepans etc.

If you do not have one, I strongly encourage you to buy one, preferably a flexible one.

Using a saucepan with a long handle in step 2 is useful for easily pouring  the boiling cream with one hand, while whisking the eggs vigorously with the other.

Bonus tip: if the bowl with the eggs is lightweight, put a towel under it, to keep it in place while whisking.

Instructions
Step 1: Prepare the strawberries

Slice the strawberries: with a sharp knife, cut the strawberries (300 gr; 10.6 oz.) into slices. They need not be very thin, just slice them to a thickness you feel comfortably with. Alternatively, you can chop them.

Cook the strawberries to a jam-like consistency: put the strawberries and roughly 10 gr of the sugar (0.5 oz.; 1 Tbs.)  in a medium saucepan. Warm over medium heat, stirring often with a silicone spatula, until the sugar dissolves.
Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes, until most of the water evaporates and the strawberries have a jam-like consistency. Stir with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom of the saucepan continuously towards the end of cooking, so that it doesn’t catch.
It is ready when the strawberry jam sizzles and the path that is made when you scrape the bottom of the saucepan with the rubber spatula, stays clear for 3-4 seconds. 
Immediately remove from the heat and scrape the jam into a heatproof bowl. Leave to cool down while you prepare the custard.
Step 2: Prepare the custard

Prepare the egg yolks: put the cold egg yolks (80 gr; 2.8 oz.) in a large bowl, and whisk them lightly to break them down. Put them in the fridge to keep them cold, keeping the whisk in the bowl. Aim to proceed with the recipe as soon as possible, as the egg yolks dry out quickly

Boil the cream and sugar: place the heavy cream (400 gr; 14.1 oz; 1¾ cups) and the rest of the sugar (115 gr; 4.5 oz; 1/2 cup) in a medium saucepan. Warm over medium heat, stirring often with a rubber spatula, until the sugar dissolves.

Increase the heat to high and remove the egg yolks from the fridge. 

Pour the boiling cream in the egg yolks: when the cream comes to a full boil (large bubbles cover the surface), remove it from the heat, and immediately start pouring it in a slow, steady stream into the cold egg yolks with one hand, while whisking them vigorously with the other.

Stir: with a rubber spatula, stir well and thoroughly for one minute, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.

You have to stir the custard with a rubber spatula while it is still hot, thoroughly scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, where residues of egg yolk lie. Those residues, which you cannot see, are there and they should be incorporated into the rest of the mixture, while it is still hot. Stirring also makes the custard thicken slightly.

Step 3: Chill the custard and the strawberries

Cool it down:  prepare an ice bath by putting ice cubes and cold water in a large bowl and carefully nest the bowl with the custard in it, taking care that no water slips into it. Leave it to cool down for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Strain and chill thoroughly: before you whip it, the custard should be thoroughly cold. To chill it, use one of the two methods below (click on methods to read more):

Personally, I prefer the slow method, as during the refrigeration process the custard matures and the flavours improve. However, most people do not notice this flavour improvement, therefore feel free to follow the method which is more convenient to you.
Another thing to consider in choosing the fast method is whether you have enough ice to fully submerge the bag with the custard.

Step 4: Prepare the ice cream mixture

Blend the strawberry jam to a smooth pulp with a stick blender, blend the strawberry jam until smooth and no chunks remain. Scrape the bottom and the sides of the bowl, then blend again. Alternatively, you can use a food processor; whatever you use, make sure to thoroughly scrape any residues with a rubber spatula. A regular blender is not recommended for such a small quantity.

Pour the chilled custard into the bowl of a stand or hand-held mixer.

Whip the custard: with the whisk attachment on, start whipping at low speed and gradually increase the speed to high. Beat until soft peaks form and it is dollopable: this is when the waves that the whisk leaves on the surface of the cream stay there, instead of disappearing in the cream.

Add the strawberry jam into the whipped custard and whip with the mixer at low speed for one minute. Stop the mixer, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula and then whip until an homogenous pink colour is obtained.

Step 5: Freeze until firm

Transfer the whipped custard into a freezable container. Cover well and put it in the freezer until completely firm and set, preferably overnight. 

If using as a filling in a mould, ice cream sandwich or a torte, use it directly after whipping. Freeze for 24 hours before cutting/unmoulding.

The setting time for this no-churn ice cream depends on your freezer. It is most likely that it will take 6-8 hours, but it is recommended to let it fully set overnight; you can tell if the ice cream has properly set, if you insert a knife into and it is hard to go all the way to the bottom*. When it is set, you can soften it to a perfectly scoopable consistency, by putting it in the refrigerator for one hour, which will finally give the best texture and mouthfeel to this ice cream. 

* if the ice cream is not ready yet, when you insert a knife, it will feel hard on the top and softer as you go down. In this case, you have to let it set for longer.

Storage and serving
Storage: in the freezer for one month, covered well to protect it from absorbing the freezer’s smells.

Scooping: before serving, soften it to a perfectly scoopable consistency, by putting it in the refrigerator for 50-60 minutes (or 30 minutes if it is freshly made).

Use a rubber spatula: 

A flexible rubber spatula is useful for:

-wiping the bottom of the saucepan when cooking dairy on the stovetop

-scraping residues which would be otherwise left behind in bowls, saucepans etc.

If you do not have one, I strongly encourage you to buy one, preferably a flexible one.

Use a saucepan with a long handle:

Using a saucepan with a long handle in step 2 is useful for easily pouring  the boiling cream with one hand, while whisking the eggs vigorously with the other.

Bonus tip: if the bowl with the egg yolks is lightweight, put a towel under it, to keep it in place while whisking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sugar