Strawberry Ice Cream | with corn starch (eggless)

June 19, 2021 | © 2021 Biterkin

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For this Strawberry Ice Cream, all you will need is ripe, juicy strawberries, cream, sugar and corn starch (aka corn flour), which is used to thicken the ice cream mixture. This kind of ice cream is a lovely, eggless alternative to the richer Strawberry Ice Cream, made with egg yolks. And it is very easy to make: you cook the strawberries with the sugar and corn starch over the stovetop until they just come to a boil, chill them until cold, then blend them with the cream and churn with the ice cream maker. 

The reason we use corn starch to thicken the ice cream mixture is to add body to the ice cream; this will make it churn beautifully and will make it more resistant to melting while you serve it. This is also what makes this ice cream a lovely, refreshing choice for a warm summer day. 

The secret to a perfect strawberry ice cream bursting with strawberry flavour is choosing strawberries when they are flavourful and in season. The flavour of the strawberries you will use will fully shine in the final ice cream. To know if they are good enough, just taste them: if they taste good, your ice cream will taste perfectly good, as with the method used in this recipe, the strawberry flavours intensify. 

For a richer ice cream, try this custard version, made with egg yolks

Want quick and easy? Try this: philadelphia-style

No ice cream maker? a perfect no-churn with cream, sugar, egg yolks 

no vanilla bean? this one uses vanilla extract

or see all options here

The Biterkin tricks for a perfect Strawberry Ice Cream:

Here are some tricks used in the making of this strawberry ice cream, which take it to the next level.

In this strawberry ice cream we cook the strawberries with the corn starch just enough to thicken them. Cutting the strawberries into neat slices and cooking them with the sugar and the corn starch just until they come to a boil, during which time they will thicken, results in having our job done (this is the thickening of the ice cream) without overcooking the strawberries (which will turn them into strawberry jam).

By cutting the strawberries into neat slices, they quickly release their water when heated, and this creates a syrup, which is water and sugar. This thickens the strawberries more quickly, without cooking the strawberries.

In this recipe first we thicken the strawberries and then we chill them. Only after they are cold and we are ready to churn the ice cream, do we proceed to blending them with the cream (which should be cold). 

Although it would make sense to blend the strawberries with the cream while the strawberries are still warm and then chill the whole thing so that we can have the ice cream mixture ready for churning, we prefer not to do so, because by leaving the sliced strawberries sitting in their own juices for as long as possible, we intensify their flavour.

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 ice cream making, for 100% success, I highly recommend reading the recipe once before proceeding, instead of relying only on this brief overview.

Strawberry Ice Cream | with corn starch (eggless)
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.

For cup measurements:

If using cups to measure the ingredients, make sure that you thoroughly scrape the cup every time you empty it.

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

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 strawberry ice cream, as it tends to cover the delicate strawberry flavour.​

Use heavy cream with 35-40% fat percentage. It should be of pourable consistency. Do not use lower fat versions. 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 500 gr (17.6 oz.) heavy cream you will need:

  • 350 gr double cream (12.3 oz.) (with 50% fat)
  • 150 gr/ml regular milk (5.3 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, stirring smoothly with a rubber spatula until just incorporated. You need the cream to be smooth and preferably with a pourable consistency. Resist the urge to  whisk, as it may turn into whipped cream.

This will make a “heavy cream” with around 35% fat, perfect for this strawberry ice cream. Proceed with the recipe, just as if you had the 500 gr (17.6 oz.) heavy cream needed. 

Corn starch (A.K.A. corn flour or maize starch) is used to thicken the ice cream mixture. Check the packaging: it should contain only corn starch and no other ingredients.</span>

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.

Instructions

Before starting, make sure that your ice cream maker is ready for churning when needed. This means that if it has a removable freezer bowl, it should be put in the freezer for the whole time indicated by the manufacturer, usually 24 hours.

If you intend to transfer the ice cream to a container to store the ice cream, put this container in the freezer well ahead of time, too; this will prevent the ice cream from melting upon contact with it.

Step 1: Prepare the strawberries

Slice the strawberries: with a sharp knife, cut the strawberries (500 gr; 17.6 oz.) into clean, neat slices. You do not have to worry about cutting them very thin, just slice them to a thickness you feel comfortable working with. Alternatively, you can chop them into pieces. 

Place a medium heatproof bowl next to the stovetop to have it ready. 

Mix the strawberries with the sugar and the corn starch: in a medium saucepan put the sugar (200 gr; 7 oz.; 1 cup) and the corn starch (10 gr; 0.5 oz; 2 Tbs.) and whisk them to combine. Add the sliced strawberries and stir with a rubber spatula, bringing the sugar upwards to mix in the strawberries.

Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally with the spatula, until the sugar dissolves and the strawberries release their water. At this time a thick syrup will begin to form.

Cook until thickened: increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil: cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the saucepan with the spatula, until the strawberry pulp just begins to bubble up. Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat and pour it into the large bowl.

Step 2: Chill the strawberry mixture

Cool it down: leave the strawberry mixture to cool down at room temperature for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, to speed up the process, you can prepare an ice bath by putting ice cubes and cold water in a large bowl and carefully nest the bowl with the strawberry mixture in it, taking care that no water slips into it. Leave it to cool down for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Chill thoroughly: : when you churn it with the ice cream maker, the ice cream mixture 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 strawberry flavours intensify. 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 of strawberries.

When churning with a domestic ice cream maker, your ice cream mixture should always be thoroughly chilled. Otherwise, your ice cream maker may not be able to churn the ice cream to its fullest potential, resulting in a sloppy liquid vs. a fluffy ice cream. 

In this recipe we have two components which will be blended together just before churning: the strawberries and the cream. They both should be fridge cold when blended, and the resulting mixture should be churned immediately, while it is still cold. Otherwise, it should be kept in the refrigerator until churned; it is ok to leave it there for up to 6-8 hours.

Step 3: Blend and churn

Check the strawberries if they are thoroughly chilled, before churning: they should feel fridge-cold to the touch (or if you have an instant-read thermometer, it should read 4ºC–8ºC / 39ºF-46ºF when inserted into the mixture).

Blend the strawberries: put the strawberries and all of their juices in a blender and blend them to a smooth pulp.

Add the cream: when no strawberry chunks have remained, with the blender on, slowly pour in the cold cream (500 gr; 17.6 oz.; 2 cups & 2 Tbs.), increase the speed to high and blend for 1 minute. If needed, stop the blender and scrape down the sides of the blender with a rubber spatula, then blend again until fully combined and an homogenous pink colour is obtained. Yes, you can use a stick blender instead of a regular blender, if you like, in which case you can blend the strawberries in a large bowl.

Prepare the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Churn: with the machine running, pour the cold ice cream mixture through the canister and into the ice cream maker and leave to churn until fluffed up and creamy; depending on your ice cream maker this can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes; (see below).

This strawberry ice cream will expand and fluff up during churning. It is ready when it looks smooth and fluffy. This could take anywhere from 30-60 minutes, depending on your ice cream maker.

To evaluate if it’s ready, lift a spoonful; it should be thick enough to stand on the spoon, but still be soft, like soft-serve ice cream. If, upon lifting some ice cream with the spoon, a pool immediately starts forming on its edges, you will have to churn it for longer. 

In any case, if you feel doubts about the consistency, leave it for ten minutes more. But beware: at this stage, do not expect it to be like store-bought carton ice cream; for now it should be more like soft-serve ice cream. It will firm up and become like store-bought ice cream only after it sets in the freezer. 

So, stop the ice cream maker when it is thick and creamy, as described above. If you leave it for much longer, it will start turning grainy.

Step 4: Put in the freezer to set

Put in the freezer to set: before serving the ice cream or removing it to a container for storage, you have to put it in the freezer to set. Remove the removable freezer bowl (still filled with the strawberry ice cream) from the ice cream machine, cover with a lid and put it in the freezer to set. Setting time depends highly on the type of ice cream maker you use; see notes below for indicative times.

Serve or store: when it sets, you can serve it directly from the removable freezer bowl or transfer it to an airtight container for longer storing.

The setting time for the strawberry ice cream largely depends on the type of ice cream maker you use.

This can take :

  • anywhere from 1 to 4 hours for removable freezer bowls (these are the ice cream maker bowls which must be frozen before churning). 
  • 1 hour for aluminium bowls (these are the bowls from compressor ice cream makers)

Note: the times given are indicative, actual time may vary depending on many factors, so do check it every one hour or two, while it sits in the freezer. For example, with my Cuisinart ice cream maker, it takes one hour for the ice cream to set, whereas with the Krups ice cream maker it takes 3 hours. Both ice cream makers are with removable freezer bowls.

To evaluate if the ice cream has properly set, insert a knife into it, all the way to the bottom:

  • if it is properly set, it will be soft enough for the knife to be inserted into it, and yet have the same consistency from top to bottom
  • if it is not ready yet, it will feel hard on the top and softer as you go down
  • if it is too hard for the knife to insert, you may have left it in the freezer for too long. You can still bring it to a perfectly scoopable consistency: read the troubleshooting guide below.

Straight after churning, the ice cream has a soft-serve consistency and melts immediately upon contact with anything. This makes it impossible to serve or transfer to another container.

Putting it directly in the freezer after churning, will help it set and reach the right consistency.

Then you can serve it or transfer to a sealable container for longer storing.

If the ice cream stays in the removable freezer bowl for too long, it will harden and will be difficult to remove or serve.

Do not worry though, you can still make it scoopable by leaving it in the refrigerator to soften. This can take :

  • 4-6 hours for removable freezer bowls (these are the ice cream maker bowls which must be frozen before churning)
  • 1 hour for aluminium bowls (these are the bowls from compressor ice cream makers)

(Note: the time given is indicative, actual time may vary depending many factors, so do check it once in a while while it sits in the refrigerator).

After this, the ice cream will be easy to scoop and transfer to another container; or serve directly from the ice cream maker.

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

Scooping: this strawberry ice cream, like all artisanal ice creams, freezes hard in the long term. To soften it to a perfectly scoopable consistency, put it in the refrigerator for one hour. 

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.

How to boil milk (because it is a fact; when you boil milk, it curdles.):

But when you add sugar, you can safely bring milk to a boil; just make sure that all the sugar has dissolved before raising the heat to high. To achieve this, gently warm the milk with the sugar  over medium heat, stirring often to ensure that the sugar is completely dissolved; then you can raise the heat and safely bring it to a boil. If the milk boils before all the sugar has dissolved, it will curdle.

Use a saucepan with a long handle: 

Using a saucepan with a long handle in step 1 is useful for easily pouring  the boiling milk with one hand, while whisking the eggs vigorously with the other.

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

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