THE ITALIAN WAY TO ICE CREAM

Strawberry Ice Cream | with corn starch

Strawberry
Ice Cream
· with corn starch ·

With strawberries, milk, cream, sugar, and corn starch.

This is our Italian Way to Ice Cream because we use corn starch to thicken the ice cream mixture, often used to make homemade Italian gelato. It is the kind of ice cream which is refreshing and cooling, with a full-bodied mouthfeel. It is also firm and resistant to melting, making it the perfect ice cream in summer when the weather is hot.

In this strawberry ice cream recipe, we briefly cook the strawberries -just enough to thicken their juices. It is bright in colour, full of strawberry flavour and has the perfect texture to fill these popsicle moulds.

3 more ways to make this strawberry ice cream:

THE EASY! Crowd-pleasing and easy to make. Eat now, thank us later. With strawberries, milk, cream, and sugar.

THE FRENCH-STYLE ICE CREAM. Rich and velvety, this is a custard-based ice cream; a tad bit tricky to make, but so much worth it. With strawberries, cream, sugar, and egg yolks

LIKE A PRO. The closest you can get to an eggless store-bought ice cream with just one extra ingredient: xanthan gum. With strawberries, milk, cream, sugar, xanthan gum.

THE EASY! Crowd-pleasing and easy to make. Eat now, thank us later. With strawberries, milk, cream, and sugar.

THE FRENCH-STYLE ICE CREAM. Rich and velvety, this is a custard-based ice cream; a tad bit tricky to make, but so much worth it. With strawberries, cream, sugar, and egg yolks.

LIKE A PRO. The closest you can get to an eggless store-bought ice cream with just one extra ingredient: xanthan gum. With strawberries, milk, cream, sugar, xanthan gum.

or see:

The ingredients

Do not reduce or replace anything; everything is there for a reason.

• Fresh strawberries: use fresh, juicy, in-season strawberries. The taste of this strawberry ice cream will be determined by the taste of the strawberries themselves. If you want a fragrant strawberry ice cream, so should be your strawberries.

• Milk: use whole milk; this has approx. 3,5% fat. Do not substitute with skimmed milk (lower fat) or non-dairy milk. You need both the fat and the milk proteins for this ice cream recipe.

• Corn starch (A.K.A. cornflour or maize starch) in some countries you may find it under the name “cornflour” but it is not a flour, it is a starch. This means that it is white in colour and powdery in texture; it looks like confectioners (powder) sugar. It is described on the label as a thickener for sauces, soups etc.

• Heavy cream (for double cream read below): for this recipe you can use heavy cream with 35% to 40% fat content. It is ok to use cream suitable for whipping or ultra-pasteurised cream with 35-40% fat content. Do not use low-fat cream or non-dairy cream.

Sugar: only use regular sugar (white granulated sugar). 

Do not use any other sugar or sweetener, natural or artificial, liquid or powder, like honey, stevia, golden syrup, table sweeteners, confectioner’s sugar, etc.

🇬🇧 For UK readers: if you want to use double cream -which has a higher fat content (50%) than heavy cream (35-40% fat)- stir some milk into the double cream to bring it to the right fat content. Instructions in double cream – how to use”.

Overview

This is a quick overview of the recipe. If you are new to ice cream making, do read the recipe before proceeding. 

• Fresh strawberries: use fresh, juicy, in-season strawberries. The taste of this strawberry ice cream will be determined by the taste of the strawberries themselves. If you want a fragrant strawberry ice cream, so should be your strawberries.

• Corn starch (A.K.A. cornflour or maize starch) in some countries you may find it under the name “cornflour” but it is not a flour, it is a starch. This means that it is white in colour and powdery in texture; it looks like confectioners (powdered) sugar. It is described on the label as a thickener for sauces, soups etc.

Sugar: only use regular sugar (white granulated sugar). Avoid using raw cane sugar such as Demerara or Turbinado, as it covers the delicate strawberry flavour.​ Do not use any other sugar or sweetener, natural or artificial, liquid or powder, like honey, stevia, golden syrup, table sweeteners, confectioner’s sugar, etc.

• Milk: use whole milk, with around 3,5% fat. Do not substitute with skimmed milk (lower fat) or non-dairy milk. You need both the fat and the milk proteins for this ice cream recipe.

• Heavy cream (for double cream see scroll to the right): for this recipe you can use heavy cream with 35% – 40% fat. It is ok to use cream suitable for whipping or ultra-pasteurised cream with 35-40% fat content.

Do not use low-fat cream or non-dairy cream.

🇬🇧 For UK readers: if you want to use double cream -which has a higher fat content (50%) than heavy cream (35-40% fat)- stir some milk into the double cream to bring it to the right fat content. Instructions in double cream – how to use”.

Cut the strawberries in pieces.

Whisk the corn starch with the sugar in a saucepan. 

Add the strawberries and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. It will slightly thicken.

Pour into a bowl and let it cool down.

Place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours; or until completely cold.

Blend adding gradually: first, the strawberries until smooth; then add their syrup, finally, add the milk & cream. 

 

Churn the blended ice cream mixture until fluffed up and creamy.

Put it in the freezer for a few hours to set. 

As soon as it sets, you can either serve it from the ice cream maker bowl or transfer to a container and store it in the freezer.

The recipe
Strawberry Ice Cream | with corn starch
Strawberry Ice Cream
• with corn starch •
Ingredients:
Notes:

Frozen strawberries should be defrosted and at room temperature before using in the recipe. Keep any water they release during thawing; it is part of the recipe.

When making ice cream we recommend weighing all the ingredients, even the liquid ones. Whenever possible, prefer to weigh any liquid ingredients directly into the bowl/pan as you proceed with the recipe instead of transferring them from one bowl to another because this transfer causes a small -but unwanted- loss of quantity.

If you do not have a kitchen scale, follow these guidelines:
• 1 cup (US) = 237 ml | 1 Tbs. = 15 ml

• strawberries: measuring the strawberries in a cup is not recommended because the results vary depending on the size of the strawberries. If you do not have a scale, you can have them weighted at the grocery store, or estimate how many you need from the net weight, as given on the packaging

• sugar: measuring sugar in tablespoons is more accurate than measuring it in cups. Use a 15 ml measuring tablespoon (not a regular one); this is 13 gr of sugar. To measure correctly, each time you scoop the sugar, level it with the flat side of a knife.

• milk and cream: thoroughly scrape with a rubber spatula any residues left on the sides and bottom of the cup every time you measure something and empty it.

Note that the quantities in each measuring system (grams, ounces, and cups) in our recipes may not always be accurate conversions; any deviations in conversions you may notice do not affect the outcome.

This recipe makes a 1.2 litre/quart ice cream mixture (before churning), perfect for ice cream makers with a capacity of 1.5 and up to 2 litres/quarts (like Cuisinart ice cream makers).

If you need to scale the ice cream mixture up or down, use this ratio of the ingredients (in weight only):

strawberries 34.3% / milk 33.9% / heavy cream 15% / sugar 15.8 % / corn starch 1%

in desired total weight of ice cream mixture.

For example, if you want to make 1000 g of ice cream mixture, you need:

  • 1000 g x 34.3% = 343 g hulled strawberries
  • 1000 g x 33.9% = 339 g milk
  • 1000 g x 15% = 150 g heavy cream
  • 1000 g x 15.8% = 158 g sugar
  • 1000 g x 1% = 10 g corn starch

You can combine double cream with whole milk to make heavy cream for this recipe.

To make 175 g (6.2 oz) heavy cream, stir together:

  • 125 g double cream (4.3 oz) (with approx. 50% fat)
  • 50 g whole milk (1.9 oz) (with approx. 3.5% fat) -note that this milk is extra to the 395 g; 13.9 oz asked in the recipe-

The resulting heavy cream has 36% fat, perfect for this ice cream. Proceed with the recipe just as if you had the 175 g (6.2 oz) heavy cream needed. 

A flexible rubber spatula is good for:
-wiping the bottom of the saucepan when you cook dairy on the stovetop.
-scraping residues from bowls, saucepans etc.

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

Instructions

Plan ahead:

The strawberries must be fridge-cold before blending and churning, so prepare them well in advance (approx. 8 hours before) to give them time to chill in the refrigerator. 

If your ice cream maker has a removable freezer bowl, put it in the freezer for the whole time indicated by the manufacturer before churning, usually 24 hours.

Step 1: Prepare the strawberries

Prepare the strawberries: cut the strawberries (400 g; 14.1 oz) into slices. No need to cut them very thin; just slice them to a thickness you feel comfortable with.

Stir the strawberries with the sugar and the corn starch: in a medium saucepan, put the sugar (185 g; 6.5 oz) and the corn starch (2 tablespoons) and whisk to combine. Add the sliced strawberries and stir with a rubber spatula. Keep the spatula in the saucepan.

Cook over low heat, occasionally stirring with the spatula, until the sugar dissolves and the strawberries begin to release their water. Maintain a low temperature; notice that a thick syrup will begin to form.

Cook to thicken: increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Keep stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the saucepan with the spatula. When the strawberry pulp begins to bubble up, remove the saucepan from the heat, and pour the everything into a heatproof bowl, scraping along with the rubber spatula any residues from the saucepan.

Cool down: leave the strawberries to cool down for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Step 2: Chill the strawberries

Chill until completely coldcover the bowl and put them in the refrigerator for 8 hours; or until completely cold. You can leave them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Step 3: Churn the ice cream

Blend the strawberries: pour all the strawberries and their juices in a blender jug. Blend until smooth.

Gradually add the cold heavy cream (175 g; 6.2 oz), blending as you go.

Add the cold milk (395 g; 13.9 oz) and blend until it is a uniform pink colour with no streaks, stopping the blender and scraping the insides of the jug as needed.

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

Churn: with the machine running, pour the cold blended strawberry mixture through the canister and into the ice cream maker.

Leave to churn until fluffed up and creamy; depending on your ice cream maker, this can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes.

This ice cream will expand and fluff up during churning. It is ready when it looks smooth and fluffy, with the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. The total churning time depends on your ice cream maker and could be anywhere from 30-70 minutes.
To evaluate if it is ready, lift a spoonful; it should be thick enough to stand on the spoon, but it will still be soft like soft-serve ice cream. If it looks watery or starts to melt the moment you spoon it, leave it to churn for longer.
In any case, if you feel doubts about the consistency, leave it to churn 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 thick and creamy, as described above. If you leave to churn it for much longer, it will start turning grainy.
Warning: some ice cream makers are programmed to stop after a specific time, which doesn’t make sense because the ice cream may need to churn for more to reach its fullest potential. So, if you notice that your ice cream maker stops on its own and upon checking the ice cream, you find that it is sloppy instead of fluffy, try to turn the machine on again and leave it to churn until it reaches the desired texture.

Step 4: Put the ice cream in the freezer to set

Put in the freezer to set: before serving the ice cream or moving it to a container for storing, you have to put it in the freezer to set. To do so, turn off the ice cream maker and: 

· remove the removable freezer bowl (still filled with the ice cream) from the ice cream machine
· remove the paddle, scraping any ice cream attached to it back into the ice cream bowl 
· cover the ice cream bowl and place it in the freezer 
Setting time depends on many factors; 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 storage.

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

It can take :

  • 3-5 hours for removable freezer bowls (these are the ice cream maker bowls which you should pre-freeze before churning)
  • 1-2 hours for aluminium bowls (these are the bowls from compressor ice cream makers)

Note: the times given are indicative. Setting time depends on many factors.

Check it occasionally (approx. every 2 hours; or as needed) while it is in the freezer. The ice cream is ready when it has an internal temperature of -11ºC / 12ºF. If you do not have a thermometer, to evaluate if the ice cream has set, insert a round tip knife into it, all the way to the bottom: 

  • when the ice cream is ready, it feels firm as you go down, but at the same time it is soft enough to insert the knife into it; it should have this same firm consistency from top to bottom.
  • not ready yet: it will feel hard on the top and softer as you go down
  • if left in the freezer for too long: it will be too hard for the knife to be inserted into it and too hard to scoop out of the ice cream bowl. Do not worry, though! Read right below how to soften it.

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

To make it scoopable again, leave it in the refrigerator to soften. That can take:

  • anywhere from 4 to 10 hours for removable freezer bowls (the ones which need pre-freezing before churning)
  • 1-2 hours for aluminium bowls (these are the bowls from compressor ice cream makers)

(Note: the time given is indicative, time may vary depending on many factors, so do check it occasionally as it sits in the refrigerator.)

When the ice cream is easy to scoop (or it has an internal temperature of approx. -11°C / 12°F if you have a thermometer), you can transfer it to another container and store it in the freezer or serve it directly from the removable freezer bowl.

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

Putting it in the freezer after churning sets it and brings it to the right consistency, similar to that of an ice cream parlour’s.

Storing and serving

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

Scooping: this ice cream, like all artisanal ice cream, freezes hard in the long term. You can make it perfectly scoopable again by putting it in the refrigerator for 45-60 minuter until soft; or until its internal temperature reads -11°C / 12°F.

Instructions

The strawberries must be fridge-cold before blending and churning, so prepare them well in advance (approx. 8 hours before) to give them time to chill in the refrigerator. 

If your ice cream maker has a removable freezer bowl, put it in the freezer for the whole time indicated by the manufacturer before churning, usually 24 hours.

Prepare the strawberries: cut the strawberries (400 g; 14.1 oz) into slices. No need to cut them very thin; just slice them to a thickness you feel comfortable with.

Stir the strawberries with the sugar and the corn starch: in a medium saucepan, put the sugar (185 g; 6.5 oz) and the corn starch (2 tablespoons) and whisk to combine. Add the sliced strawberries and stir with a rubber spatula. Keep the spatula in the saucepan.

Cook over low heat, occasionally stirring with the spatula, until the sugar dissolves and the strawberries begin to release their water. Maintain a low temperature; notice that a thick syrup will begin to form.

Cook to thicken: increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Keep stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the saucepan with the spatula. When the strawberry pulp begins to bubble up, remove the saucepan from the heat, and pour everything into a heatproof bowl, scraping along with the rubber spatula any residues from the saucepan.

Cool down: leave the strawberries to cool down for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Chill until completely cold: cover the bowl and put them in the refrigerator for 8 hours; or until completely cold. You can leave them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Blend the strawberries: pour all the strawberries and their juices in a blender jug. Blend until smooth.

Gradually add the cold heavy cream (175 g; 6.2 oz), blending as you go.

Add the cold milk (395 g; 13.9 oz) and blend until it is a uniform pink colour with no streaks, stopping the blender and scraping the insides of the jug as needed.

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

Churn: with the machine running, pour the cold blended strawberry mixture through the canister and into the ice cream maker.

Leave to churn until fluffed up and creamy; depending on your ice cream maker, this can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes; read more in How do I know when the ice cream is ready in questions & troubleshooting below.

Put in the freezer to set: before serving the ice cream or moving it to a container for storing, you have to put it in the freezer to set. To do so, turn off the ice cream maker and: 

· remove the removable freezer bowl (still filled with the ice cream) from the ice cream machine

· remove the paddle, scraping any ice cream attached to it back into the ice cream bowl 

· cover the ice cream bowl and place it in the freezer 

Setting time depends on many factors; read How long does it take for the ice cream to set in questions & troubleshooting below.

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

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

Scooping: this ice cream, like all artisanal ice cream, freezes hard in the long term. You can make it perfectly scoopable again by putting it in the refrigerator for 45-60 minuter until soft; or until its internal temperature reads -11°C / 12°F.

This ice cream will expand and fluff up during churning. It is ready when it looks smooth and fluffy, with the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. The total churning time depends on your ice cream maker and could be anywhere from 30-70 minutes.

To evaluate if it is ready, lift a spoonful; it should be thick enough to stand on the spoon, but it will still be soft like soft-serve ice cream. If it looks watery or starts to melt the moment you spoon it, leave it to churn for longer.

In any case, if you feel doubts about the consistency, leave it to churn 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 thick and creamy, as described above. If you leave to churn it for much longer, it will start turning grainy.

Warning: some ice cream makers are programmed to stop after a specific time, which doesn’t make sense because the ice cream may need to churn for more to reach its fullest potential. So, if you notice that your ice cream maker stops on its own and upon checking the ice cream, you find that it is sloppy instead of fluffy, try to turn the machine on again and leave it to churn until it reaches the desired texture.

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

It can take :

  • 3-5 hours for removable freezer bowls (these are the ice cream maker bowls which you should pre-freeze before churning)
  • 1-2 hours for aluminium bowls (these are the bowls from compressor ice cream makers)

Note: the times given are indicative. Setting time depends on many factors.

Check it occasionally (approx. every 2 hours; or as needed) while it is in the freezer. The ice cream is ready when it has an internal temperature of -11ºC / 12ºF. If you do not have a thermometer, to evaluate if the ice cream has set, insert a round tip knife into it, all the way to the bottom: 

  • when the ice cream is ready, it feels firm as you go down, but at the same time it is soft enough to insert the knife into it; it should have this same firm consistency from top to bottom.
  • not ready yet: it will feel hard on the top and softer as you go down
  • if left in the freezer for too long: it will be too hard for the knife to insert into it and too hard to scoop out of the ice cream bowl. Do not worry, though! Read right below how to soften it.

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

Putting it in the freezer after churning sets it and brings it to the right consistency, similar to that of an ice cream parlour’s.

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

To make it scoopable again, leave it in the refrigerator to soften. That can take:

  • anywhere from 4 to 10 hours for removable freezer bowls (the ones which need pre-freezing before churning)
  • 1-2 hours for aluminium bowls (these are the bowls from compressor ice cream makers)

(Note: the time given is indicative, time may vary depending on many factors, so do check it occasionally as it sits in the refrigerator.)

When the ice cream is easy to scoop (or it has an internal temperature of approx. -11°C / 12°F if you have a thermometer), you can transfer it to another container and store it in the freezer or serve it directly from the removable freezer bowl.

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