Strawberry Mousse Ice Cream

Tuesday, Jul 12 2011 Cooking!

Strawberry season came and went in the blink of an eye. The oversized, well-manicured berries from the perma-sunny environs of California and Mexico (as those above) are still on the shelves here in Portland. But for three short weeks, we were spoiled with pints of fresh Mount Hood strawberries. Sadly, the diminutive, beautiful, luscious, juicy jewels have already passed us by. But before they made their disappearance, I was able to polish up an iconic summer recipe, just in time for a 4th of July fête.

Drawing inspiration from Recipes from an Italian Summer, I restyled a wild strawberry ice cream into a dairy-free incantation. While mentally adjusting the ingredient ratios, I inadvertently used twice the amount of guar gum I had intended. This proved a happy accident, yielding a rich and flavorful ice cream with a decadent mousse-like texture. The silky mouth-feel, in harmony with the complex earthy palette of the berries, yielded results akin to summer in a bowl.

This recipe may well work with your standard-fare fresh or frozen supermarket strawberries (I can’t vouch because I haven’t tried either… yet). But, if you are able to get your hands on a pint of deliciously small and sweet heirloom varietals, you are in for a truly special treat.

  • 1 pint of the best available strawberries
  • 1/4 c. white wine or water
  • 3/4 c. canned coconut milk
  • 1 strip freshly peeled lemon zest (about 2 inches long)
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. guar gum
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/2 c. canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Remove stems from strawberries. Rinse with white wine or water and discard liquid. Place in blender and whip until smooth (or, if you want chunks in your ice cream, pulse until you have reached desired consistency). Set purée aside.

Place 3/4 c. coconut milk and lemon zest in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and then remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a blender or food processor whip egg, sugar, guar gum and water until frothy. Remove lemon rind from simmered coconut milk and stream slowly into mixture while blending until all is smooth and combined. Transfer custard back into saucepan and heat over medium, whisking constantly until thickened and simmering gently. Strain.

Add remaining coconut mlk and vanilla to strawberry purée and stir. Whisk in the custard mixture until all is well combined. Cool 2-3 hours in the fridge, until fully chilled. Freeze in ice cream maker as per manufacturer’s instructions.

Makes approx 1 quart.