Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream
Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

This recipe for Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream uses strawberries that have been macerated in balsamic vinegar.   The end result does not taste sour or vinegary at all.   The balsamic vinegar enhances the flavour of the strawberries and cuts through their sweetness.  Sometimes it is hard to get hold of really tasty strawberries and the addition of the vinegar can help you create super-tasty ice cream from average tasting berries.  Essentially, it is strawberry ice cream but with an extra flavour boost.

I love home-made ice cream.  It is so easy, especially if you have an ice cream maker, and you can really experiment with flavours.   Some of my other favourites include Lavender Ice-cream, Thyme ice-cream with honey and mascarponeLemon Verbena Ice-cream and Elderflower Ice-cream.

Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

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Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: for 6 people 1x
  • Category: Ice-cream
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This ice cream uses strawberries that have been macerated in balsamic vinegar.  This cuts through the sweetness of the berries and enhances their taste.   When you try the ice cream, you would not guess that it contains vinegar.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 500 g fresh strawberries
  • 55 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 425 ml double cream

Instructions

  1. Wash the strawberries, remove the green stalks and roughly chop.
  2. Place the chopped strawberries in a bowl and add the balsamic vinegar.  Allow to macerate for around 30 minutes.
  3. Put the sugar in a saucepan with 55 ml of water.  Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.  Set the sugar syrup aside to cool slightly.
  4. Set aside 150 g of the macerated strawberries.  Place the remaining 350 g of the macerated strawberries in a blender together with the sugar syrup.  Blend to form a thick puree.
  5. Put the cream in a saucepan and heat gently. Do not allow to boil – it will be the right temperature when you are just about able to bear to dip a finger in it!
  6. Put the egg yolks in a bowl and add the heated cream, whisking all the time.
  7. Transfer the combined mixture into a bowl set over a pan of simmering water or, ideally a double-boiler, as you need to reheat it very gently.
  8. The mixture will gradually thicken until it looks like a custard (which is what it is).  Stir regularly to make sure it does not stick while it is thickening.
  9. Remove the thick custard from the heat and transfer into a bowl.  Add the strawberry puree to the custard together with the 150 g of macerated strawberries that you set aside (see point 4).
  10. Allow to cool to room temperature and then transfer to the fridge to become thoroughly chilled.
  11. When you are ready to make the ice cream, transfer to your ice cream maker and use according to your machine’s instructions.  If you do not have an ice cream maker, you can place the mixture in a freezer-proof container, put in the freezer for several hours until half-frozen.  Whisk the mixture and then return to the container and replace in the freezer until totally frozen.

Notes

Although the preparation time and cook time totals 20 minutes you will need to allow additional time for the ice cream mixture to become completely cold before you freeze it.

Keywords: stawberry, ice cream, balsamic

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Lemon Verbena Ice Cream

Lemon verbena ice-cream, lemon verbena ice cream
Lemon verbena ice cream

Lemon Verbena Ice Cream

My Lemon Verbena Ice Cream is a great way of showcasing the unique taste of this herb.  In addition to the taste of lemon, it also has additional subtle notes of ginger which make it an excellent flavouring for ice cream.     As lemon verbena may be hard to source, I have also included the option in the recipe of using grated lemon zest as an alternative flavouring.  This will make an excellent ice-cream but the taste will be different.

About Lemon Verbena

Lemon Verbena (Aloysia citrodora) is a small shrub, native to western South America.  It was was brought to Europe by the Spanish and Portuguese in the 17th century.  Its leaves have a strong lemon scent with other flavour notes, in particular ginger.  They can be used to produce flavoured oil and  herbal tea.  Lemon verbena can be used to bring a lemon flavour to savoury meat and fish dishes and marinades.  It can also be used in sweet dishes such as puddings, cakes, sorbets and, of course, Lemon Verbena Ice Cream.

Lemon verbena ice-cream, lemon verbena ice cream
Lemon verbena ice cream

Grow your own!

Adding fresh herbs to a dish is such a  quick and  easy way of transforming it into something special.  Once you get to know the different flavours, there is endless potential for experimentation.   You will get to know which herbs you prefer, which go well with each other and which ones enhance particular dishes.

I am a great advocate for growing your own herbs.     They take up little space and can be grown in pots on a window ledge or balcony if you do not have a garden.  Most of them are also very easy to grow.   If you grow your own, you will have access to a much wider range of flavours as, unfortunately, it is hard to find more unusual herbs in the supermarkets.

Sourcing lemon verbena

If you want to grow your own herbs, including lemon verbena, there are a number of specialist herb nurseries, which will provide herbs by mail order, including  Herbal Haven where I bought a number of my more unusual herbs.

Equipment

Whisk and bowl.  This recipe is a breeze using an but you can still make it if you don’t have one (see instructions under point 8 of Method)

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Lemon verbena ice cream, lemon verbena ice-cream

Lemon Verbena Ice Cream

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: for 6 people 1x
  • Category: Ice-cream
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This ice cream showcases the subtle herbal flavour of lemon verbena which has additional notes of ginger in addition to lemon.   As it may be hard to source lemon verbena, I have included an alternative using lemon zest.  This is a good, but different, ice-cream.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 85 g caster sugar
  • 425 ml double cream
  • 2 tablespoons of very finely chopped fresh lemon verbena leaves (or the grated zest of one unwaxed lemon)

Instructions

  1. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a bowl until the mixture looks paler and resembles a mousse.
  2. Put the cream and chopped fresh lemon verbena leaves (or grated lemon zest) in a saucepan and heat gently. Do not allow to boil – it will be the right temperature when you are just about able to bear to dip a finger in it!
  3. Remove the saucepan containing the cream and lemon verbena (or grated lemon zest) from the heat.  At this stage you can strain the cream to remove all the pieces of lemon verbena leaf (or grated lemon zest).  I generally don’t strain the chopped herbs out as I like them distributed through the ice-cream but I know some people prefer a totally smooth ice-cream with just the flavour.  If you are going to leave the pieces in the ice-cream, you need to make sure that the leaves are very finely chopped – no one wants huge fragments of leaf in their pudding!
  4. Pour the infused cream into the bowl containing the egg yolks and sugar, whisking all the time.
  5. Transfer the combined mixture into a bowl set over a pan of simmering water or, ideally a double-boiler, as you need to reheat it very gently.
  6. The mixture will gradually thicken until it looks like a custard (which is what it is).  Stir regularly to make sure it does not stick while it is thickening.
  7. Remove the thick custard from the heat and transfer into a bowl.  Allow to cool to room temperature and then transfer to the fridge to become thoroughly chilled.
  8. When you are ready to make the ice cream, transfer to your ice cream maker and use according to your machine’s instructions.  If you do not have an ice cream maker, you can place the mixture in a freezer-proof container, put in the freezer for several hours until half-frozen.  Whisk the mixture and then return to the container and replace in the freezer until totally frozen.

Notes

Although the preparation time and cook time totals 20 minutes you will need to allow additional time for the ice cream mixture to become completely cold before you freeze it.

You can make this ice cream either using lemon verbena or the zest of a lemon.  Both will taste lemony (and very good!) but the taste will be different – a subtle soft herbal lemon flavour with hints of ginger – if you are using lemon verbena.  If you can get hold of it, it is really worth a try!

Keywords: lemon, lemon verbena, ice cream, lemon verbena ice cream, lemon verbena ice-cream

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Lavender Ice Cream

Lavender Ice-cream, lavender ice cream recipe
Lavender Ice Cream

Lavender Ice Cream

I make Lavender Ice Cream using my standard ice cream recipe. It has a wonderful floral creaminess which is perfect eaten in the garden on a sunny English summer day!

Lavender is a strong taste and needs to be used in moderation to avoid echoes of furniture polish!  Don’t be tempted to increase the amount in this recipe.  What you are looking for is a subtle whisper of lavender rather than a full-on bombardment of your taste-buds.    As it is such a strong flavour,  I would serve this Lavender Ice Cream on its own or possibly together with plain vanilla ice cream or maybe Lemon Shortbread biscuits.

You only need the egg yolks for this recipe which means you will have spare egg whites.  As I hate waste, I pretty much always make some form of meringue, when I make ice cream and, very conveniently, my meringue recipe requires four egg whites.  If you feel in the mood for meringue, you could check out my basic Meringue  or Pavlova recipes, or if you want something slightly different, you could try my Rose Meringue recipe.

 Equipment

Whisk and bowl.  This recipe is a breeze using an but you can still make it if you don’t have one (see instructions under point 8 of Method)

 

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Lavender Ice-cream, lavender ice cream recipe

Lavender Ice Cream

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: for 6 people 1x
  • Category: Ice-cream
  • Cuisine: English

Description

Rich and creamy, this Lavender Ice Cream is a great way of using the wonderful, floral taste of lavender.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 85 g caster sugar
  • 425 ml double cream
  • 3 fresh lavender flowers broken down into petals (or 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh lavender leaves)
Lavender Ice-cream, lavender ice cream recipe, lavender ice cream
Cream and lavender

Instructions

  1. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a bowl until the mixture looks paler and resembles a mousse.
  2. Put the cream and lavender flowers or leaves in a saucepan and heat gently. Do not allow to boil – it will be the right temperature when you are just about able to bear to dip a finger in it!
  3. Remove the saucepan containing the cream and lavender from the heat.  At this stage you can strain the cream to remove all the lavender.  I generally don’t strain the lavender out as I like the little blue petals distributed through the ice cream but I know some people prefer a totally smoothe ice cream with just the flavour and no petals!
  4. Pour the infused cream into the bowl containing the egg yolks and sugar, whisking all the time.
  5. Transfer the combined mixture into a bowl set over a pan of simmering water or, ideally a double-boiler, as you need to reheat it very gently.
  6. The mixture will gradually thicken until it looks like a custard (which is what it is).  Stir regularly to make sure it does not stick while it is thickening.
  7. Remove the thick custard from the heat and transfer into a bowl.  Allow to cool to room temperature and then transfer to the fridge to become thoroughly chilled.
  8. When you are ready to make the ice-cream, transfer to your ice-cream maker and use according to your machine’s instructions.  If you do not have an ice-cream maker, you can place the mixture in a freezer-proof container, put in the freezer for several hours until half-frozen.  Whisk the mixture and then return to the container and replace in the freezer until totally frozen.
Lavender Ice-cream, lavender ice cream recipe
Lavender Ice Cream

Notes

Make sure that you only use fresh lavender that you are sure has not been sprayed with chemicals.  The best place to source it is from your garden – it is very easy to grow!

If you do not have access to fresh lavender, you can use 2 teaspoons of dried culinary lavender.  The flavour is strengthened by the drying process, so the amount is less than that for fresh lavender.

Keywords: lavender, ice-cream, lavender ice-cream, lavender ice cream, recipe

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Thyme Ice-cream with Honey and Mascarpone

Thyme icecream
Thyme Ice-cream

Thyme Ice-cream with Honey and Mascarpone

My Thyme Ice-cream, flavoured with honey and mascarpone, is rich and sweet.  Although many of the ingredients that I use are local to where I now live in south-west England – fresh thyme from my garden, honey from the man down the road who keeps bees – the flavours take me back to many happy summers in Italy.

I think my Thyme Ice-cream makes an excellent dessert after a summer meal – cooling and  creamy  but with a herby twist!  The taste of thyme is quite subtle in this recipe and is balanced by the other flavours, so this a good introduction to herb ice-cream for those who may be a little unsure about it.   If I am serving this at a dinner party,  I will usually serve it paired with another ice-cream with a less unusual flavour and let people choose which one they want!

I love herb-flavoured ice-creams.  I think the cream or custard base provides the perfect vehicle for many herbs and allows their flavours to sing out.  Herbs are the stars of the show and not just a supporting act!    Many herbs, which may be considered mainly of use in savoury dishes, make excellent ice-cream.   In addition to thyme, I think basil, bay, sorrel all make excellent ice-creams.  There are also, of course, other herbs such as lavender and lemon verbena, which are used in many sweet dishes and make fantastic flavourings for ice-cream.

 

Thyme icecream
Thyme Ice-cream

Equipment

Whisk and bowl.  This recipe is a breeze using an but you can still make it if you don’t have one (see instructions under point 12 of Method)

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Thyme icecream

Thyme Ice-cream with Honey and Mascarpone

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: for 6 people 1x
  • Category: Ice-cream
  • Cuisine: English

Description

Try a sweet twist on thyme with this creamy Thyme Ice-cream with Honey and Mascarpone.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 200 ml double cream
  • A large bunch of fresh thyme
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100 ml honey
  • 250 g mascarpone

Instructions

  1. Wash your thyme and crush it gently using the back of a spoon to release its flavour.  There is no need to remove the leaves from the woody stalks.
  2. Put the thyme into a saucepan with the cream.  At this stage, if you have time (as well as thyme..) you can leave the mixture overnight to allow the flavour to infuse.
  3. Next, heat the cream and thyme mixture gently. Do not allow to boil – it will be the right temperature when you are just about able to bear to dip a finger in it!
  4. Strain the cream through a sieve to remove the thyme.
  5. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl until the mixture looks paler and resembles a mousse.
  6. Pour the thyme-flavoured cream into the bowl containing the egg yolks.
  7. Transfer the combined mixture into a bowl set over a pan of simmering water or, ideally a double-boiler, as you need to reheat it very gently.
  8. The mixture will gradually thicken until it looks like a custard (which is what it is).  Stir regularly to make sure it does not stick while it is thickening.
  9. Add the honey to the custard.
  10. Remove the thick custard from the heat and transfer into a bowl.  Allow to cool to room temperature and then transfer to the fridge to become thoroughly chilled.
  11. Add the mascarpone to the chilled custard.
  12. When you are ready to make the ice-cream, transfer to your ice-cream maker and use according to your machine’s instructions.  If you do not have an ice-cream maker, you can place the mixture in a freezer-proof container, put in the freezer for several hours until half-frozen.  Whisk the mixture and then return to the container and replace in the freezer until totally frozen.

Notes

There are many varieties of thyme and any are fine in this ice-cream.  I used lemon thyme as I particularly love its flavour.

Keywords: thyme, ice-cream, honey, mascarpone

Thyme Ice-cream

Thyme Ice-cream

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Elderflower Ice-cream

Elderflowers
Elderflower ice-cream

Elderflower Ice-cream

I make Elderflower Ice-cream using my standard ice-cream recipe.  I use this to make many different flavours of ice-cream – including Rose and Ginger and, of course, Vanilla.   Elderflower Ice-cream is one of my favourites.  It has a wonderful floral creaminess which is perfect eaten in the garden on a sunny English summer day.

I think my Lemon Biscuits go very well with my Elderflower Ice-cream but you could serve it with fresh berries – or just on its own!

To make my Elderflower Ice-cream, I use Elderflower Cordial to add the flavour, rather than fresh elderflowers, which means that you can make this recipe at any time of the year.  However, for me, this is an early summer recipe.    I make my own home-made Elderflower Cordial and you can find the link to the recipe here.   However, there are lots of great ready-made versions available  in supermarkets now.

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You only need the egg yolks for this recipe which means you will have spare egg whites.  As I hate waste, I pretty much always make Meringues when I make ice-cream as, very conveniently, my Meringue recipe requires four egg whites.

Elderflower and lemon
Elderflower ice-cream and lemon biscuits

Ingredients (for 4-6 people)
Equipment

Whisk and bowl.  This recipe is a breeze using an but you can still make it if you don’t have one (see instructions under point 8 of Method)

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Method
  1. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a bowl until the mixture looks paler and resembles a mousse.
  2. Put the cream in a saucepan and heat gently. Do not allow to boil – it will be the right temperature when you are just about able to bear to dip a finger in it!
  3. Add the Elderflower Cordial to the cream.
  4. Pour the cream into the bowl containing the egg yolks and sugar, whisking all the time.
  5. Transfer the combined mixture into a bowl set over a pan of simmering water or, ideally a double-boiler, as you need to reheat it very gently.
  6. The mixture will gradually thicken until it looks like a custard (which is what it is).  Stir regularly to make sure it does not stick while it is thickening.
  7. Remove the thick custard from the heat and transfer into a bowl.  Allow to cool to room temperature and then transfer to the fridge to become thoroughly chilled.
  8. When you are ready to make the ice-cream, transfer to your ice-cream maker and use according to your machine’s instructions.  If you do not have an ice-cream maker, you can place the mixture in a freezer-proof container, put in the freezer for several hours until half-frozen.  Whisk the mixture and then return to the container and replace in the freezer until totally frozen.

Elderflowers and lemon
Elderflower ice-cream and lemon biscuits

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