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Strawberry and White Balsamic Ice Cream

Here is a recipe for THE  BEST strawberry ice cream you will ever taste — creamy yet perfectly balanced so that it is lightly sweet rather than cloying, and just bursting with fresh strawberry flavour! You must find perfectly ripe, well-flavoured strawberries to use, but that’s the hardest part: the recipe is easy, and the eating is even easier!

Strawberry and White Balsamic Ice Cream

1¼ cups whole milk
1¼ cups heavy cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
3¾ oz. white caster (superfine) sugar (½ cup plus 1 tbs.)
21 oz. perfectly ripe strawberries, hulled
3-5 tbs. confectioner’s sugar
4 tbs. white balsamic vinegar
good squeeze lemon juice, to taste

Heat the milk and cream in a heavy-bottomed saucepan until it just reaches a boil. Take off the heat and add the vanilla. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar together for 1-2 minutes until pale and creamy. Slowly add the warm milk to this, whisking all the time.

Put a large bowl into another larger bowl, and put water and ice cubes around it. Wash out the saucepan, then pour the cream and egg mixture into it. Set over a low heat and cook, stirring almost constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10-12 minutes (be sure not to let the custard boil or it will curdle)> As soon as it’s thick enough, pour it into the bowl set in iced water. Keep stirring the mixture for a couple of minutes, then stir at intervals until cooled. Cover and put in the fridge.

Chop the strawberries coarsely and put them in a food processor with 3 tbs. of the confectioner’s sugar and the balsamic vinegar. Whiz to a purée. Taste for sweetness – you might need more sugar, you might not, depending on your strawberries. Push the purée through a fine sieve over a small bowl to get rid of the seeds.

When the ice cream custard has chilled, stir in the strawberry purée and taste – you will probably want a little lemon juice to heighten the flavour. Churn in an ice cream machine following manufacturer’s instructions. It will still be quite soft. Put in a container, cover with cling film or baking parchment and put it in the freezer. This ice cream takes a good 12 hours to freeze well.

Take the ice cream out of the freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

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