Punchinello’s Chronicles

April 11, 2010

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

Here’s a fabulous tip when you want some fruit flavoring: Use Kool-Aid brand powder! Not generic flavors or other brands; you definitely want to stick with Kool-Aid. Probably because they’ve spent gazillions of dollars to develop exactly the right tastes.

When we bought our ice cream maker, we right-away started with chocolate. And, of course, we failed miserably the first few times. Then, after some research and experimentation, we figured it out. Now our chocolate ice cream is right up there with perfect!

We then decided to make peach ice cream. Ah, but the pain and sadness we experienced. The gloom and depression, probably similar to what liberals feel when they contemplate Sarah Palin as President. But…we persevered! We accepted the challenge and persisted, slugging through the pain and heartache of poorly made ice cream.

The problem is that when you make something like peach or strawberry ice cream, you basically end up with vanilla ice cream that has a vague sort of taste that might remind you of long-lost fruit flavors. Not good. Not good at all! There’s just not enough fruit flavor in home-made ice cream. We thought.

And then we had a revelation, almost as if from the gods! We ran across a forum post that mentioned using Kool-Aid lemonade powder (unsweetened) when cooking fish (another major food group). By gosh if it didn’t taste almost exactly like real lemons! We’ve used bottled lemon juice, other powders, and we’ve used actual fresh lemons. The Kool-Aid powdered lemonade was almost indistinguishable from fresh, real lemons.

There came a time when it became critically necessary for us to make strawberry ice cream. We’d thought we might use some seedless strawberry preserves along with strawberry Kool-Aid. A bit of Internet research showed that many people really like Berry-Berry.

So here’s the deal: We made our regular base (2 cups whipping cream, 1 cup whole milk, 2/3 cup half-and-half). We used 12 oz. strawberry preserves (in place of sugar), then added 1/4 cup of actual white sugar.

Update

You can substitute preserves for sugar in a sherbet, or perhaps a sorbet. But it really doesn’t work in ice cream. What we found was that the end result took on a sort of crumbly texture when we tried using it in ice cream cones. In a dish of ice cream, it was fine. In a cone…not so much.

The better idea is to stick with white sugar. You don’t have to boil the base liquid, or really even simmer it. All you’re doing is making sure the sugar dissolves fully into the milk-cream mixture. This isn’t New York style ice cream, using a custard with eggs. It’s Philadelphia style, using only liquids and sugar.

For the strawberry, we reduced the amount of vanilla.

Instead of going with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, we used 1/2 teaspoon. We didn’t want vanilla, we wanted strawberry! Of course we added 1/8 teaspoon of salt, to bring out the flavors.

We first added 1/4 teaspoon of powdered Kool-Aid Berry-Berry! Holy Smokes! Is THAT some good stuff! The second time, we went with plain Kool-Aid strawberry mix. That was even better!

It turns out that Kool-Aid adds a fabulous flavor to ice cream, much better than what you’d ever get from the store. It also adds color, although some people might think it makes the end result look more like sherbet. No no, it’s just not true! It’s just more colorful, and if you want less pink (in strawberry), then use 1/8 teaspoon.

We bought some fresh strawberries, but instead of cutting them up and adding them to the ice cream, we just serve them on top of the dessert, along with some whipped cream. We’re talking about low-calorie, heart-healthy food here.

Not!

Update Again

We did put some chunks of strawberry into the ice cream, and the problem is that it freezes. We noticed this when we put macadamia nuts in the chocolate ice cream. They freeze very hard, so not easy to eat.

What we’ll do instead is take maybe a cup of whole strawberries. Then use a potato masher to smash ’em up bang-bang. Then we’ll put ’em in a small pot, add some sugar, and heat the smashed berries. That’ll soften them. Then we’ll leave them overnight in the fridge, in the sugar.

We’re leaving the base in the fridge overnight, since we like to keep the freezer container in the big freezer overnight. After making the ice cream, we’ll stir in the mashed up berries, and that should keep them from turning into little rocks.

Our next experiment will be peach, again. This time we won’t use peach preserves, but we’ll keep with 3/4 cup white sugar. We’ll add 1/4 teaspoon of Kool-Aid Mango flavor! Hoo Hah! Anyone want a barbecue?

RECIPE:

  • 3/4 Cup sugar in a 2-quart saucepan
  • 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon Kool-Aid unsweetened strawberry flavor. Don’t use other brands, they’re not as good.
  • 1 Cup Whole milk

Make a slurry with the sugar, and put on medium heat. Add:

  • 2 Cups (1 pint) plain whipping cream.
    Note: If you have to use Heavy Whipping cream, that’s okay, but do NOT use “Heavy Cream.”
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Half-and-Half: If you use Whipping Cream, add 2/3 cup H&H.
    If you use Heavy Whipping Cream, use 1-1/4 cup whole milk, and 1/2 cup H&H.

Your intent is to heat up the mixture (the “base”) until the sugar is dissolved. Put the Kool-Aid mix in with the sugar, otherwise it’s pretty hard to dissolve in the cream.

We did like the Berry-Berry a lot, but we liked the Strawberry even better.

When it’s steaming and the sugar’s dissolved, pour the whole thing in a bowl with a spout if you have one, or just a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, let cool a bit, then put in the fridge. By letting it cool in the fridge, you make for finer ice crystals in the ice cream.

It takes about 30-35 minutes in the machine, after which the motor starts laboring in our Krup’s.

You can add another 1/2-teaspoon of vanilla if you like the taste, but don’t add any more salt. However; be sure to use at least 1/8 teaspoon of salt.

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1 Comment »

  1. So good! Look delicious
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    Comment by atta — July 21, 2010 @ 4:21 am | Reply


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