Strawberry Ice Cream
These early months of the summer are lovely especially when the strawberries start hitting the markets. The local, fresh strawberries are so different than the ones that you can get from the grocery store year round. They are smaller, sweeter, and with that deep red color. It's a good reminder that we need to take advantage of the local markets.
While you can do things like strawberry shortcake or preserves with strawberries, my favorite way to devour these are with sweet cream or even better as ice cream.
Ice cream can be one of the more challenging things to make. It's not technically challenging but it is hard to get down a base that keeps you from just running to the store for something from the frozen aisle. There are so many ways to make an ice cream base: custard, egg-less, etc. And, getting that just right balance between sugar and fat to get that creamy consistency that is your favorite takes a lot of trial and error.
It took me a while but for several weeks of one summer after I bought my ice cream maker, I tried many diferent ice cream bases. I narrowed it down to three that I really liked. I then had a taste test with friends to see which one everyone liked the best. Hands down, the custard ice cream was the favorite. It was that little bit richer flavor that put it over the top of the others.
I still have and use an egg-less base as well. Sometimes that lighter flavor is just what you need especially when you are mixing in things like candy, chocolate, caramel, etc. The best thing about ice cream is once you determine your base, what else goes into it is really up to you. Strawberry ice cream is my favorite (although mint chocolate chip is a close second...).
Below are the recipes for both ice cream bases. One is an altered version from Giada De Laurentiis and the other is an altered version from Ben & Jerry's. If you have an ice cream maker, pull it out and start finding your favorite!