Super strawberry ice cream

Take advantage of fresh berries in season!

Berry season is a magical time of year. Whether you head to a pick-your-own place or a farmer’s market, there’s nothing more enticing than a basket of strawberries, still warm from the summer sun. I admit that I rarely manage to return home with a full basket as the urge to nibble is impossible to resist. The only solution is to buy double what I intended, leaving me with enough fruit for jam, salads, smoothies and ice cream (just a few of my favourite uses for perfectly ripe berries). This strawberry ice cream was recently described by a teenaged taste tester as “the best ice cream she’s ever eaten.” I’m inclined to agree. Macerating the fruit (combining it with sugar and lemon and letting it sit for a bit) is part of the secret to this recipe’s awesomeness – this step draws out the juices and ensures the ice cream takes on an all-over strawberry flavour and colour, instead of looking and tasting like vanilla ice cream with bits of strawberry in it.


  • 2 cups (500 mL) sliced very ripe strawberries (make sure you rinse and dry them really well before slicing or you’ll have ice crystals in your ice cream from the water)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons (90 mL) white sugar
  • 1 cup (250 mL) heavy (35%) cream
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) vanilla bean paste (or 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped)


  • Put the fruit in a non-reactive bowl and add the 2 tablespoons of sugar and lemon juice; stir to combine.
  • Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap (to keep those pesky fruit flies out) and let sit for an hour, stirring once or twice.
  • When ready to cook the custard for the ice cream, whisk egg yolks and 6 tablespoons of sugar together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • In a medium-sized, heavy saucepan, combine the cream, milk and vanilla bean paste or seeds. Warm over medium heat until it is just starting to steam.
  • Slowly add ½ cup of the hot cream mixture to the bowl containing the egg yolks and sugar, whisking constantly. This step warms the yolks so they don’t cook too quickly.
  • Return the egg yolks and cream to the saucepan, whisking constantly.
  • Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, for 4 – 5 minutes until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon.
  • Pour custard into a large bowl and cool for one hour in the fridge.
  • While custard is cooling, mash the strawberries with the back of a fork. I don’t recommend pureeing them as it will affect the texture of your ice cream.
  • Combine the strawberries and custard, stirring well. Continue to refrigerate until it is completely cool, then freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.
  • Alternatively, you can pour the cooled mixture into a very clean metal baking pan and freeze, stirring occasionally to incorporate a little air.
  • Store the finished ice cream in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks (as if it would last that long. Hah.)

Makes a scant quart of ice cream.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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