It’s a funny thing for me, strawberries. I like them raw, I like them as jam, but up until very recently, I didn’t like them in anything or masquerading as anything. Strawberry smoothies? Blech. Strawberry-banana anything? I think I just threw up in my mouth. Strawberry ice cream? No way, José. Maybe it’s because when I grew up, all that I ever tried was the strawberry part of Neopolitan ice cream and from that first taste, I decided I didn’t like it and that was that.
Now, there are really not a whole lot of foods that I won’t give a second shot (Except for beets. No thank you.), so this whole strawberry situation was nagging at me, especially when I have a husband who loves anything and everything strawberry. I’d tried this recipe a few months ago and really liked it, and although I think I would change a couple things next time around, it was still really great.
I also really love cheese, especially the goat variety, and I had remembered that I’d made a leek, goat cheese, and strawberry quesadilla awhile back and enjoyed the heck out of it. Do you see where this is going? It wasn’t until I saw this recipe that I decided to give the whole strawberry ice cream thing a second (third?) shot.
My strawberry and basil plants are going crazy right now, so I decided to combine a few things that I love together: strawberries, basil, and goat cheese. The ice cream is soft, and faintly tangy from the goat cheese, but tastes more like cheesecake. Pureed strawberries turn the custard a blush pink, and tiny green bits of basil dot the dessert like confetti. I think this would be fantastic with a sweet balsamic reduction drizzled over top, too. And you know what? I didn’t tell my husband that there was goat cheese in this (because he wouldn’t have tried it if he knew) and he quite enjoyed it. Victory! So go and enjoy, friends! I hear those strawberries calling your name…
Strawberry-Basil Goat Cheese Ice Cream
adapted from Hungry Girl por Vida
For the ice cream base:
2 cups whole milk
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 Tablespoons (1.5 oz) cream cheese, softened
5 ounces soft, plain goat cheese (like chevre), softened
For the strawberry-basil puree:
2 containers of fresh strawberries, or about 2 mounded cups frozen strawberries, thawed.
1/2 cup basil, loosely packed
4 Tbsp. sugar
In a small bowl whisk together 1/4 cup of the milk with the cornstarch. Set the slurry aside. Place cream cheese and goat cheese in a large heatproof bowl, set aside.
In a food processor or blender, blend together half the strawberries and 2 Tbsp. sugar. Sieve over a bowl to strain out seeds. Repeat with remaining strawberries, 2 Tbsp. sugar, and basil leaves. Do not strain. Add to bowl with strawberry puree. Set aside. Yummy tip: Use the sieved pulp and seeds as a “jam” on a piece of toast. Yum!
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a low boil and quickly whisk in slurry. Continue whisking and bring the mixture to a boil, to thicken, continue to cook and whisk for an additional minute. Mixture should be thick enough to leave whisk tracks behind. Whisk a ladle full of the hot mixture into the cheeses to combine, pour in the rest of the hot mixture and whisk well to combine. Whisk in the strawberry-basil puree to combine well and cool over an ice bath. Once cooled, process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Scrape into a container, cover, and freeze to set.