I love the irregular shapes of Market Fresh strawberries.
It reminds me of good summer times past, picking home garden grown strawberries. They would not be predictably all of the same size and the juice and sweetness would melt in your mouth as you snacked on them... Of course, today's (organic) store bought strawberries are very flavorful too, and I certainly feast on them. But I like to honor the local farm grown variety when I can. So, when I saw strawberries during my most recent Farmers Market run, I could not leave without buying them. I had guests over for dinner that evening and thought I surely would be able to find in them inspiration for dessert.
I was rather short on time, and dessert would have to be made at the last minute. Now, I do not do too much dairies these days, and sorbet initially came to mind. But as I was contemplating my options, the brainstorming process rapidly wandered off to: "strawberries... cream... strawberry-whipped cream-yoghurt...right, strawberry yoghurt ice-cream (yum)! And can be made last minute! Great, deal!!"
So dairies there would be, but it was worth it...The story of this dessert therefore involves 2 pints of Market fresh strawberries, washed and trimmed (stem and any imperfection removed), and 2 6 oz pots of plain (lactose-free, organic) yoghurt.
I pureed the strawberries in my food processor, and strained the puree to obtain a smooth "coulis"...
of a particularly beautiful, intense ruby red...
I whipped 8 fl. oz of (organic) heavy whipping cream at high speed, with 1 tsp (or more!) vanilla extract and about 1/4 cup maple syrup.
At low speed, I slowly incorporated the strawberry coulis, and the yoghurt, slightly beaten, then adjusted the sweetness with additional maple syrup (to taste).
And that's it! The ice-cream base was ready to churn!
To finish the dessert, I toasted some sliced almonds in a flat skillet. The combination was absolutely perfect!
By the way:
- I love making ice-cream for dinners with guests since I can (usually) make the base in advance and then the dessert pretty much makes itself. And one usually gets brownie points for making the frozen treat from scratch :-).
- There are ways of making the ice cream in the freezer without an ice-cream maker. However, I recommend investing in one (no need for a super fancy or expensive one unless you want to!), or ask one from Santa next Christmas...
- The container of my ice-cream maker was not cool enough the day my guests were there (pictures above are a repeat). So it was more like a slightly frozen mousse than a gelato, but we ate it all the same!! If that happens to you too: no worries, go ahead and serve, there is still much to enjoy! :-)