Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream – No Machine!

Did you know that strawberries got their name from when farm children used to string the berries on pieces of straw to sell them at market? Did you know you can make ice cream without the machine? And it tastes really really really good?

Let’s chat about ice cream. Ice cream makes rational minded people, irrational. Tonight I went back into the kitchen 4 separate times to take a scoop of this ice cream out of the freezer. Why didn’t I just eat a bowl of it? Oh the games we play with ourselves. Two weeks ago I was on family vacay – we went through four gallons of ice cream in 2 days. No joke – we had “lunch time ice cream”. My cousin and I said that the best part about maternity leave is getting to eat ice cream during the day. Everyone. loves. ice cream.

If you are entertaining, scooping out some Breyers after dinner may not seem (to you) like you’ve made an effort for your guests. But what if you make it FROM SCRATCH? The fact that making it yourself actually took less time than driving to the store to buy it is your secret to keep. This is so easy, and you don’t need that bulky machine that you keep in your basement for 99% of the year.

If you don’t want to make this recipe (which is silly, because it’s so dang easy), at least go buy some Ben and Jerry’s Blueberry Graham Cracker GREEK frozen yogurt. It’s knock-your-socks-off good. This recipe came about after I read an America’s test kitchen recipe for strawberry ice cream and had the idea to add the graham cracker – the end result tastes JUST like strawberry short cake. Yum. Why the vodka/champagne? The original recipe called for vodka to keep the icy crystals at bay, but I thought prosecco would be even better. Prosecco is a sweet Italian champagne, and I used it to make these awesome cupcakes over the weekend : Sparkling Champagne Cupcakes Cream. 

A few important notes: You must use heavy, or “whipping” cream. If you use light cream or half and half to try to lower the calories, you will be very sad when this doesn’t turn out, AT ALL. You can only whip air into heavy cream.  You can use fresh OR frozen strawberries. Sweetened condensed milk comes in a can – you can find it in the baking aisle at any grocery store. That’s all! So easy!

Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream – No Machine!

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Serves 10-12

1/2 c. honey graham cracker crumbs

8 oz. strawberries (about 1 1/2 c.), hulled (hulled means you cut out the green top)

1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk

1/4 c. (heaping) white chocolate chips

1 tbsp. vodka, champagne or prosecco

1/2 tsp. vanilla

pinch salt

1 1/4 c. heavy cream

Strawberries for serving

1. Process graham crackers (about 4 full sheets) to crumbs. Transfer crumbs to a small bowl and wipe out the processor.

2. Process (or blend) strawberries in food processor (or blender) until smooth – about 30 seconds.

2. Microwave condensed milk, white chocolate and vodka/champagne for 1 minute, whisking after 30 seconds. Whisk until smooth.

3. Add strawberries, vanilla and salt to milk mixture and whisk to combine.

4. In another bowl, whip cream to soft peaks using the whisk attachment on an electric mixer. You can do this by hand with a wire whisk, but prepare to work up a sweat as it will take you several minutes. Also, soft peaks are when you lift your whisk out and the cream comes up and then crests, like a wave. 

5. Whisk a third of the whipped cream into the strawberry mixture, then fold in the remaining 2/3 of the cream. When folding you are very gently combining the two mixtures, trying to keep the whipped cream as light and airy as possible. 

6. Just before you are finished folding in the cream, add the crumbs and just barely mix them into the ice cream. Transfer mixture to tupperware container and freeze at least 6 hours.

7. Let thaw 5-10 minutes before scooping. Serve with sliced strawberries.

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