Strawberry Ice Cream made with fresh California StrawberriesPosted: 05/01/2013
What could be more fun for a girl obsessed with strawberries, than the opportunity to spend the day frolicking in the fields of a strawberry farm in Oxnard, California! Yes, it’s true. I was invited by the California Strawberry Commission to tour a working strawberry farm along with a group of fellow foodbloggers. The farm is run by Bill Reiman who took us out into his fields and showed us how this gorgeous fruit is picked, processed and packed. As our group stood there in the warm California sun, Bill explained how environmentally conscious California strawberry farmers are, and how they have invested millions into research and sustainable farming practices. He went on to explain how 88% of the nation’s strawberries are grown in California, and that California has a 12 month growing season. So guess what, you can enjoy your strawberries 24/7!
The final highlight of the day was a strawberry-themed dinner prepared by Executive Chef Tim Kilcoyne. Our hosts had set up a white canopied tent that was surrounded by strawberries as far as the eye could see, and our backdrop was the Santa Monica Mountains. A Hollywood set designer couldn’t have done a better job. As if this wasn’t enough, each guest was sent home with a flat of sweet, California Strawberries. Yes, it was a most excellent adventure, and one I’ll never forget.
So what did I do with all those berries you ask…well, I turned them into ice cream of course.
Strawberry Ice Cream
Williams Sonoma “Ice Cream”
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup (185g) sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (250g) fresh California strawberries, stemmed and coarsely chopped, plus more for garnish
- In a large bowl, combine the cream and milk. Add the sugar and a pinch of salt and whisk the mixture until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the vanilla. Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes so that the flavors begin to blend together. Cover and refrigerate the mixture until chilled, from 3-8 hours.
- In a medium bowl, using a fork, mash half of the chopped strawberries until they break down into small chunks, then add the remaining coarsely chopped strawberries to the bowl. Cover and refrigerate these strawberries for an hour.
- After an hour, pour the milk/cream mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When nearly frozen and the mixture looks like thick whipped cream, add the strawberries. Churn just until blended. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container. Freeze until firm, about three hours, or up to 3 days before serving.
Makes 1 1/2 quarts
Fun Strawberry Facts:
8 strawberries contain more vitamin C than an orange. They’re low in sugar, with only about 50 calories, and strawberries are a great source of fiber, folate and potassium. Yeah, so who else can make that claim!
Strawberries are good for your heart folks. Potassium found in strawberries can help control blood pressure and fight strokes. The antioxidants, fiber and phytochemicals in strawberries has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels.
California strawberry farmers use less than one percent of California’s cropland, but create nearly 10 percent of all California’s farm-related jobs. You go California farmers!
* Disclosure: This post is sponsored by The California Strawberry Commission. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.