Saturday, March 19, 2011

Strawberry Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

This recipe is really different than any other ice cream I have made so far because it has sour cream in it. But before you go running away or turn up your nose in disgust at the inclusion of sour cream in ice cream, hear me out. It really is the sour cream that gives it the creamy taste and texture. This ice cream is ripe with intense strawberry flavor and the sour cream makes it super creamy while keeping it from being overly sweet. I would bet that anyone tasting this would never guess it has sour cream in it. What I do know is that this is for sure the best strawberry ice cream I have had.

I also added one vanilla bean to pair nicely with the strawberries and because I'm a sucker for those little vanilla bean flecks in just about anything. If you don't have any, that's ok. They are completely optional. But if you do...I highly recommend using the vaniila bean. It really adds that "something extra" to make this an amazing ice cream.

Strawberry Vanilla Bean Icea Cream

1 lb. fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced*
¾ cup sugar
1 tbsp. vodka (optional)
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise with the seeds scraped from inside
1 cup sour cream
1 cup heavy cream
½ tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Combine the sliced strawberries in a medium bowl with the vanilla, sugar, and vodka. Stir until the sugar begins to dissolve. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a blender or food processor and add the sour cream, heavy cream and lemon juice. Pulse briefly until almost smooth but still slightly chunky. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

*Note: If you can find locally grown, farmstand strawberries, I really do recommend them for this recipe. The difference in flavor really is noticeable. You definitely get a stronger strawberry flavor than with typical supermarket berries. However, if your only option is the store-bought kind, that's ok...this recipe is still great!

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