First of all, I want to send out my heartfelt thanks and a giant, virtual hug to all of you for your support during my transition to this new site! All of the positive feedback and great advice I received are very much appreciated. Joelle and I are still working out some bugs, and I still have a lot of updating to do, so I hope you’ll all continue to bear with us while we clear out all of the remaining dust.
I’ve had a few days to get cozy with WordPress, and I must say – so far, so good. It isn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be! I actually think I might be able to do this! I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
I know you were probably expecting to see Dorie’s lovely Brioche Plum Tart here today. The recipe was chosen by my good friend Denise of Chez Us, and I really, really wanted to make it for you. But, this web site launch hit me right between the eyes on Friday night. I wasn’t expecting it to happen for another week! I spent the entire weekend testing every feature and reorganizing and recategorizing all of my 259 posts, and there just wasn’t time to tend to something as labor intensive as brioche. My apologies go out to Denise. I hope that both she and you understand.
On the bright side, I do have a really wonderful treat for you. It’s time again for another Flavor of the Month recipe. My pick for July’s Flavor of the Month is Strawberry Creme Fraiche Ice Cream, and I think you’re gonna love it!
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month. He recognized the immense popularity of ice cream in the United States, and stated that this event should be observed with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.” The International Ice Cream Association also encourages both retailers and consumers to celebrate July as National Ice Cream Month. According to the IFDA, “the U.S. ice cream industry generates more than $21 billion in annual sales and provides jobs for thousands of citizens. About 9% of all the milk produced by U.S. dairy farmers is used to produce ice cream, contributing significantly to the economic well-being of the nation’s dairy industry.” That’s good enough reason for me to celebrate ice cream, not only in July, but all year long!
Now, you know that while I’m never one to shrink from a challenge, I love it when I can find a really terrific recipe that is quick, easy and really delicious. This ice cream fits the bill. It’s thickened using cornstarch, like my Fleur de Lait Glace and thus, doesn’t require any eggs. So, no endless stirring and tempering are needed. (I hate that!) And, this ice cream is absolutely scrumptious! It’s got a light and bright pure cream flavor with just a pop of tang from the crème fraiche. It’s balanced out by lovely ribbons of sweet, juicy strawberries running through it. I’m telling you, this stuff is awesome! I made it twice last week, and it just flew out of my freezer!
Strawberry Creme Fraiche Ice Cream
liberally adapted from The Perfect Scoop
1 pint strawberries (You can use fresh or frozen, but fresh is better.)
2-3 tablespoons sugar (depending upon how sweet your berries are)
2 tablespoons strawberry or raspberry liqueur* (optional) (I used Fragoli, a wild strawberry liqueur, but you can use Framboise, Chambord or whatever you like.)
2 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup crème fraiche
Chop up the strawberries and place in a bowl with the 3 tablespoons of sugar and the liqueur (if using). Allow to macerate for about an hour or so. Then, roughly puree in a blender or food processor until slightly chunky. Set aside.
Combine the milk and 1 cup of sugar together in a saucepan over medium heat until hot, but not simmering. In another bowl, whisk the cornstarch and cream together until smooth. Add cream mixture to the saucepan and stir until mixture comes to a boil.
Remove from heat and pour the mixture into a bowl. Let it cool for about 5 minutes or so, stirring frequently to release the steam. Refrigerate until well chilled.
Once chilled, whisk in the crème fraiche and freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. During the last minute of churning, add the strawberry puree to the ice cream maker.
Freeze until the ice cream reaches your desired firmness.
Makes about 1 1/2 quarts.