Monday, March 24, 2008
Mike at Mike's Table is hosting "Strawberry Seduction", a blogging event calling for posts about recipe made with fresh strawberries. By some strange coincidence (call it, perhaps, the start of strawberry season), I recently became deeply interested in strawberries myself.
Every day as I drive to work I pass by the Boone Halls Farms fields out on Highway 17, and for weeks I've been watching the strawberry plants and looking for the little speckles of red to appear amid the green leaves. And the berries are now in.
I bought a big basket today and man, oh man, are they delicious. The best thing about freshly picked strawberries is not their sweetness--the winter varieties from Chile have that--but rather the crisp texture and tangy tartness that mixes perfectly with the sugars. And that is the true taste of spring.
The problem with strawberries is that they don't stay good for long, so I had to do something with them. And what I did was make ice cream:
1. Stem and slice about 3 cups worth of strawberries
2. Mix with 1/2 cup of sugar and 4T lemon juice and allow to macerate for at least an hour, until a good red liquid has been produced from the berries
3. Combine a cup and a half of whole milk with a 1/2 cup of sugar and blend with a mixer set to low for a couple of minutes.
4. Strain the strawberries, reserving the juice, and mash half of them with a potato masher.
5. Add the strawberry juice, mashed berries, 2 1/2 cps cream, and 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla to the milk and sugar and stir well.
6. Pour into your ice-cream make and churn as required until thick and creamy, about 20 minutes
7. Add the remaining berries and continue churning another five minutes or so.
The results are breathtaking. This is perhaps my favorite of all the homemade ice-creams I have made. Something about the fresh strawberry flavor and the rich cream just goes perfectly together. Proof positive that Spring has arrived in South Carolina.
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