We came up with this recipe for a Fourth of July cookout at our friend Michelle’s house. (An incredible historic stone mansion with a famous “100 mile view” overlooking the Mohawk Valley. She presciently purchased it for next to nothing in the 1990’s. Which is why she’s one of the best realtors in the area.)
In late June/early July we’re usually drowning in strawberries, and are always looking for new ways to use them. This ice cream uses a custard base, since it’s not easy to extract cream from goat milk. The result is a smooth, creamy, but somewhat lighter version of ice cream.
We also decided to use honey instead of sugar. Honey can often overpower flavors in a recipe, but fresh strawberries have such a floral scent, especially when cooked, that we thought the honey would blend in nicely. We also used a bit of vinegar in the strawberry sauce to substitute for lemon juice. The acidity brings out more of the sweetness in the berry.
As the custard base is made first, this ice cream could easily be made from nearly any summer fruit.
But remember, there’s a little bit of planning involved. The custard base must be chilled overnight before being churned in your ice cream maker. (We swear by our KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment.) And chances are that your ice cream maker bowl needs to be frozen overnight, too. And then there will be an additional few hours to hard freeze your mixture after churning.
But really. Strawberry Honey Goat Milk Ice Cream! Isn’t a little work and wait worth it?
5 C goat milk
5 egg yolks
1 qt fresh strawberries
1.25 C honey
1 t vanilla, or one vanilla bean
3/4 t vinegar (apple cider or balsamic)
First make the custard ice cream base:
Must be made the day before.
Combine goat milk, 3/4 C of the honey (reserve remaining), and vanilla in medium saucepan. (If using vanilla bean, scrape seeds from pod and add both seeds and pod to milk.) Slowly heat milk to a simmer.
While milk is heating, in separate medium bowl, whisk egg yolks and another 1/4 C of honey. (again reserving final 1/4 C) Whisk until egg yolks and honey are a bright yellow.
Once milk has reached simmer, turn off heat. Allow to cool slightly below simmering. (Remove the vanilla bean if using.) Pour about 3 C in a slow drizzle into egg yolks/honey, whisking as pouring. It’s important to raise the temperature of the egg yolks very slowly. Once incorporated, pour that egg yolk/milk mixture back into the remaining milk in the saucepan, again whisking continually.
Reheat milk, yolk mixture to approx 150 F. No hotter than 160 F. Yolks will curdle at a temperature between 150-170 F. Custard will slightly thicken as it heats.
You may strain the custard mixture for a smoother texture if desired. Put custard mixture in refrigerator overnight.
Strawberry sauce for swirling in:
Also make the day before.
Rinse and hull 1 Q of fresh strawberries. Slice any larger ones in half. Add strawberries, vinegar, and remaining 1/4 C honey to medium saucepan. Over medium low heat, smash strawberries slightly with the back of a wooden spoon juice is released. Cook until strawberries are just soft, but still hold their shape.
Remove strawberry pieces with slotted spoon. Place in bowl. Turn heat up, and reduce strawberry juice, honey, and vinegar mixture by approximately 1/2. (If strawberry pieces are still releasing juice in their bowl, add that to sauce as it’s reducing.)
Return strawberry pieces to reduced sauce, place in refrigerator overnight.
Make custard base in your ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s directions. (Do not add strawberries in at the beginning.) Once custard base it’s finished, keep maching running. Pour in the strawberries and reduced sauce while machine is making it’s final turns. Do not over blend. Try to achieve a swirl effect.
Many people are disappointed that the ice cream coming from their machines is not solid as soon as it’s finished stirring. But the final ice cream mixture should look more like a heavy milkshake. Then it can be packed into a suitable, tightly covered container and placed in freezer to harden.