Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Roasted Strawberries

To say that I love ice cream would be an understatement; if I could eat ice cream every night, without the calorie consequences I totally would. There have been many a night when Mike has graciously ventured out to get me ice cream to cure a craving. What a guy…although, I’m sure it’s not completely selfless; if I’ve got a bowl of ice cream in my hands, it means I’m not rattling away about how nice it would be if we had ice cream in the house. I supposed it’s a bit of a perk for him too. Either way, I still get ice cream out of the deal, so who cares, right?    

I like making ice cream, almost as much as I like eating ice cream. I’ve been loving Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home.  Every time I open the pages, there’s something new that I want to try. Luckily the rational side of me has kept me from cooking my way through the entire book, but I am slowly working my way through the recipes I really want to try.

This recipe does not disappoint! It’s rich and creamy, like a cheese cake loaded with sweet strawberries.

Jeni’s Goat Cheese ice cream recipe actually calls for cherries, but I thought strawberries would work just as nice. I roasted them to really concentrate the flavor and keep them from getting the nasty crunchy ice-crystaly effect. I just caught the end of strawberry season in New York, which was perfect, because the berries were so sweet, but a little past their peak, which made them excellent candidates for roasting.


Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Roasted Strawberries

Ice Cream – Adapted, just slightly from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home
Strawberries adapted from Super Natural Every Day on Leite’s Culinaria
If you’re not a fan of goat cheese, you can easily swap cream cheese in its place. The strawberries can be made several days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.  
Ice Cream:
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) fresh goat cheese
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
Roasted Strawberries:
16 ounces small to medium strawberries, hulled
4 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
A few drops balsamic vinegar
For the Ice Cream

Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. In a medium glass or metal bowl, whisk goat cheese, cream cheese, and salt to a smooth, even consistency. This took a little while, and some vigorous whisking, but the mixture does become very even. Set aside.

Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan. Bring mixture to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the milk/cornstarch slurry. Return pan to heat, and bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the bowl with the goat cheese/cream cheese until smooth. Pour the ice cream base into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag, seal and submerge bag in an ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.

Pour the ice cream base into ice cream maker and spin until thick and creamy. The ice cream should start to pull away from the freezing bowl, and be at a point where the ice cream really isn’t freezing anymore; it took my maker about 25 to 30 minutes. Pack the ice cream into a storage container, alternating layers of the strawberries with ice cream and ending with a spoonful of strawberries on top; do not mix. Press a sheet of parchment paper directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.


For the Roasted Strawberries

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet or large baking dish by lining with parchment paper.

Cut each berry in half or for larger berries cut into quarters or sixths. In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, olive oil, and salt. Add the berries and toss very gently to coat. Dump berries onto prepared backing sheet or pan, and arrange the in a single layer. Roast until the juices thicken, and become syrupy, but not burnt; 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the berry and size. Strawberries at the edges of the pan will roast faster; mix halfway through baking for a more even roast.

Remove roasted strawberries and juices, while still warm, to a bowl or container. Stir in a few drops of balsamic vinegar to taste. Let cool and then refrigerate for up to several days before using. Let berries sit out for 20 minutes before layering into ice cream.

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