There are actually no words for how much I love homemade ice cream. Like, it's the most magical experience from boiling the cream to scooping it into the bowl. I love everything about it, and it has completely ruined store-bought ice cream forever. Every year for my birthday (and also, you know, when I feel like I need it), I buy myself a present. For year 24 (which feels like thousands of years ago, by the way), I decided to take the plunge and give myself an ice cream maker. Two days later my lil guy arrived on the doorstep, and we've been happily in love, making ice cream ever since.
Every summer I've managed to take on at least two ice cream projects before the leaves start turning and the fall scarves come out of storage (omg just typing this makes me want to get to fall so badly...), but I've always just found recipes in books or on the internet to try. This summer, I realized that I could just as easily start developing my own recipes for a dairy cream dream. So I started to think about the types of things I enjoy: quirky flavors, varying textures, and a great mouthfeel. Oh, and if i can throw jam (my favorite thing) in the mix, well then, we're doing well. SO, Roasted Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream was born!
Have you ever roasted strawberries in the oven? If not, YOU ARE MISSING OUT, MY FRIEND. My mind is blown; I've been making jam on the stove when I could've just thrown my strawberries in the oven this whole time. Here's the difference between the stove and the oven: in the oven, you can get a nice, consistent, even heat that gets into those strawberries and gives them that warm, slightly smoky flavor that only hot, hot heat can give them. Roasting your strawberries gives them a more concentrated flavor, and warmth and depth of sweetness that you just can't get any other way. I'm telling ya, it's completely changed the way I'm making jam from now on.
My favorite part about this ice cream is the creaminess, which absolutely comes from the cream cheese found in the ice cream base. I was very conscious about how I wanted this ice cream to be presented in the mouth. I wanted the dairy to hit the tongue first, then the sweetness of the jam, then finally the wonderful crunchiness and slight saltiness of the graham cracker found both in the ice cream, and as a sprinkling on top, which cuts through some of the sweetness and balances everything out. Did I eat the majority of this ice cream over the span of a week all by myself? Yes. Mission accomplished.
ROASTED STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE ICE CREAM
What You’ll Need
Roasted Strawberry Jam:
- 4 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 1 cup sugar
- juice of one lime
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
Graham Cracker Topping:
- 12 graham crackers, broken into smaller pieces
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 tsp salt
Ice Cream Base:
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 tsp cornstarch
- 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp light corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 3 tbsp cream cheese, softened
Make the Jam:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Combine sugar and strawberries in a 13 x 9 baking dish. Add vanilla and lime juice, then toss to combine.
Roast berries, stirring every ten minutes until the fruit has completely broken down, and the liquid is thick. (Tip: Do the line test. Place the spoon in the jam, then take it out. Try to make a line right down the center of the juice on the spoon. If a clear line can be defined and none of the other liquid on the spoon runs off, your jam is thickened. KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON YOUR JAM ONCE IT HAS PASSED THE LINE TEST; if left unattended it will go from perfectly roasted to burnt. ) This process can take anywhere from 35-90 minutes depending on your oven. (For me, the sweet spot was 75 minutes).
Once it has cooled slightly, transfer jam to a jar or storage container.
Let jam cool completely in the refrigerator at least two hours or overnight.
Make the Graham Cracker Topping:
Pulse graham crackers, butter, sugar, and salt in a food processor until well combined and very fine. Set aside.
Make the Ice Cream Base:
In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup milk and the corn starch, set aside. Place cream cheese in a medium bowl and set aside.
In a 4 qt saucepan, whisk the remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup, and salt together; bring milk mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
Once your milk mixture is boiling, cook for 4 minutes, then stir in the milk and cornstarch mixture. Return milk mixture to a boil and cook for about two minutes, until the mixture has thickened slightly. Take off the heat.
In the bowl with your cream cheese, pour 1/4 cup of your hot milk mixture that has been strained using a fine mesh sieve, Quickly whisk until smooth. Then, whisk in the remaining hot milk mixture that has also been strained using a fine mesh sieve.
Pour mixture into a gallon plastic bag and seal it. Submerge the bag in a bowl of ice water until chilled; about 10-15 minutes.
Pour mixture into the bowl of an ice cream maker, then process according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Put It All Together
Once your ice cream is ready, gather together your graham cracker topping, and your roasted strawberry jam.
Starting with your ice cream first, layer the ice cream, graham cracker topping, and jam in a storage container (I used a nonreactive metal loaf pan). Add a layer of ice cream first, then spoon in some jam. Place ice cream on top, then sprinkle in some graham cracker, then spoon in more ice cream, etc. Do this until you have run out of ice cream. (Tip: Use discretion; if you want more jam, add more jam. If you want more topping, add more topping. The amount you use is totally up to you!) When ready, cover your storage container with either its lid, or a sheet of plastic wrap then place in the freezer until its is completed frozen; about 3 hours.
Ready to Serve
For an extra depth of texture, sprinkle some of the remaining graham cracker topping over the ice cream, then serve.
DO AHEAD: Jam and graham cracker topping can be made at least a day ahead. Store both in the refrigerator until ready to use.
SOURCE: Ice cream base slightly adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream