We are deep into the intense Texas summer. These are the only couple of months that I wished I was some place else – a long vacation in the mountains sitting on the porch and enjoying the crisp pleasant air. The sun is burning down the garden and the flowers and one has to squint beneath the sunglasses when outdoors.
The desire to eat and cook has disappeared. But we are having enough of coolers, salads, fresh fruits and of course ice cream. Never before have I used a gadget more than I have been using the ice cream maker. Every batch I make lasts through only for a few days.
The fun of making ice cream at home is we can demand and have it – any color, any flavor, any way we want. We made this ice cream back in may when my MIL was still visiting and have done many more after that. The children ask for new flavors every time and we have been through the Chocolate and the Rocky Roads, but we are mostly utilizing the seasonal fruits for the ice cream flavors. Today’s recipe will be the fresh summer berries, mint from my garden and some almonds that I love to use in my recipes.
Strawberry Mint and Almond Ice Cream
- 20-25 large strawberries, fresh or frozen
- 500 ml half and half or heavy/double cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1.25 cups sugar or to taste, or as per taste + 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon vodka (optional – alcohol helps reducing crystal in the ice cream and prevents it from getting rock hard)
- fresh mint to garnish if you wish + more nuts to garnish
Mash and macerate strawberries with all the sugar for about 2 hours or overnight.
Muddle the mint leaves with the 2 tablespoons sugar OR process the mint and the sugar in the food processor till crumbly but no big pieces of leaves are left.
Combine the half and half/cream, milk, macerated strawberries, processed mint, lemon juice and nuts in a bowl and pour it in the ice cream maker; process as per the instruction of the ice cream maker.Add the vodka at the last 5 minutes of processing.
If the ice cream maker makes soft serve ice cream like mine does, freeze the soft serve ice cream in the freezer for a couple of hours.
Without an ice cream maker: Blend everything together in a blender or with a hand blender. Freeze. Every couple of hours, blend the ice cream with a hand blender or scrape with the your arms to break up the crystals. Repeat this process at least 3 times.
Serve garnished with nuts and fresh mint.