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Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Recipe & Video

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The popularity of Strawberry Ice Cream has not waned since Americans first enjoyed it in the 18th Century. In fact, the first ice creams eaten in America were made with fresh strawberries and milk. This Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream is a decadent strawberry ice cream. It has a wonderfully creamy smooth texture and combines fresh and freeze dried strawberries with the delicious flavor of cheesecake. 

To make this ice cream, we start with a custard base, only with the addition of cream cheese. To make the custard the cream cheese is combined with egg yolks and sugar and then hot cream is whisked in. This mixture is then cooked over a saucepan of simmering water until it coats the back of a wooden spoon. Once made, a wonderfully thick homemade strawberry sauce is added, along with crushed freeze dried strawberries. I just love the concentrated flavor of freeze dried Strawberries and how they color the custard a pretty pink. There are many brands of freeze dried strawberries on the market and you should be able to find them in most grocery stores or on line.

Once the custard is made it needs to be chilled. I like to chill the custard overnight before churning, so it becomes really cold which allows it to freeze before the churn gets too warm. The custard should only fill your ice cream machine about half to two thirds full. This is so the custard has enough room to expand while it freezes so you end up with an ice cream with a light and smooth texture. After churning, transfer the ice cream to a chilled storage container and place it in the freezer for a few hours before serving. 

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Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream: In a saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring the half-and-half to the scalding point (the cream just begins to foam up). 

Meanwhile, in a stainless steel (heatproof) bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and egg yolks and whisk until light and fluffy. (You can do this with a wire whisk or a hand mixer.) Gradually pour the scalding half-and-half cream into the whipped egg yolk mixture, making sure you keep whisking constantly so the eggs do not curdle. If any lumps do form, strain the mixture.

Next, place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, cook until the custard thickens enough that it coats the back of a spoon (170 degrees F) (77 degrees C). (The term 'coat a spoon' is a technique used mainly as a way to test when an egg-based custard is done. A spoon, usually wooden, is placed in the custard and, when the spoon is raised, the film of custard on the back of the spoon will stay in place even when you draw a line with your finger through the middle of the custard.)

Immediately remove the custard from the heat and continue to stir the custard for a few minutes so it does not overcook. Stir in the vanilla extract, strawberry sauce, and freeze dried strawberries (see below). Cover and let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate the custard until it is completely cold (several hours but preferably overnight). 

Strawberry Sauce: In a saucepan, combine the strawberries and sugar. Cook, over medium heat, until the strawberries are soft and the juices are thick and syrupy (about 8 to 10 minutes). Stir in the crushed freeze dried Strawberries.

Transfer the cold custard to the chilled container of your ice cream machine and process according to the manufacturer's instructions. Once made, transfer the ice cream to a chilled container. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the ice cream and store in the freezer. If the ice cream becomes too hard, place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until soft before serving.

Makes about 3 cups. Preparation time 40 minutes.

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Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Recipe:

2 cups (480 ml/grams) half-and-half cream (can also use 1 cup (240 ml/grams) each of whole milk and light cream)

4 ounces (115 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature

2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated white sugar

3 large egg yolks (52 grams)

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract

Strawberry sauce (see recipe below)

2 tablespoons (8 grams) crushed freeze dried Strawberries (optional)

Strawberry Sauce:

1/2 pound (225 grams) fresh strawberries, diced

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

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