You may have noticed I am on a bit of a strawberry kick recently (see no-bake strawberry swirl cheesecake bars, strawberry shortcakes with balsamic chocolate glaze, strawberry & cream margaritas, and strawberry curd). Well, the strawberry love continues. This is partly because I still have a jar of strawberry curd in my fridge, and am tempted to add it to just about anything. However, if you don't feel like making strawberry curd (but really, why wouldn't you? twenty minutes and your strawberries will last for weeks in the fridge in a delicious, spreadable form) you can still make this ice cream. Just omit the strawberry curd for single strawberry ice cream, or replace it with an equal amount of fresh strawberry puree.
This ice cream is rich and creamy thanks to the vanilla bean, strawberry curd, and custard base. You have to try it! It's also a wonderfully pastel shade of pink, my favorite color.
Ingredients (makes 1 1/2 quarts, adapted from Martha Stewart):
8 egg yolks (save the whites for breakfast or meringues)
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 cups milk (I used 2%, but Martha calls for skim)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 vanilla bean
1 pound strawberries, hulled and finely chopped
2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup strawberry curd or fresh strawberry puree
In a saucepan (off the heat for now), combine the egg yolks, 2/3 cup of sugar, and salt. Gradually whisk in the milk. Scrape the seeds of half a vanilla bean into the mix, and throw the bean in, too.
Heat the mixture over medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until thickened, about 10-15 minutes.
Prepare a bowl set oven an ice bath (a larger bowl filled with ice or ice water). Place a fine-meshed sieve on top. Pour the thickened custard through the sieve, discarding the vanilla bean. Stir in the cream and strawberry curd. Let the mixture chill, stirring occasionally. When the mixture is cold, I recommend you refrigerate it overnight to make sure it's REALLY chilled.
Mix the chopped strawberries with 2 tablespoons of sugar and set aside.
When the custard mixture is completely chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker. A few minutes before the ice cream is ready, add in the strawberries.
Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.
You can also sandwich some of this between two honey vanilla cookies for the world's best ice cream sandwich!