Weekends are such spoilers! On the ones that don’t leave me with too much to-do’s, I love to laze around. And who on earth wouldn’t? After all, we work our rears-off the rest of the weekdays. With the kids on their vacation at Gramma’s for a couple weeks, I have had relaxed “me times” in abundance. I do miss running around my two little buzzing bees, but I am also loving this tiny peaceful break of mine.
The previous week, S and I were at Hoboken’s beautiful Hudson River Waterfront Walkway…sitting on the riverside, chatting and swinging our feet like kids. The place is one of our favorites, and offers the most amazing up-close views of New York cityscape. Sailboats dancing with the gentle waves, the serenity, cool breeze that blew my hair around my face, bustling main streets, busy restaurants and the soft chatter around…I loved and soaked in every bit of the happiness I found there! And then S and I thought about ice creams. Yes, ice creams! What better place to have one? And he and I walked for half a quarter mile, hand-in-hand. Washington Street was were our hunt ended. The street at the heart of Hoboken is quite a fare! It’s the center for all city festivals there is and is a very modern (yet historic) shopping strip. The locality is also home to a busy lively community that needs to commute to Manhattan everyday for work. Into an ice cream parlor and we walked out licking our strawberry ice cream cones. What a treat that was! And one of blessed days that started and ended well. And ended “sweetly”! How I wished for a moment that my edible cone wafer was a “Akshayapatra” (meaning an inexhaustible vessel in Sanskrit) and had a never-ending supply of my strawberry ice cream!
Last weekend was fun too! Close friends, a family of three were over at our’s for tea time tittle-tattle, and a laid-back dinner. The day before, when S and I were discussing a simple menu that we should have, we both thought about strawberry ice creams. What is there not to fall in love with Strawberries? Their appeal is so universal. And the ice creams are as refreshing each time. The freezer does some wonderful magic to these berries in the cream mix, and enhances the flavor many manifolds!
‘M a big fan of homemade ice creams. I know what I am using to make it and can cut out unnecessary chemicals and preservatives. This way, I get to pick-chose the right ingredients and fiddle with endless combinations and variations. It helps me customize the flavors to please my kid’s taste buds. I do not have an ice-cream maker at home, and wasn’t planning to buy one any soon. But I have long done the “mix cream to sweetened condensed milk, whip a bit and freeze for ice cream” recipes. In fact, they turn out great and perfect, even if you’ve used just a few drops of vanilla flavor on it! They have never disappointed us…
I made this classic no-churn and eggless strawberry ice cream for our little get together. Our friends made sure they drove home fast and safe, so they could freeze the extra ice cream I packed them, before it melted! They are S’s favorite too. He insists these ice creams come out better than the store-bought ones and are creamier, denser and full bodied. The homemade purity and the bliss! No joking…this really is yummiest of all strawberry ice creams I’ve had elsewhere. Recipe’s is super easy, takes no skill and uses 3 ingredients only! There really is no way one can go wrong with this one. An all-occasion-hit with kids and grown-ups alike! I do it 2 different ways and have explained both methods here…
In the meantime, you all have a “berry” cool one!! 🙂
You will need⇒
Makes 1 loaf pan full, serves 5-6
- 1 box fresh ripe strawberries (1 lb or 0.5 kg)
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream (16 oz or 480 ml)
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz or 415 ml)
- Red or pink food grade gel colors (I used Wilson’s) — **Optional
- Electric hand held double mixer (if you don’t love an arm muscle fatigue!) or balloon/wire whip
- A Loaf Pan (about 9″ x 4.5″ size)
- Silicone spatula or a large spoon
- Plastic food wrap
METHOD-1 (creamy ice cream with strawberry chunks)⇒
- Slice off the leaves from clean and dry strawberries, and chop them to small pieces.
- In a large mixing bowl, pour the cream and sweetened condensed milk.
- Add a couple drops of red gel color or about 0.5 tsp pink color (since pink is a diluted red!).
- Whip and mix till the mixture gets dense, thick and we get stiff peaks that don’t fall back. [*If using the electric hand mixer, start with the lowest speed and eventually go up to high, to avoid all that spattering!]
- Stop when you see stiff peaks (over mixing can cause the thick consistency to break). Add the strawberry chunks and gently fold them into the ice cream mixture using a silicone spatula.
- Transfer the ice cream mixture into the loaf pan.
- Cut a sheet of the plastic food wrap of sufficient size. Place it on the ice cream mixture surface and gently press down evenly so the wrap clings, and there is almost no trapped air on the ice cream. (It will ensure that the ice cream sets firm without a layer of ice crystals on them!)
- Place the pan inside a freezer and let the ice cream firm for 4-6 hours.
- Keep at room temperature for about 5 minutes before serving, to make the ice cream “tooth friendly”. Scoop and top them with your favorite happy things! Consume in 2-3 days.
METHOD-2 (Strawberry ribbon marble ice cream)⇒
This one is best-loved by the chunky ice cream haters or who are a fan of colors and unblended flavors!
To get this one, you will not have to use any food colors (yay!). Blend or puree the strawberries and reserve. Whip and whisk the cream and sweetened condensed milk in a mixing bowl till stiff peaks form. Pour strawberry puree into the mixing bowl. Using a silicone spatula, minimally fold in the puree into the mixture to get a red and white marble ice cream mix. Pour into the loaf pan, cover with plastic food wrap and freeze. (For the rest of the detailed steps, follow the guidelines from “method-1”) And, I love those gorgeous streaks of strawberry ribbons in the snow white ice cream!!!