Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream is unique and absolutely delicious paired with strawberry sauce and toasted almonds. I cook the strawberries and balsamic syrup together to concentrate and intensify their flavor.
Strawberries- I use fresh strawberries for this recipe, but frozen, defrosted strawberries would work too. If you’re using frozen strawberries, you may need to cook down the juices for a longer period of time to thicken them.
Balsamic vinegar- I wouldn’t use anything fancy for this recipe. Any standard balsamic will due. We’re not looking to use aged balsamic or balsamic syrup here.
Almonds- The slivered almond topping is completely optional! You could leave this out or substitute with your favorite roasted, salted nuts straight from the container.
Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream Steps
The first step involves cooking the strawberries with balsamic syrup and sugar (1-2). Once the strawberries are softened sufficiently, I use a slotted spoon to remove them from the pan and crank up the heat to further reduce the juices (3). Then I blend a portion of the strawberries (4) and keep the rest whole.
Next, prepare the ice cream base. Heat the cream over the stove to simmering (5). Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until they’re pale yellow, thick and creamy (6). Then temper the eggs by pouring in a ladle of the hot cream mixture, while constantly whisking (7). Add the tempered eggs to the pot, while whisking. Continue whisking or stirring mixture over medium heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (8-9).
When the custard is thickened, immediately strain it through a sieve into a large bowl (9) . Stir in some of the whole and pureed strawberries, making sure to reserve some strawberries for the sauce (10). Allow the mixture to chill in the fridge at least 4 hours or overnight.
When the custard is chilled, pour it into your ice cream base and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions (11).
The last step is totally optional. Add slivered almonds to a pan and turn the heat to medium. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes or until some of the almonds start to turn golden brown. Add butter and toss to melt and combine evenly. Continue to toast nuts another 2-3 minutes or until some nuts are golden brown and others are a deeper brown (12). Transfer to a bowl and season with flakey salt.
Recipe Tips and FAQs
- If you accidentally over-reduce the strawberry sauce, add water 1 teaspoon at a time to thin it to your desired consistency.
- Adjust the flavorings to the recipe as you see fit. If you have extremely sweet strawberries, try cutting back on the sugar by a couple tablespoons. On the other hand, if the fruit isn’t sweet enough for your liking, add a few tablespoons of extra sugar to the strawberry sauce a heat it over the stove until dissolved.
- After cooking the strawberries and balsamic vinegar together, I like to add a little extra balsamic at the end for acidity. Taste your mixture first and don’t add extra balsamic unless you think you will enjoy it. Add 1 teaspoon at a time and keep tasting to be sure you’re not adding too much.
- For an amazing regular strawberry ice cream, simply leave out the balsamic vinegar.
Cooking the strawberries before adding them to the ice cream base helps reduce the water content and makes them a better texture when frozen.
You can use frozen fruit instead of fresh fruit when making homemade ice cream. I usually prefer to cook fruit before adding it to an ice cream base to help reduce the water content and concentrate the flavors.
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Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream is unique and absolutely delicious paired with strawberry sauce and toasted almonds.
- 2 quarts strawberries, hulled and quartered*
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ balsamic vinegar, plus more to taste
- Pinch salt
Ice cream base:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ¼ tsp kosher salt (⅛ tsp fine salt)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Almond topping (optional):
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- 2 tsp butter
- Flakey salt (or salt of choice), to taste
- Cook the strawberries. Place strawberries, sugar, balsamic and salt in a large, wide pan. Turn heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until strawberries soften and juices thicken to the consistency of maple syrup, about15-20 minutes. To better preserve the texture of the strawberries, remove them from the pan using a slotted spoon after 10-15 minutes. Then continue to reduce the strawberry juices until thick and syrupy. Remove from pan and stir together juice and strawberries.
- Puree strawberries. Depending on what you prefer, either puree all of the strawberries or keep some whole. I like to separate one cup of strawberries sauce to keep unblended. Blend the remaining sauce in a food processer or blender. Reserve ½ to ¾ cup of pureed strawberry sauce for topping. Store the topping in the fridge until ready to use.
- Make ice cream base. Place a sieve over a large bowl and set aside. Place cream and salt in a medium sized pot and bring to a simmer.
- Mix eggs and sugar. While the cream heats up, whisk together the eggs and sugar until thick, pale and creamy. This is ribbon stage. You should be able to draw a figure ‘8’ pattern in the bowl before it dissolves.
- Temper eggs and cook base. Slowly pour in one ladle of the cream into the egg mixture, while whisking. Gradually pour the tempered eggs into the pot with the cream, while whisking. Constantly whisk over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes, or until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Sieve and cool. Immediately pour ice cream base through sieve into the bowl. Stir in reserved, cooked strawberries. Stir in vanilla. Taste and add 2-3 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar to intensify the flavor, if desired. Place bowl on top of a wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Cover and chill in the fridge at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Freeze. Freeze custard in ice cream machine, according to manufacturer’s instructions. Eat immediately (the ice cream will be very soft) or allow to set up another 1-3 hours in the freezer.
- Cook almonds. Add almonds to a sauté pan and turn heat to medium. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, or until almonds start to sizzle and turn a pale, golden color. Add butter to the pan. Melt and toss to combine. Cook another 2-3 minutes or until some nuts are golden brown and some are a deeper brown. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle over flakey salt.
- Serve. Scoop ice cream into serving dishes. Spoon over reserved strawberry sauce and sprinkle over toasted nuts. Enjoy.
You can substitute with frozen, defrosted strawberries. There’s no need to strain the juice. Just make sure to cook longer, if needed to thicken the juices.
Store the strawberry sauce for at least 5-7 days in the fridge.
After the almonds cool, store them in an airtight container such as tuberware or a jar, for 2-3 days at room temperature.
The ice cream will stay fresh in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2-4 months.
If eating ice cream after it’s frozen solid, leave container on the counter for 10-15 minutes before scooping.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: ice cream
- Method: saute, simmer
- Cuisine: American, Italian
- Serving Size: ½ cup ice cream with toppings
- Calories: 390
- Sugar: 39g
- Sodium: 115mg
- Fat: 22g
- Saturated Fat: 10g
- Unsaturated Fat: 12g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 46g
- Fiber: 5g
- Protein: 6g
- Cholesterol: 147mg
Keywords: strawberry balsamic ice cream, strawberry ice cream