Summer berries are here! Well, mostly. I’m patiently waiting for the three giant mulberry trees in my backyard to produce ripened fruit, but I’m pigging out on strawberries for now. One of my favorite things to make with strawberries is ice cream. I’ve always done classic-but-delicious traditional strawberry in the past, but this time I decided to throw some graham cracker crumbs and rainbow sprinkles in for a Pop-Tart effect.
Making ice cream is one of my favorite childhood memories. My parents and I inherited this super old ice cream maker. It luckily wasn’t a crank-only machine, it was electric. But it was probably the first electric ice cream maker ever made. Regardless, it was so much fun. My mom and I would make the ice cream mixture and pour it into the canister. Then my dad would fill up the wooden barrel with ice and rock salt and start it up. We had to leave the machine on the back porch because it was so loud. It seriously sounded like a freight train, not a frozen delight maker. After it was churned, Dad would pull out the paddle, and him and I would stand over the sink licking the remnants. Then the ice cream would go into the freezer to firm up until we could have it for dessert later. And it was the best ice cream e-v-e-r. Over the years, we’ve upgraded to newer, more efficient ice cream makers. My parents and I actually each have the same Cuisinart machine. There may not be the thrill of accidentally getting a stray piece of rock salt in your ice cream, but it certainly is easier, quieter, and cleaner.
Now, can we talk about the fickle nature of food photography for a minute? I was already incredibly nervous about these photos, because it was my first time ever photographing of ice cream. I was fearing that the ice cream would melt into puddles before I even got a good photo. Well you know what? The real problem turned out to be crazy fast-moving clouds outside. As soon as I could get my camera white-balanced and all the settings worked out, either a cloud would go over the sun, or the sun would come back out. Seriously, ever 10 seconds. In the midst of changing all of my camera settings again…and again…and again….well then, the ice cream did start to melt. And then things got sticky. And then I gave up and just ate the ice cream for lunch.
Strawberry Pop-Tart Ice Cream
- 3-1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
- 1-1/4 cups whole milk
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1-1/2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles
- In a medium bowl, stir together strawberries, lime juice, and 1/2 cup sugar. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours. Transfer mixture to food processor or blender; puree until smooth.
- Place milk and remaining 1 cup sugar in mixing bowl; mix on medium-low speed 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Add heavy cream, vanilla and pureed strawberries; mix on low 1 minute or until well combined. Pour mixture into your ice cream machine and freeze according to instructions for your machine (mine took about 25 minutes).
- Meanwhile, in small bowl, melt butter in microwave. Add graham cracker crumbs and stir until crumbs become clumpy and lumpy (this is a good thing!).
- When ice cream has finished churning (mixture will be soft), begin dividing ice cream between two 1-quart plastic containers. Add one scoop of ice cream to each container, then sprinkle with some graham cracker crumbs and sprinkles. Repeat layers 5 times. Transfer ice cream to freezer to harden completely (at least 4 hours).