VODKA IN ICE CREAM? STRAWBERRY CHOCOLATE CHIP ICE CREAM
Cheers to Strawberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream? I know ice cream is for parties, but what kind of parties? No, really, the reason I ask is because one “secret” trick to making homemade ice cream is using a little vodka in the recipe. It really does make the ice cream ever so smooth and luscious without changing the flavor. There is a one little tiny problem with vodka being added to my recipes though.
Here in the South, “good” church goers don’t drink and and would hate to get caught going into our out of the liquor store by someone in the Sunday School class. If you live in the South, you will understand this predicament. Everyone knows that I use wine in tons of my recipes so I am used to “the look”, but my mother-in-law is still not used to it. (By the way, I do only get the tiny 2 ounce bottles for the sake of not having it in the house for the children’s sake). She is a fantastic cook and uses vodka in her brownies, and icing for cakes, among other things.
My very funny mother-in-law has visited the liquor store, but has stories that would make you fall out of your chair in laughter about her antics to keep from getting caught. She usually waits to get it at the beach where no one knows her. You must know though that my father-in-law is one of the finest Bible teachers in the world.
Vodka is used in tinctures to aid the liver, in extracts and medicines, and even as deodorizers, but that is for another blog. Today, I am focusing on its use in ICE CREAM!
Vodka is perfect for frozen treats such as ice cream. Vodka lowers the freezing point of the ice cream thereby eliminating the formation of large ice crystals. It also bonds to the water and the fat making it capable of extracting flavor compounds. This results in a softer smooth creamy texture that doesn’t get crunchy and that is maxed out with flavor.
Please note that there are no substitutions for vodka. Although vodka adds so much to this recipe, it is fine to leave it out if you don’t have any or don’t want to use it. You will still end up with an awesome ice-cream without the vodka.
You are going to be totally amazed at this ice-cream.Your family is going to beg you to “make some more” as soon as the last bite is eaten.
Strawberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (makes about 3 quarts)
5 cups strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters
In a medium bowl, mix strawberries, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and lemon juice. Mix well and cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for an hour.
In a medium saucepan bring the heavy cream, whipping cream, and whole milk slowly to a simmer. Once the mixture reaches a simmer, remove from the heat.
Whisk egg yolks until they are a light yellow. Add the remaining sugar gradually and mix well. Temper the eggs and sugar by slowly adding in the cream mixture until about 1/3 of the cream mixture has been added. Add the remaining cream mixture and pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat. Stir mixture often until the mixture reaches between 170 to 175 degrees F. or the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Pour the mixture into a bowl and allow to come to room temperature.
While the mixture cools, remove macerated strawberries from the refrigerator. Add half of the strawberries to a food processor and pulse until it forms a juicy consistency. Mash the remaining strawberries with a potato masher or a fork and set aside.
Once the mixture reaches room temperature, stir in the puréed strawberries ( save the remaining strawberries for later), chopped chocolate, vanilla seeds, and vodka, then cover and place into the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours.
Remove mixture from the refrigerator and place in your ice cream machine. Churn for 25 to 30 minutes or as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the remaining strawberries 10 minutes before the end of the churning.