This is the third and last recipe using my backyard harvest of last week; after a healthy veggie omelette and a refreshing and colourful beverage, I had a few strawberries left (photo below, left). I thought a dessert to nourish my inner child was in order, since summer will officially start this Friday June 21 (in the Northern hemisphere) and the weather is finally turning warm. I had to gather more strawberries for a couple of days to collect enough for a batch of ice cream since, as I had explained, the local wild fauna has been eating most of them; however, the strawberries are becoming brighter and more flavourful as the season progresses (photo below, right):
I recently scored a vintage manual Donvier™ ice cream maker at my church’s yard sale; it did not have instructions, but the previous owner showed me how to use it (thanks, Cora!) She also said it was easy, and the ice cream was ready in about twenty minutes. Now, I always assumed you had to crank the handle continuously, but the best part is that you only have to turn it clockwise 3 times, every 2-3 minutes; that is only about 30 turns total! I also watched an old video with Martha Stewart, where she demonstrates the manual Donvier™ and an electric ice cream maker; she mentions that the manual is faster than the electric, and gently admonishes those who “turn the handle too much, because it actually slows the process.” Finally, I found the manual on line, which is short but very well written, and includes a few recipes. For this post, I adapted their blueberry ice cream recipe; it is simple and has only four ingredients, just what I wanted, to highlight my freshly picked strawberries.
Old-Fashioned Strawberry Ice Cream
Ingredients (for one batch, about 4 cups of ice cream)
2 cups strawberries
1 cup milk
1 cup whipping cream
¾ cup granulated sugar
Note: The secret to succeed with this manual ice cream maker is to completely freeze the metal insert, which has an enclosure with low temperature freezing fluid. This insert must be clean and perfectly dry before placing in the freezer for several hours, or even days. The berries, cream and milk should be in the fridge until the metal insert is ready.
Wash and dry strawberries; remove hulls and slice in half; keep refrigerated until prep time. Place in a blender jar with the rest of the ingredients (photo below, left); process until smooth (photo below, right):
Remove metal insert from the freezer (handle with dry hands and a dry towel):
The plastic ring has a groove (photo below, left); push the ring down in place, groove facing down, guiding it around the rim of the metal insert, then place inside the plastic bucket, aligning the arrows marked on the ring and the bucket. Prop the paddle at the centre, then pour ice cream mix in (photo below, right):
Place the lid on, aligning marker with the arrow on the ring, then slightly turn to lock (photo below, left); attach the handle to the paddle, and it is ready to go (photo below, right):
Hold the bucket and lid with one hand, pressing down with the thumb, while turning the handle on the top 3 times, clockwise, with the other hand:
Let rest for 2-3 minutes, then turn 3 times again, always clockwise. Repeat after another 2-3 minutes, and continue for a total of 15-20 minutes until the ice cream is thick. The photos below show the mix after 3 minutes (left), and 9 minutes (right):
Then after 15 minutes (photo below, left) and finally, after 18 minutes (photo below, right), my ice cream was ready:
The ice cream is soft right out of the machine; the manual recommends letting the ice cream rest in the machine with the lid on for up to 30 minutes for firmer consistency, or transfer to a container and keep in the freezer until needed. I was not going to need it immediately, so I scooped half into popsicle moulds (photo below, left) and the other half into a container with lid (photo below, right):
I placed a handwritten label on the container, so it looked even more old-fashioned (photo at the top of the post). After two hours in the freezer, I removed a popsicle from the mould by letting it thaw for a minute or so, and gently wriggling the stick back and forth:
It reminded me so much of some very old-fashioned ice cream bars my siblings and I used to buy growing up in Mexico City; they sold them at our neighbourhood park, out of metal moulds kept in a wooden bucket filled with ice.
The scooped ice cream was really good, too, and decadent looking:
It is possible to make this ice cream without an ice cream maker. Storing a small metal pot in the freezer, placing it back with the mix in it, and bringing it out to stir with a wooden spatula every now and then (always handling with dry hands and a dry towel), should work similarly as my manual machine, although I imagine the times in the freezer between stirs would be somewhat longer than three minutes, and the smooth texture from the machine might be harder to achieve.