Delia

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

This is what I'd call half dessert and half ice cream. My niece Hannah and nephew Tom are chief ice-cream tasters in our family and this one gets very high ratings indeed. It differs from most other ice creams in that it needs 2 hours in the main body of the fridge – at 41°F (5°C) – to become soft enough to scoop, so don't forget to allow time for that. It won't taste nearly as good if it hasn't been allowed to soften.


Serves 8-10 – makes 2½ pints (1.5 litres)

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Summer Collection.

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
Ingredients
For the strawberry purée:
 8 oz (225 g) fresh strawberries, hulled
 2 oz (50 g) caster sugar
 2 fl oz (55 ml) hot water
For the crumble mixture:
 2 oz (50 g) sweet oat biscuits
 ½ oz (10 g) chopped toasted hazelnuts
 1 oz (25 g) butter, melted
For the ice cream:
 5 fl oz (150 ml) whipping cream
 4 large egg yolks
 1 rounded teaspoon cornflour
 3 oz (75 g) caster sugar
 1 lb (450 g) medium-fat curd cheese
 5 fl oz (150 ml) Greek yoghurt
 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Equipment
You will also need a shallow baking tray and a 3½ pint (2 litre) polythene freezer box, 8 x 8 x 2½ inches (20 x 20 x 6 cm).

Method

First of all prepare the strawberry purée. Make a sugar syrup by placing 2 oz (50 g) caster sugar and 2 fl oz (55 ml) hot water in a small saucepan. Put it on a gentle heat and allow the sugar to dissolve completely, stirring from time to time – this will take about 5-6 minutes. When there are no sugar granules left, let it come to simmering point and simmer very gently for 5 minutes. Now pile all the strawberries into a food processor, add the syrup and blend to a smooth purée. Then strain the purée through a nylon sieve into a bowl to extract the seeds.

Now, to make the crunchy bits for the ice cream, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C). Crush the biscuits with a rolling pin – not too finely – then place them in a bowl and combine them with the hazelnuts and 1 oz (25 g) melted butter. Mix everything together, spread the mixture out on the shallow baking tray and bake on the top shelf of the oven for exactly 5 minutes: put the timer on and watch carefully, because any more than 5 minutes will be too long. Then remove it from the oven and allow to cool.

Next you need to make the custard base for the ice cream and, to do this, place the cream in a saucepan and heat gently. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks, cornflour and sugar together, then, when the cream reaches simmering point, pour it over the egg yolk mixture (still whisking). Return the whole lot to the saucepan and bring back to a bare simmer, keeping up the whisking until the custard thickens slightly. Pour it into a bowl, cover with clingfilm placed right on the surface of the custard and leave on one side till cold.

After that, place the curd cheese, yoghurt, vanilla extract and lemon juice in a mixing bowl, add the cooled custard and whisk the whole lot together till smooth. Now freeze-churn the mixture in an ice cream maker until thickened, then transfer to the polythene freezer box and quickly fold in the crumble mixture followed by the strawberry purée, which should form ribbons of red through the ice cream. Freeze for 5-6 hours. Or, if you do not have an ice cream maker, pile the custard and cheese mixture into the polythene freezer box and freeze for about 3 hours.

Then whisk again till soft. Re-freeze and repeat the process after 2-3 hours, then fold in the crumble mixture followed by the strawberry purée as described above. Return the ice cream to the freezer box and freeze till needed. Transfer to the main body of the fridge 2 hours before serving.

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