Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

The weather has been crazy here. It rains all night and in the mornings, then it reaches the 70s in the late afternoon. This has been messing with my baking and cooking moods like crazy. I wake up wanting hot cocoa and scones, and by the evening a salad sounds perfect. Today was another one of these crazy days. I woke up to clouds, some rain, and cool weather. By 10 am I called my neighbor to cancel our walk for the day since cloudy days make me unproductive and lazy. While talking to her, she commented on how it was a baking day, and I realized that was the perfect thing to do. I found a recipe for oatmeal cookies and got to work. The recipe suggested chilling the cookies before baking them, so they're currently sitting in the fridge.

But guess what happened during this chilling period... it got sunny. I'm no longer in the mood for warm, chewy cookies. Instead, I just had a huge bowl of strawberry cheesecake ice cream that I made last week. I had forgotten all about this ice cream since it hasn't really been the weather for it, but now seems like the perfect day to share this with you.

The flavor in the ice cream is all there: fresh strawberries, cream cheese, graham cracker crust. It's a really simple ice cream to make since there's no custard in this recipe and if you don't mind the texture of strawberry seeds, you can skip the step where they get removed. When you take it out of the freezer give it a minute to soften before digging in. Apparently you can make this with fresh or frozen strawberries, but since I went a bit strawberry happy at the farmer's market last week, I used fresh ones.

Adapted from
Prep time: up to 7 minutes

8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar (skip this if using frozen berries in syrup or sugar)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup pureed strawberries
1 cup half and half
1/2 graham cracker pie crust, in chunks

Strain the seeds from the strawberry puree. Blend all the ingredients in a blender or food processor until everything is incorporated and smooth (this can take a few minutes). Chill in fridge for an hour. Set up your ice cream maker and churn ice cream for 30 minutes. In a freezer safe container, alternate layers of ice cream with thin layers of graham cracker crust pieces until everything is used up. Allow to set in freezer, about 3 to 4 hours. If desired, top with extra graham cracker crust pieces, strawberries, cream or any other topping of choice when serving. Pin It Now!

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