I have been making this ice cream all summer. Just this one. No other flavors, no variations, if P will eat homemade ice cream – this is the one. ‘Why fiddle with something tried & tested?’, his response whenever I talk about adding something different or extra.
Before I forget it by the next season, the recipe needs to make an appearance here, we love it and I really want to share it with y’all. One of our favorite night-time snacks is a thick layer of ricotta spread in between graham crackers, topped with fruits at hand & sprinkled with little sugar – yummm. This ice cream is an indulgent extrapolation of that.
I would lie if I say that mom used to make a lot of ice creams growing up. She did make kulfi once or twice in a season. Other than that, we used to walk to the ice cream vendor with dad after dinner. A plain-looking, hand painted colorful wooden ice cream cart was our destination to beat the heat.There were no cheerful cartoons waving at you, no freezers with shiny counter tops, no neon bulbs or bubbly placards.Standing convienently under the street light, our ice cream uncle knew who liked which flavor.We are regulars. By the time I finished my cassata, I had cream & crumbs all over my elbows & face – but whats the fun in eating an ice cream if it’s not messy..right?
Indian ice cream vendors have come a long way since then but I want to remember them that way. Some 20 years down the line, it’s still oddly comforting to think about those eclectic memories.
Slow roasted strawberries bright with fresh lemon juice & zest are just incredible here.I added a pound of chopped berry bits which peek out, bursting in the mouth as you eat. Adding powdered graham crackers gives it the classic cheesecake feeling but I prefer grainy ricotta here over the usual cream cheese.I m not a big fan of adding eggs to ice creams I make at home. I think the whole milk & egg custard thing makes the resulting ice cream quite heavy. Moreover, it increases the steps in the recipe.However, this is just me.
There was a time when I could eat a whole quart of ice cream for dinner.I m much more sensible now (or at least I like to think that way). Now few spoonful are able to satisfy those sugar cravings. Each time I taste it, I am blown away at how this pale pink, dimly sweet, almost perfectly creamy ice cream has been a house favorite all summer. It is precisely what I make when P wants a dessert – an indulgent one.
Printable Recipe (Serves 6-8)
For Roasted Strawberries:-
- 1 lb strawberries
- 1.5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
- 1 -2 tbsp granulated sugar
For Ice Cream :-
- 7 graham cracker sheets (or any digestive biscuits/oreo cookies)
- 20 oz whole milk ricotta (about 2.5 cups), pasteurized
- 1.5 cup heavy cream, pasteurized
- 1 cup whole milk, pasteurized
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (or to taste)
- 1/4 tsp fine salt
- 1 tbsp of vodka (optional, this reduce ice formation while ice cream freezes)
- 1 lb fresh strawberries, cleaned & chopped into bits
Roasting the Strawberries
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Position the oven rack to the middle. I use glass or ceramic baking dish but if using any other kind, line with parchment paper.
Thoroughly wash the strawberries under running stream of water.Dry them between folds of kitchen towel to completely remove any moisture. Cut each berry in half for larger berries or cut into quarters for smaller ones. Layer the cut berries in a single layer in the baking dish. Squirt fresh lemon juice & zest over the berries. Sprinkle the sugar. Roast the berries inside the oven for 25 -40 minutes or until the juices thicken, they become syrupy, but the edges of the berries do not burn. The time will depends on the size of the berries and whether they are at the edge of the pan (faster) or in the middle (slower).Keep an eye.
Remove roasted strawberries and juices & let cool to room temperature. Using a fork gently mash the berries. Save about 1/2 cup of these roasted berries to serve later with the ice cream (if you desire, else use the whole). If you want to make ice cream later, these roasted berries can sit in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Making the Ice Cream
Put the graham cracker sheets in a ziplock bag & pound using a rolling-pin crush into fine bits. Set aside.
In a large bowl, lightly whisk together ricotta cheese and heavy cream until smooth. Add the milk, sugar, salt & vodka (if using). Stir to combine. Fold in the roasted berries (prepared above) along with crushed graham crackers. Pour the ricotta mixture into an ice cream maker and churn/freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. Add the chopped strawberries 8-10 minutes before the end of freezing.
Alternatively you can pour the mixture into a glass/metal dish, stir in the chopped berries and freeze. You will need to stir the mix every 2 hours to slow for a creamy ice cream. Let freeze overnight or for at least 6 hours.
Using an ice cream scoop, places scoops of ice cream in the serving bowls, top up with fresh grated lemon zest, nuts,or reserved roasted berries.Serve immediately.
- Summer strawberries are quite sweet, so I added sugar accordingly. This recipe makes a faintly sweet ice cream. If your berries are tart or you prefer sweeter ice creams, increase the sugar quantity.
- This recipe can be used for any kind of berries or stone fruits.
- You can add few teaspoons of balsamic vinegar or maple sugar while roasting the strawberries for added flavors.