fresh strawberries in vanilla custard ice cream

Ya can't beat homemade

This is an old, southern way of making ice cream and it is so darn scrumptious, we have to pace ourselves from eating it all up at one sitting. It really is that fine.

To me, there is nothing better than a custard base for ice cream, one that is heavy on egg yolks and heavy cream. One churned the old fashion way with chipped ice and rock salt in an old wooden barrel type ice cream maker. Of course, the model I use is equipped with an electric motor which saves my arm for better things like lifting the spoon to my mouth.

The only improvement I would suggest is using vanilla beans in this recipe; I just didn’t have any on hand so I’m giving you the recipe using extract. The vodka is an added addition as with it, the cream doesn't freeze rock hard.  Enjoy!

Strawberry Custard Ice Cream
about 8 servings

1 1/2 pounds fresh strawberries
1/3 cup plus 3/4 cup superfine sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
juice from 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon
2 large whole eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon strawberry vodka

In a medium bowl, combine the hulled strawberries with 1/3 cup of sugar, salt and the lemon juice. Stir to coat, cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the 3/4 cup of sugar followed with mixing in the vanilla. Set aside.

Place the milk in the top of a double boiler and over barely simmering water or in a medium saucepan over low heat. I like to use a double boiler when making custards so I do not have to labor or be as attentive as with using a saucepan. Either way will work, just be sure to not let the milk come to a boil. Heat the milk to just under a simmer, bubbles will appear around the outer edges.

Carefully whisk about 1/4 cup of the hot milk into the the bowl of egg mixture whisking all while. Slowly stream the egg mixture into the double boiler (or saucepan) stirring constantly. Cook whisking the custard until the consistency is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Scrape the custard into a large mixing bowl and stir in the heavy cream. Allow to cool for a brief time and refrigerate covered for about 4 hours or until well chilled.

Place the custard into the ice cream canister and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. When the cream is about to set, which should be about the consistency of whipped cream, add the strawberry mixture along with the vodka. Continue until the ice cream is set.

Transfer the ice cream to a sealed container and place in the freezer for about 3 hours to harden.


  1. Wow that looks awesome so creamy. I am so getting into making ice creams and sorbets posting one on Sunday but this is yummy!

  2. I couldn't agree more, custard ice creams are wonderful. Don't think I've ever made strawberry. Pinned!

  3. Just the ticket for these awfully hot days, Drick. I like that you added vodka!

  4. I love a good custard based ice cream and your strawberry custard looks delicious! The vodka was a nice touch, to help keep it from getting too hard!

  5. My favorite ice cream of all time! This looks wonderful, seriously!

  6. Well Drick, I truly think that you've just posted the best ice cream recipe around! I love the base of this recipe and think that I'll use it for my next round of peach ice cream! We'd like the Lebovitz version to be heavier on the cream, and I bet the eggs make a big difference too. Hey, how about that strawberry vodka? WOW!

  7. Delicious and perfect for these HOT summer days!

  8. This is the way my mother made ice cream and it just can't be beat. It's just the richest, creamiest ice cream there is. I think I'll make up a batch...just because!

  9. There is nothing like a custard ice cream. That rich taste and creamy texture is the best. Yours looks super!

  10. My grandpa made ice cream this way, hand crank and all. I fondly remember many Sundays spent watching him add in whatever he had--strawberries, peaches, figs, Pop Rouge soda (!). No vodka, though! I could drown myself in a bowl of this. Thank you for linking and for the memories.

  11. I LOVE homemade ice cream! This looks so pretty :) I saw your photo on "In the Gumbo" and had to visit and get the recipe. Thanks for sharing it.

  12. With the Texas heat I could use a BIG nowl of this creamy ice cream, YUM!!


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