It’s finally here. The time we’ve all been waiting for. Strawberry picking season. For me, it’s the official start of summer and standing amid the rows of green and red brings me infinite joy. The entire experience, from start to finish, is special and memorable. The long drive down dirt country roads to reach the farm, walking in the fresh air and picking the sun warmed berries. It’s mandatory that the warmest strawberries be consumed right then and there. Sheer bliss. They’re so ripe they practically burst in my fingers. Afterwards, traces of pink linger on my fingertips and the scent of sweet berries permeates the car on the drive home.
This year’s strawberry picking was limited in time, so we picked as many berries as we possibly could in less than an hour. These strawberries were destined for jam. However, I held back a small amount for this Crème Fraîche, Roasted Strawberry & Buckwheat Crumble Ice Cream. Crème Fraîche is the French version of American sour cream, but is thicker and less tangy. It has a higher fat content making it luxuriously rich. As a bonus, there are clusters of sweet buckwheat crumble folded into the freshly churned ice cream. The nuttiness from the buckwheat crumble, the vibrance of the roasted strawberries and the tang from the crème fraîche make for a phenomenal flavor. The perfect way to kick off the sunny berry picking season.
Crème Fraîche, Roasted Strawberry & Buckwheat Crumble Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart
Crème Fraîche Ice Cream
4 large egg yolks
5 3/4 oz (160g) sugar
8 oz (240 ml) heavy cream
8 oz (240 ml) whole milk
1/4 tsp kosher salt
8 oz (226g) crème fraîche, cold
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Fill a large bowl with ice water, about half way. In another large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar.
In a medium sized saucepan, combine cream, milk and salt. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Remove cream from heat. Slowly stream the hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking the egg yolks constantly, until all is added (this is called tempering). Pour the hot mixture back into the pot and set over medium heat.
Using a heatproof spatula, stir the mixture constantly until thickened and coats the back of the spatula (at least 160F/71C, but ideally 170F/77C). The mixture should hold a clearly divided path when you run your finger across the back of the spatula. Don’t allow the mixture to boil or scramble at the base.
Strain the ice cream base through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl. Set the bowl into the prepared ice bath and allow it to rest until cool. Stir occasionally to help it cool down. Remove from the ice bath and cover with plastic wrap. Set the base in the refrigerator to chill overnight.
Next day, whisk in the cold crème fraîche and lemon juice to the chilled base. Freeze the ice cream according to the manufacture’s instructions (20-25 minutes). Ice cream should be creamy, thick and voluminous when finished. Meanwhile, place ice cream storage container into the freezer to chill while the ice cream churns.
Once finished churning, quickly scoop one-third of the crème fraîche ice cream onto the bottom of the chilled container. Sprinkle on a layer of chopped roasted strawberries and buckwheat crumble. Add a second layer of ice cream and repeat with strawberries and crumble. Repeat the layering process until container is full. Place on an airtight container lid. Transfer to the freezer until firm, at least 4 hours. Crème Fraîche ice cream will keep well for up to three days. Any leftover roasted strawberries and buckwheat crumble can be used as a topping or stored for later use.
Crème Fraîche Ice Cream Recipe Adapated from Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones.
11 oz (312g) fresh strawberries
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Rinse, pat dry, hull and halve strawberries. In a large bowl, combine strawberries, sugar and vanilla bean. Pour out onto prepared baking sheet and spread into a single layer.
Place baking sheet into oven and roast for 15 minutes until tender and juices are bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, strain strawberries of excess juices and chop into small pieces. Set aside until ready to use.
1 oz (25g) buckwheat flour
1 oz (25g) almond flour
1 oz (25g) sugar
pinch kosher salt
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 250F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, combine flours, sugar and salt. Mix in melted butter and combine until fully incorporated. Using your fingers, create small clumps of dough and place onto prepared baking sheet.
Bake buckwheat crumbles for 20 minutes. Crumbles will still be soft when removed from oven, but will firm up once cooled. Remove baking sheet from oven and allow crumble to cool completely. Any leftover buckwheat crumble may be stored in the freezer, in an airtight container, for up to 1 month.