I love weird ice cream flavors. There is something about taking a food as traditional and classic as a scoop of ice cream and flipping it on its head with some crazy out-there flavors that makes me so incredibly happy.
Back when I was working in at my old office, there was an awesome ice cream place right across the street. They had all the traditional flavors, of course, but everyday, they had a sandwich board out on the sidewalk advertising all their strange flavors. Chocolate basil. Green tea. Sweet corn. Curry coconut. It’s where I got the inspiration for some of my other strange ice cream flavors on here (like this Sweet Corn and Three Berry ice cream). Honestly, there aren’t a lot of things I miss about working in an office, but office-wide afternoon trips to get a cone of ice cream is one of them.
But the benefits of working from home? I can just make my own weird ice cream anytime I want. Fun!
The inspiration for this ice cream actually comes from a salad. Go figure.
One of our favorite salads around here is a mixture of spinach, feta and strawberries (we love it so much, we even make salads-in-a-jar out of it). The combo of creamy, salty feta and sweet, tangy strawberries is such an interesting and yummy pairing, that I thought it might just make a rockin’ ice cream. And, dude, I was right. This stuff is insane.
The inspiration for this may come from a salad, but, nutritionally, it’s a long was from a salad. At 321 calories per 1/2 cup serving, this is definitely an every-once-in-a-while kind of treat. If you want to play around with the ingredients (try yogurt, use skim milk, leave out the cream, etc.) and try to get it a bit lighter, go for it. But I’m of the belief that sometimes you just gotta eat some full-fat, rockin’ ice cream. And there is nothing healthier than sitting on the front porch with my awesome husband enjoying some delicious homemade ice cream—full fat and all.
And it’s totally worth the extra calories, because man, this may be the most delicious ice cream I’ve ever eaten. I know it sounds so weird, but when it’s all swirled together, it’s got a perfect balance of salty and sweet. It’s got almost the same flavor balance of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You know how a PB&J is just completely amazing because you’ve got both the heavy, creamy, salty flavor of the peanut butter and the tangy sweetness of the jelly? Same idea here. Only amazinger.
I obviously went with strawberries because of our recent strawberry windfall, but I think this feta base would be amazing with all kinds of other fruity swirls. Our blackberry and blueberry bushes are getting close to harvest, and I think both of those would make for an incredible pairing with the feta. A pineapple swirl would be off-the-charts good (especially if you like the cottage cheese/pineapple combo). I could even see the feta base being swirled with some caramel and dark chocolate. Yum!
Happy Monday, friends. I hope you have an awesome week full of delicious ice cream. Enjoy!
Feta and Strawberry Swirl Ice Cream
Prep Time: 4 hours | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Makes: About 1 quart
- 12 ounces ripe strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1/2 cup sugar
Feta Ice Cream
- 1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch
- 1-1/2 cups whole milk, divided
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1-3/4 cups half-and-half
- 2/3 cups sugar
- 4 ounces feta
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the strawberries and sugar. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until thick and syrupy—about 8 minutes. Pour into an airtight container and let cool in the fridge.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and about 2 tablespoons of the milk until the cornstarch is dissolved. Set aside.
- Combine the remaining milk, half and half and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat until frothy—about 10 minutes. Whisk in the cornstarch/milk mixture. Heat mixture until bubbly and thick—about 5 more minutes.
- Remove milk mixture from heat, whisk in the cream cheese and feta. If you prefer a smoother ice cream, use an immersion blender in the mixture until the feta is dissolved. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and let cool completely in the fridge—about four hours.
- Process the feta ice cream base in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions, until the texture of soft ice cream. Alternate layers of the feta base in a container with the strawberry swirl. Do not stir (the swirl mixes in just fine with scooping). Freeze until solid.
Serving Size: 1/2 cup | Servings Per Recipe: About 8