I think some of the best presents are the ones that you didn’t even know you wanted. Sure, telling someone what you want, and getting just that is always fun. But really, the perfect gift is the one that totally takes you by surprise. Something you’d never to think to ask for and probably never buy for yourself.
Enter my ice cream maker.
My birthday is still a few weeks away, but my parents gave this to me this past weekend and I literally squealed with delight when I realized what it was. I’ve never asked for an ice cream maker, in fact, I’m not even sure it has ever registered in my mind that I even wanted one. But as soon as I tore off the paper, it was love at first sight. I love her so much she has been named. Freezy Cuiszy.
I didn’t even take time to take off my sunglasses after I walked in the door before I tore open the box and put Freezy Cuiszy’s (FC for short) bucket in the freezer. Afterall, I had a massive amount of strawberries that were burning a hole in my pocket. They were pretty much begging me to make them into ice cream. Can’t you hear them begging?
I’m not one to disappoint a berry.
As FC got nice a chilly in the freezer, my ideas for modifications to the plain ole strawberry ice cream spiraled out of control. I won’t share the frightening path my brain went down, but I will tell you at some point I was thinking strawberry chocolate pretzel chunk ice cream sounded pretty impressive (I promise I’m not pregnant). But instead of going all wild and crazy on the inaugural spin of FC, I decided to go for a modern classic—strawberry cheesecake. We’ll save pretzel chunks for another day.
I did pretty limited ice cream-making research prior to digging in, but I did see that there are a bunch of different varieties and styles of making ice cream. I’m sure I’ll tackle them all at some point, but for my first go ’round I wanted it to be simply a quick recipe so I could get the hang of the process. So this recipe has mostly fridge and pantry staples and requires no cooking before it goes into the ice cream machine.
The end result is a creamy, thick ice cream that is packed full of fresh berry flavor and has a nice tangy undertone from the cream cheese. Basically it is everything ice cream should be. And my favorite part? All the ingredients are totally recognizable and readily available.
Seriously, you want an ice cream maker. Go put it on your birthday list.
Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
Adapted from Heartland Renaissance
Makes about 1 quart
- 3 cups of washed, hulled and halved strawberries
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 cup honey
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon vodka (optional, helps keep ice cream from becoming hard)
- Place all ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth and well-mixed.
- Chill mixture for 2-3 hours or until cold (preferably overnight).
- Follow manufacturer’s recommendations on your ice cream machine to process. Mine took 20 minutes. Your ice cream will be the consistency of a thick milkshake when it comes out of the machine.
- Place in a freezer-safe container and freeze for 2-3 hours until desired thickness.
Want a rockin’ serving suggestion? Grab a brownie from your local brownie pan (other people always have a pan of brownies in their kitchen, right?), warm the brownie in the microwave and the place a scoop of strawberry cheesecake ice cream on top. Finish it off with a few slices of fresh strawberries on top. To. Die. For.