The goat cheese base for this ice cream is flexible enough for a range of fruits and other flavors. Want to use blueberries instead? This base is lemony enough for them. Prefer brownie chunks with a swirl of dulce de leche? Goat cheese is savory enough to counteract the sweetness. But it's pretty awesome with strawberries, as used here.
The graham cracker crust crumble used here complete the fruit-pie-with-whipped-cream idea, and add a salty, almost caramel tinge to the ice cream that plays quite nicely with the strawberries. It may just be a topping (mixing it into the ice cream will get it soggy), but it comes highly recommended.
It's the nature of strawberry ice cream that your berry chunks will get icy. You can do three things to help this though: cut your strawberries small (I slice them thin), macerate them in plenty of sugar and booze, and serve your ice cream warm enough that they've had a little time to soften. Right out of the freezer is too cold.
- Yield:Serves 8 to 10 (makes 1 quart)
- Active time: 1 hour
- Total time:1 1/2 hours, plus an overnight chill
- For graham cracker crumble
- 12 graham crackers, broken into large chunks
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup raw (turbinado) or brown sugar
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt (to taste)
- For ice cream
- 8 ounces chevre goat cheese
- 1 1/2 cups half and half
- 1/2 cup plus two tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cup thinly sliced strawberries (about 3 cups whole)
- 1 tablespoon maraschino liqueur (or other fruity liquor)
- 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses (or one teaspoon lemon juice)
For graham cracker crumble: Preheat oven to 350°F, with a rack in the middle. In a food processor, combine graham crackers, butter, sugar, and salt. Pulse until graham crackers are ground fine but mixture has not formed a paste. Dump mixture onto an aluminum baking sheet and press into a disc 1/4 inch thick. Bake for 15 minutes, until the edges are dark and crisp. Cool completely before crumbling into large chunks. Store crumble in an airtight container.
For ice cream: In a blender, combine goat cheese, half and half, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Blend until smooth, then transfer to an airtight container to chill overnight.
The next day, churn ice cream according to manufacturer's instructions. While ice cream is churning, combine strawberries, two tablespoons sugar, maraschino, and pomegranate molasses in a bowl. Let macerate for one hour at room temperature. When ice cream is finished churning, return to airtight container and place in freezer to chill for half an hour.
After an hour in bowl, strain strawberries from remaining liquid, reserving for another use. With a very large spoon or spatula, quickly stir strawberries into ice cream. Berries can break into small chunks, but ice cream should not be uniformly pink. Return to freezer for 1/2 to 1 hour. Serve with graham cracker crumble sprinkled on top.