Bi-Rite Creamery's Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

This is a bright, fresh, and impressively fruity ice cream that rises above the strawberry pack. A touch of balsamic vinegar adds sweet complexity and some of the acidity lost by cooking the fruit.

What Worked: Even with lame out of season strawberries, this tasted refreshingly honest. It's berries and cream, pure and simple, with a touch of balsamic kick. I didn't strain my strawberry purée, and I'm glad I didn't—I love the tiny crunchy seeds.

What Didn't: Compared to Bi-Rite's other ice creams, this is definitely firmer and more icy. It's the hazard of using fruit in ice cream, and honestly one I'm okay with, but if you want a transcendentally creamy scoop, this isn't the one for you. Also, the recipe instructions on cooking the strawberries aren't very precise. You have to do it mostly by feel, which means you have to decide for yourself how to balance cooking out the water from the berries against not overcooking them.

Suggested Tweaks: No tips to overcome this problem, sadly. It's the nature of the beast. You'd do best to eat this as soft serve or let it soften on the counter for 10 minutes before scooping.

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