Strawberry Ice Cream

This strawberry ice cream recipe, made with eggs, cream, sugar, and fresh strawberries, churns out an easy, creamy, homemade creation. And it’s better than all the store-bought brands of strawberry ice cream you’ve ever tasted thanks to its perfect balance of fruit and cream and modest amount of sugar. Here’s how to make it.

A little girl scooping strawberry ice cream into bowls.

Strawberries are my favorite. And ice cream is my favorite too. Now you know two more things about me. This recipe is originally from Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food.Alana Chernila

*Do I need to add alcohol to my ice cream?

It depends. Do you like chunky, ice-crystal filled dairy products? Then no. However, if like us, you prefer smooth, creamy, and nearly professional dairy products, then the answer is yes. Homemade ice cream is harder to process than the industrial stuff—less air, longer freezing time, and fewer ingredients. Alcohol, even a teaspoon or two, will help to lower the freezing point and help to avoid all those ice crystals.

Three bowls of strawberry ice cream.


Strawberry Ice Cream

  • Quick Glance
  • (5)
  • 30 M
  • 1 H
  • Makes 8 (1/2-cup) servings
5/5 - 5 reviews
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Special Equipment: Ice cream maker



In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks.

In a medium heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, warm the half-and-half and 1/4 cup sugar, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, 5 to 8 minutes. Be careful not to let it boil.

Whisk a little of the warm half-and-half mixture into the egg yolks. Then slowly whisk the egg yolk mixture into the remaining half-and-half mixture, still over medium heat, and continue to let it warm, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pot, until the mixture thickens and leaves a coating on the back of the spoon. Don’t let it boil. Remove from the heat.

Strain the mixture into a large heatproof bowl. Discard the solids.

Stir the heavy cream into the strained mixture. Cover it with plastic wrap, pressing it directly against the surface of the custard, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Place the strawberries in a large bowl and mash them slightly with a potato masher or the back of a fork to form a coarse purée. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, stir to combine, and let the strawberries sit, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the strawberries release their juices, 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir the strawberries and their luscious juices into the custard mixture along with the vanilla, salt, and kirsch, if using. Cover and refrigerate for at least several hours or for up to 2 days.

Process according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

Consume immediately or, if you can withstand temptation, transfer it to a resealable container and freeze it a little longer to give it that sturdy, old-fashioned ice cream consistency.

If desired, let the ice cream soften a few minutes at room temperature prior to scooping to allow the chunks of berries to thaw slightly. Kindly note impatience will be rewarded with brain freeze upon biting into an icy chunk of strawberry. Originally published May 24, 2013.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

I love ice cream. I really love homemade ice cream without all the chemicals and artificial this and that. This is a rich, very berry-tasting strawberry ice cream that we’ll be making over and over again this summer. It’s so simple to make and so much better than the store-bought stuff.

I found really wonderful strawberries at the market—plump, juicy ones. I followed the recipe except for one ingredient. I didn’t have kirsch and couldn’t justify buying it for 2 teaspoons, so I substituted cassis. This probably made the color a little more purple and less red but who cares? It was amazing!

I chilled my ice cream base overnight and froze it in an ice cream machine the following day. I had to redistribute the berries partway through churning, as they collected around the blade in the machine.

This is 100% better than store-bought strawberry ice cream. It’s a really delicious ice cream. A refreshing strawberry flavor, rich but not heavy, and not too sweet. The recipe was easy to follow and the results were fantastic. This ice cream needs to be eaten fairly soon after freezing or it’ll be very hard. I didn’t add kirsch, but perhaps if I did the alcohol would make it easier to scoop after a few days in the freezer?


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  1. With all due respect, alcohol doesn’t prevent ice crystals in ice cream. You would need a stabilizer or something like non-fat milk powder to absorb and stabilize the water content. Alcohol is lovely in that it does depress the freezing point, but you can still have an icy and boozy ice cream.

  2. I always macerate my fresh fruit in sugar overnight. I don’t understand the culinary chemistry but the fruit won’t freeze into teeth-cracking lumps of ice when the sugar has adequate time to combine with the water in the fruit. That way you can have larger pieces in your finished ice cream for the visual interest and the pure pleasure of biting into them.

    We used to keep a pitcher of Ben & Jerry’s Sweet Cream Base in the fridge in summer. Then we could add and churn up whatever fruit was available and wonderful at any given time.

    …then I began to approach 200 pounds. Still, it’s a wonderful memory!

    1. Well, Rainey, I’m no food scientist, but…from what I understand sugar lowers the freezing point of water (found in fruit). When your macerated liquid/syrup is placed in the freezer with the fruit, part of it stays liquid.

  3. I had a hankering for strawberry ice cream and I chose correctly with this tasty recipe! Perfectly sweet and creamy, this is the strawberry ice cream I remember from my childhood. Nostalgia in a bowl! (I didn’t have kirsch on hand, but did add in 2 teaspoons of Framboise instead which was lovely.)

  4. Nothing like fresh strawberry ice cream–this is similar to our recipe(we use more eggs &just 1/2&1/2)–blend some of the berries then add whole ones towards the end!!

  5. Well, if I had read the ingredients list better I would of seen that the orange flavored liqueur was already mentioned and would not have had to bother you all day! I’m so sorry! For that I owe you a couple margueritas whenever you’re in the neighborhood! I live in Gig Harbor, Washington state btw…are you anywhere near me? If not…hop on a plane! 🙂

    1. I shall look you up when I visit the Pacific Northwest, Chris! We recently moved from Manhattan to the urban desert of Phoenix. My husband makes a mean jalapeño marg if ever you’re in the ‘hood!

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