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. Ok, peaches and cream ice cream recipe, it is! 🙂 Again, I don’t have any of the liquors called for but will gladly get one of the three for this recipe. Which one, in your opinion would be the best choice for this peachy recipe?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Oh drat, Chris, I completely forgot that the peaches and cream ice cream recipe calls for booze, too. Sorry! It’s such a small amount, you could probably get by without it and just add an extra couple tablespoons heavy cream if the mixture looks a little too thick. If you do splurge on the booze, I will say that a lovely peach brandy (sometimes known as eau de vie and often found in long slender bottles at the liquor store) would emphasize the peach flavor here. But I have a mom who loves peach brandy so I just send the rest of the bottle home with her and consider it money well spent since she takes a nip at night. Or if you make margaritas regularly or use any sort of orange liqueur in other cocktails or baking, then just get that since you’ll have a destination for the rest of the bottle. But again, seriously, you should be fine without it. Thanks and let us know how it goes!

      1. Renee, yes, I do have Cointreau for Margaritas but would the orange flavor alter the peachiness of this ice cream? I want it to have as authentic a flavor true to the recipe as possible so I really don’t mind getting the peach brandy but if you think the Cointreau would be a fine stand in then I’ll use it! 🙂
        Peach brandy Margaritas anyone? 🙂
        Thanks again for answering all of my annoying questions!

        1. Not annoying at all, Chris! And if you read the comments beneath the peach ice cream recipe, you’ll see that several testers used some sort of orange liqueur and felt that in each instance it nicely enhanced the peach flavor. That said, if it was me, I’d bust out the peach brandy. Let me know when to show up for those margs! Best, Renee

  2. Hi again! I made the strawberry ice cream and we loved it! 🙂 I did omit the kirsch, simply because I didn’t have any and I hate to run out and buy a unusual ingredient that I probably wouldn’t use much of…Anyway, could I use this recipe with fresh peaches…or any other fruit for that matter?
    Thanks again!

    1. Wonderful Chris! Love to hear it. As for peaches, I like the way you’re thinking although we haven’t tried that so I can’t guarantee your results. The sugar and water content of peaches are different from that of strawberries which could end in disaster. You may want to consider a recipe made especially for peaches such as this simple peach frozen yogurt that has drawn many, many raves…

  3. I will do that and thanks for the nice, informative reply and oh, one more question…will omitting the kirsch be much of a flavor changer? I don’t have any but can get some if you think it makes the ice cream taste even better…
    Thanks again!

    1. Chris, you’re very welcome. To be honest, I’d omit the kirsch, too, if I was making this strawberry ice cream. The fruit flavor will be slightly subdued in comparison but I suspect it will still be quite lovely.

  4. This ice cream looks and sounds sooo delicious… Could I possibly use frozen strawberries, thawed first, or do you recommend just using fresh?
    Thank you!

    1. Chris, I think you should be fine using frozen strawberries. The only thing to beware is they may exude a little more liquid than fresh strawberries, so you may want to taste the mashed strawberries and sugar after its rested to make certain it’s sweet and strawberry-ish enough as the extra liquid will dilute the flavors. You may also want to pour off some of the juices before stirring it into the ice cream to keep it from getting too runny. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  5. What a gorgeous and appealing photo!

    So glad to see your recipe include macerating the berries so they don’t turn into cheerfully colored ice cubes within the ice cream.

    1. Nods. Exactly, rainey. We test all our recipes before deciding if they’re spectacular enough to share with readers. And every time we’ve not taken some measure against the brain freeze-inducing iced berries, we’ve regretted it. This recipe works really incredibly well.

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