This recipe makes a deliciously rich and smooth ice cream reminiscent of custard-based ice creams, but requires no cooking. You’ll want to start the process of making the cream cheese the day before you plan to make the ice cream. You can use other berries, or even a combination of berries, but you might need to strain the berries through a sieve if they have a lot of seeds. The recipe works well with either raw or pasteurized cream.
1 quart cream, raw or pasteurized, but not ultra-pasteurized
Approximately 1 quart strawberries, washed, stemmed, and mashed to make 2 cups of chunky strawberry puree
1/4 to 1/2 cup sweetener of choice
Pinch of unrefined salt
Heat cream to 75°F and combine cream with mesophilic starter; cover and let rest at room temperature for 12 hours. You should have a solid curd at the end of the rest period.
Cut the curd into 1-inch cubes and pour into a colander that has been lined with butter muslin. Let curd drain for 1 to 4 hours, until much of the whey has been released, but the cheese is still a little runny. It should have the consistency of yogurt rather than a thick cream cheese.
Combine 2 cups of the “cream cheese” with 2 cups of mashed strawberries. Add a pinch of unrefined salt and sweeten to taste with maple syrup, honey, or organic sugar. Usually 1/4 to 1/2 cup is plenty.
Pour into the freezer container of a 1.5-quart ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. Ice cream will be soft-set at the end of the churning time. Transfer to a freezer container and freeze until firm, about 1 to 2 hours.
If you are making this a day ahead of time, remove the ice cream from the freezer and let sit at room temperature to soften for 15 minutes before serving.