For the summer: nieve de fresa

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For years my preference for ice creams would be for rich custard based ones, an extra egg yolk or two thrown in seeking that perfect velvet texture. And they were. Rich, velvety, filling, and decidedly not refreshing. They’re more of a winter ice cream, or a sweat inducing summer one, if you live in the already sweat inducing Sonoran desert climate, such as I do.

Mexican style ice cream is here to solve this minor problem. Just barely sweet, heavy on sweet, light on the dairy, and no yolk. Summer in scoop form.

The freeze dried strawberries in this recipe are listed as optional, but add a nice punch of color to the finished product. They’re easily found at Trader Joe’s.

If you’re lucky enough to have freshly picked actually ripe strawberries, use them. Otherwise, frozen strawberries are a safer bet for ripe and flavorful fruit.

Nieve de Fresa

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 pound frozen strawberries, hulled
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 1 oz freeze dried strawberries, ground to fine powder (optional)

Place milk in a heavy bottomed stainless steel pot. While still cold, whisk the cornstarch into it until completely smooth. Add sugar and heavy cream, and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until base begins thicken slightly, approximately 5 minutes. Strain into a bowl and set aside.
Puree the strawberries along with the lime juice until very smooth. Add the ground freeze dried strawberries and the lime zest. Blend until smooth.
Whisk in the strawberry puree into the ice cream base. Cool until at least 40°F. Process according to ice cream maker’s manufacturer’s instructions.

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