This Strawberry and Vino Cotto ice-cream is sensational. The strawberry flavor is intense and vibrant and the drizzled sweet syrup makes it both exquisite and unique. This is a great party dessert and most of your guests will be addicted to the sweet sticky syrup. Highly recommended for the ice-cream afficionados!
Makes approx. -1 litre of ice-cream
3 x punnets of strawberries, washed, hulled, quartered
1 tbsp castor sugar
4 tbsp Vino Cotto, extra to taste
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, optional
Mint leaves, garnish
1 1/2 cups full cream milk
2 cups cream
1 vanilla bean, cut in half, seeds scraped
2 eggs and 3 egg yolks, room temperature
3/4 cup castor sugar
Prepare the strawberries:
Begin 2 hours earlier or overnight to allow the fruit to steep and infuse flavours.
Place the strawberries in a saucepan over a low heat and add the sugar and vino cotto. Stir gently and cook until the strawberries have softened and released their juices. Cooking the strawberries seems to concentrate and intensify their flavor and help to release their lovely juices. Taste and add more Vino Cotto if you prefer.
Optional: you can squeeze a small amount of lemon juice to taste.
Place mixture aside to cool and then refrigerate.
Make the ice cream:
Pour the milk and cream into a heavy based saucepan, and add the vanilla bean and seeds. Bring the mixture nearly to the boil and then take it off the heat and leave to infuse for 20 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and pale.
Gently pour the warm milk mixture into the eggs a little at a time, whisking constantly as you pour, so not to form lumps.
Return the mixture to the saucepan over a low heat and stir continuously for 4 to 6 minutes, until the custard thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Do not allow custard to boil.
Take it off the heat and strain into a clean bowl set over another large bowl filled with ice water. Stir to cool mixture down. The custard needs to be cold before churning. Place a film of plastic wrap on top of custard to prevent it from drying out and refrigerate.
In the meantime, strain the marinated strawberries and reserve the lovely juice. Place ½ cup of marinated strawberries aside and roughly chop them into chunky pieces. Refrigerate.
Puree the remaining strawberries and place in refrigeration.
When the custard has completely cooled, gently fold in the chunky cut strawberries, the strawberry puree and a few tablespoons of the strawberry and Vino Cotto juices.
If using Ice-cream machine:
Freeze the ice-cream in the ice-cream maker, following manufacturer’s instructions.
Without Ice-cream machine:
Place the ice-cream in a plastic tub in the freezer and freeze for an 1 1/2hr. Then whip the ice-cream using an electric mixer and beat until smooth. Return to freezer and repeat 2 – 3 more times. This helps to prevent ice crystal from forming and ensures you end up with a smooth rich ice-cream. Tightly cover the ice-cream in the freezer each time to stop mixture from absorbing other odours from the freezer.
Just prior to serving, warm up the lovely strawberry and vino cotto juices in a small saucepan over a low heat and allow to reduce until slightly thick and syrupy. Take off heat.
Allow ice-cream to soften slightly before serving to give a creamier texture and better flavour.
Serve the ice-cream in a bowl or tall glass and drizzle over the sweet strawberry and vino cotto syrup. The syrup can either be warm or cold. Add a few mint leaves as a garnish.