Memorial Day this year felt more like Fourth of July here at 11-Acre Wood Farm. It was warm, sunny with temps soaring into the high 80’s, AND it was time to do our 1st cutting hay as the timothy was in full blossom and so were the strawberries. Yes, this is at least two weeks earlier for both crops than normal, but as farmers we must take what Mother Nature gives us and make hay and strawberry ice cream! Throwing hay is a hot job on the best of days, a thankless job when when temperatures and the humidity soar. However, we have our crew bribed… at the end they know they are guaranteed a pint each of fresh strawberry ice cream!
My husband and I started making homemade ice cream 32 years ago for our first party in our first home. That year we made oreo ice cream (years before any commercial outfit invented cookies and cream varieties). It was a hit and a tradition of making homemade ice cream for special occasions was spun. In upstate NY, first cutting hay season tends to coincide with strawberry season and thus was born the tradition of thanking our hearty hay throwers with strawberry ice cream. There really isn’t anything better than cooling off with spoonfuls of rich smooth ice cream made from local cream and infused with the sweet taste of just picked strawberries. I wonder why we never have a shortage of hay throwers?
11 Acre Wood Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
(we have a large 2 qt. ice cream maker, so you may need to adjust for smaller ice cream makers—or enjoy a bowl of creamy strawberry indulgence while your ice cream is being made!)
2 large farm fresh eggs
1 cup sugar, divided
1 cup Battenkill Creamery milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pint (plus) of fresh local strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 cups Battenkill Creamery heavy cream
1. Beat eggs, sugar and milk in a saucepan. Heat mixture over low heat, just to bowling and remove immediately. Stir in vanilla and put mixture to cool in refrigerator.
2. Take hulled and quartered strawberries (minus a few to use as garnish later) and put in a blender and lightly puree (small chunks are fine). Add strawberry puree to a large bowl and stir in heavy cream.
3. Take cooled egg mixture from refrigerator and add to the strawberries and cream. Stir lightly to mix and then pour into your ice cream machine, following manufacturer’s instructions.
4. When done, serve or freeze in airtight container. Use remaining strawberries for a sweet garnish.