Strawberry Mascarpone Ice Cream

Strawberry Mascarpone Ice Cream | Plum Pie

Ah, June. Usually you are peaceful, if not a little bit hot, but always full of long afternoons, dreams of beach vacations, and gallons of lemonade. Did you forget? You are meant for relaxing and blissfully licking ice cream out of waffle cones as it melts down your fingers. I must say, you are acting a little crazy these days. I mean, I get it. Sometimes things can get a little crazy. But can we relax a little bit in July? Maybe even August, too? I don’t want to be greedy here, but sleep deprived is really not a good look for me.Strawberry Mascarpone Ice Cream | Plum Pie

Why am I picking on June, you ask? Because it has been insane around here, that’s why! First, Andrew the H got a job in Dallas at the beginning of the month. We lived in the Big D for three years before moving to the East Coast and had always planned to move back eventually. But really, if it were up to me, I probably would have planned the move during the fall, spring, or winter—you know, when it isn’t over 100 degrees every day in Texas. But clearly, the weather will not be cooperating with us during this move. I am just hoping it stops raining in Charlottesville on the big move day. Pretty please?

Strawberry Mascarpone Ice Cream | Plum Pie

While I am sad to leave Cville with its amazing restaurants, ACC b’ball fan base, and gorgeous landscape (Oh how I’ll miss you, beautiful, bountiful trees!), I am excited to finally settle down somewhere for more than a year. Oh, and drink ‘ritas and eat queso and enchi’s and all of the other tex mex goodness that I have deprived my tum of for two years.

Strawberry Mascarpone Ice Cream | Plum Pie

Fast forward past the stress of finding movers (apparently everyone else in America was thinking the exact same thing—moving sounds just great in the middle of summer!), finding a place to live (should we do short term or long?buy or rent?), and packing up our apartment (how can we possibly have so much crap?!).  As we prepared for our 22-hour journey (read: tortuously long drive) back to Texas, it suddenly became clear that ice cream was absolutely essential for packing nourishment and mid-afternoon sustenance. Because after a long day of packing and more packing and a little more packing, everyone deserves a little treat, right?

Strawberry Mascarpone Ice Cream | Plum Pie

Before sending the ice cream maker to its cardboard home, I gave it one last run until it meets its new Texas home in July. With a fridge full of fresh strawberries and a little mascarpone thrown in for good measure and a little extra fattiness, we made strawberry mascarpone ice cream. And enjoyed a little bit of summer bliss. How it is supposed to be this time of year. Without the mountains of cardboard and packing paper and the hourly fights with the not-so-fancy tape dispenser that never really wanted to apply tape properly in the first place. Just for a brief moment. Thank you for that.

Strawberry Mascarpone Ice Cream | Plum Pie

The bad news is that the cream did not last very long which really, is not that shocking. It never had much of a chance around here; ice cream never does. Since we managed to devour the ice cream in record time, we had to find a new post packing treat. What is better treat than ice cream? Booze! Because we may never have our own little Napa in our backyard ever again. Andrew the H and I are making our way through almost every winery in the Cville area in three days. And Henry the dog is guarding our cardboard home.

Until next time in Texas…

Strawberry Mascarpone Ice Cream | Plum Pie

At some point, I will write about my favorite things in Charlottesville. A Plum Pie Visitor’s Guide, if you will. But until then, for those interested in visiting the gorgeous countryside and growing wineries in the region, here are my favorites so far:

Veritas Vineyard & Winery: Stunning views, award-winning Viognier, cozy tasting room, and a super fun summer concert series, Starry Nights

Blenheim Vineyards: Owned by Dave Matthews of DMB of course, cool & contemporary tasting room. We bought a Petit Verdot to really test whether Andrew the H and I would have the patience to let a wine age for two years. This has never been attempted in our house. Wish us luck.

King Family Vineyards: A favorite of most people, King Family hosts Sunday Polo Matches during the summer and fall, features the most serene and gorgeous views, and a great area for enjoying a treat from Greenwood Grocery and a bottle of wine.

Blue Mountain Brewery: Ok so this is a brewery but I had to include it. BMB features new beers regularly and has the best pizza in the area (in my opinion). They put beer in the dough!

Stay tuned for more additions as we make our way through the rest of the Cville area vineyards.

Strawberry Mascarpone Ice Cream | Plum Pie

Strawberry Mascarpone Ice Cream
Adapted from David Lebovitz’s Peach Mascarpone Ice Cream in Fine Cooking

{Makes 4 cups}

2 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
3/4 cup granulated sugar plus 2 tablespoons
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
1/2 of vanilla bean (you can also use 2 tsp. vanilla extract instead)
4 egg yolks
pinch of fine sea salt
1 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

Add 1.5 cups of the strawberries and the 2 tablespoons of sugar to the bowl of a food processor. Puree until smooth. If you don’t like strawberry seeds in your ice cream, strain pureed strawberry mixture. It doesn’t bother me, so I skipped the straining step. Mash the remaining cup of strawberries with a fork or masher. You want small pieces of strawberry. Anything too large will become a chunk of ice in the ice cream maker which is not pleasant eating.

Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with several inches of ice water. Set a smaller metal bowl (one that holds at least 1-1/2 quarts) in the ice water. Pour 1/2 cup of cream into the inner bowl (this helps the custard cool quicker when you pour it in later). Set a fine strainer on top.

In a medium, heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks, pinch of salt, and 1/2 cup of heavy cream until slightly lighter in color. Combine the milk, remaining 1/2 cup of the cream, 3/4 cup of sugar, and vanilla bean (split, scrape seeds with the tips of your knife, and drop the seed into the mixture; if using extract instead, add it at the end) in a 3-quart sauce pan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally until just warm.

In a steady stream, pour half of the warm cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling.

Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heatproof rubber spatula until the custard thickens slightly (it should be thick enough to coat the spatula and hold a line drawn through it with a finger), 4 to 8 minutes (If using, an instant-read thermometer should read 175° to 180°F at this point). Don’t let the sauce overheat or boil, or it will curdle.

Once thickened, immediately take saucepan off of heat source. Pour custard through strainger into bowl of chilled cream. This makes sure that if any egg did in fact curdle, it will be caught here (scrambled eggs in ice cream is not appetizing!) Stir in vanilla extract here if using. Stir as custard cools.

Once cool, add pureed strawberries and mascarpone cheese. Refrigerate the custard until completely chilled, at least 4 hours. Then freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When ice cream is almost complete, add the mashed strawberries.

Place the churned ice cream in a dry plastic container and cover with plastic wrap directly on top of the ice cream. Chill for at least 4 hours or until set. Enjoy!

Storage: Stored in an airtight container in the freezer, the ice cream will be good for two weeks.

Strawberry Mascarpone Ice Cream | Plum Pie

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4 thoughts on “Strawberry Mascarpone Ice Cream

  1. Marci

    I did not know Dave Matthews has a Virginia winery! The ice cream looks delish! So pretty! I want. Welcome back to Texas! I’m sure your C-ville time will be a fun memory.

  2. Jane

    This ice cream looks and sounds divine. I love the strawberry and mascarpone combination and have used it myself, but not in ice cream. This is such a beautiful blog!

  3. brooke Post author

    Marci – yes! Dave Matthews has family here and got his start in Cville!
    Thanks Jane – I had never used mascarpone in ice cream too but I had some left over and hated to waste it! Thanks for your kind words about the blog too :)

  4. Pingback: Operation [Strawberry Oreo] Birthday Ice Cream « Amber the Baker (aka Ambah the Bakah)

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