Growing up in a small family, there were very few birthdays to celebrate. Three to be exact. It happens that two of them are in the same month (October – the best, obviously!), leaving the other 10 months void of birthday celebrations. While I can’t deny there are certain perks to being an only child (no competition for attention from parents, no sharing of the best toys, and not ever having to wait to use the bathroom in the morning), it certainly was a bummer to not celebrate more family birthdays throughout the year.
Now that I am married, I have had the good fortune to marry into a family that is much larger than my own. A household that was the complete polar opposite of mine. A home full of noise and sports and arguing and laughter. My home was warm and cheerful, but quiet. Not library silent, but a type of quiet that it was something I had grown to belive as normal. I found out soon enough, that quiet was the exception to the rule.
And now that I live in a chaotically fun and boisterous household, I wouldn’t change it for the world. But, I can’t lie when I say that I sometimes long for the peace and
sanity quiet of my childhood home. It’s the ‘happy place’ I go to when I am about to go ape on misbehaving little boys (husband sometimes included).
The best part about having so many birthdays to celebrate – between siblings, and parents, and children; there is always a birthday right around the corner. And although I have a penchant towards baked goods (ah, duh hence the title of the blog), I really enjoy making a special ice cream for the upcoming birthday girl/boy. I have just started this tradition as of 2012, and really hope it sticks. But, I’m guessing no one is going to complain about an ice cream specifically made for them! I find that people really enjoy being “Ben & Jerry”, if only for a day.
This special recipe was concocted for my sister-in-law, the baby of the bunch. As soon as she sampled some of my homemade ice cream, she promptly requested I develop Strawberry Oreo. It was two great flavors that I had never thought to combine, until that moment. But in true Amber fashion – I had to make it the ‘most incredibly over-the-top indulgent’ Strawberry Oreo ice cream the world has ever seen!
I started by roasting the strawberries with sugar and balsamic (ala Zoe Bakes) to deepen their flavor, and to remove as much water as possible to eliminate the icy texture caused by fruit in homemade ice cream. I pureed them with corn syrup to insure their texture would stay smooth as the cookies were the true focus of this batch. The strawberries were just the sweet/tart background flavor that elevated the double stuf (of course!) oreo chunks throughout. For the base, I adapted a David Lebovitz recipe found here because DL can do no wrong when it comes to frozen desserts.
I couldn’t get over how delicious this recipe is and more than what I think, I hope the birthday girl approves!
Roasted Strawberry Mascarpone Ice Cream w. Oreos
Yields 1. 5- 2 quarts of gloriously delicious ice cream, depending on the amount of Oreos added
Adapted From – Zoe Bakes and David Lebovitz via Plum Pie
Ingredients for the Roasted Strawberries:
2 lbs Strawberries, hulled and halved (quartered if very large)
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
2 Tbsp Corn Syrup
Ingredients for the Mascarpone Ice Cream:
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar, separated
1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
2 Cups Milk
2 Vanilla Beans (or 1 1/2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract)
4 Egg Yolks (use the whites to make healthy omelets for the day after)
Pinch of Kosher Salt
1 cup (1 8oz container) of Mascarpone Cheese, at room temp
3/4 – 1 Bag Double Stuff Oreos (depending on preference of oreo to ice cream ratio), crushed into small to medium pieces
Directions for the Roasted Strawberries:
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Line a rimmed sheet pan with aluminum foil (or a silpat if you are fancy) and spray with pan spray. Toss the strawberries with the balsamic vinegar and granulated sugar until berries are well coated. Pour berries onto sheet and place in the oven. Cook until berries have released their juices and become dark, between 30 – 45 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
Using either a blender, or a stick blender, puree the berries with the corn syrup until they have reached the texture you desire. If you prefer chunkier berries, blend for a short amount of time, or just mash by hand. Chill the fruit until needed for the ice cream.
Directions for the ice cream:
Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with several inches of ice water. Whisk the egg yolks, salt and 1/4 cup of sugar together until light in color in a bowl(one that holds at least 1-½ quarts) that will fit in the ice water. Set a fine strainer on top.
Combine the milk, cream, 1/2 cup of sugar, and vanilla beans (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 heat-proof 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 strainer into bowl of chilled cream. Stir in vanilla extract here if using. Stir as custard cools. You can rinse the vanilla beans that steeped in the cream mixture and place them into your granulated sugar container. This will make for tasty vanilla sugar!
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 ready to be transferred into a container, layer the oreos and the custard and mix after every 2 layers to make sure the cookies are evenly distributed. Chill ice cream in freezer until frozen, or if you want a sneak peek, scoop the “soft serve” version into a bowl and consume immediately!
1) While roasting the berries, seems like a real pain in the butt, it’s worth it to release the water from the fruit, helping with a smooth and creamy texture.
2) Can’t find good fresh strawberries, feel free to use frozen, but they might take longer to roast in the oven as I would not even attempt to slice a frozen strawberry.
3) Finding mascarpone bumming you out, or the cost a bit much? Substitute Cream Cheese…you’ll get an added tang that it quite delicious!
4) Note this recipes makes TWO quarts, so only freeze half a batch at a time!