Ice Cream: In a small
saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring the half-and-half and the vanilla
bean (if using) to the scalding point (the milk begins to foam up). Remove from heat, take out the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds from
the bean with the back of a knife, and mix the seeds back into the
Meanwhile in a
stainless steel bowl beat the cream cheese, egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy
(about two minutes). You can do this with a wire whisk or I like
to use a hand mixer. Gradually pour the scalding
half-and-half into the whipped egg yolk mixture, making sure you keep
whisking constantly so the eggs do not curdle. If any lumps do
form, strain the mixture.
Place the bowl
over a saucepan of simmering water and, stirring constantly with a
wooden spoon, cook until the custard thickens enough that it coats the
back of a spoon (170 degrees F) (77 degrees C). (The term 'coat a
is a technique used mainly as a way to
test when an egg-based custard or sauce is done. A spoon, usually
wooden, is placed in the custard and, when the spoon is raised, the film
of custard on the back of the spoon will stay in place even when you
draw a line with your finger through the middle of the custard.)
remove the custard from the heat and continue to stir the custard for a
few minutes so it does not overcook. At this point stir in the
vanilla extract, if using, and the strawberry sauce (puree). Cover and let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate the custard until it is completely
cold (several hours but preferably overnight).
cold custard to the chilled container of your ice cream machine and
process according to the manufacturer's instructions. Once made,
stir in the cut up fresh strawberries (if using) and transfer the ice cream to a chilled container and store in the freezer.
If the ice cream becomes too hard place in the refrigerator for about
30 minutes before serving so it can soften.
Makes about 3 cups.
Preparation time 40 minutes.
Ice Cream Recipe:
2 cups (480 ml) half-and-half
1/2 vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 ounces (115 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
3 large (60 grams) egg yolks
2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated white sugar
2/3 cup (160 ml) strawberry puree (sauce)
1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped (optional)
Note: Half and Half cream is a mixture of cream and whole milk and contains 10 - 12% butterfat.