Old-Fashioned Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe (Sweet + Creamy)

This is the best strawberry ice cream recipe that I’ve found. It has simple ingredients and is super creamy, rich, and delicious. Don’t be overwhelmed by all the steps Once you make homemade ice cream the first time it will all make sense. Really!

While this is a fun recipe for strawberry season, it’s equally good with frozen strawberries.

Be extra sure to chill your ice cream maker insert 24 hours ahead of time. We always puree the strawberries with a stick blender, b ut you can leave a few bigger pieces if you prefer.

close up view of finished strawberry ice cream being served.

Old-Fashioned Strawberry Ice Cream

Real sugar, fresh cream, and plenty of strawberries make this creamy dessert a homemade treat you'll love all summer long.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chilling time 7 hours
Total Time 7 hours 45 minutes
Serving Size 12 scoops

Equipment

  • ice cream maker
  • strainer

Ingredients 

For the ice cream base

  • cups whole milk
  • cups heavy whipping cream
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • pinch salt

For the strawberry mix-in

  • 2 cups sliced strawberries frozen works well
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions 

  • Prepare ice cream maker by freezing the canister. Many machines require at least 24 hours of chilling, so don’t forget to do this first.
  • Make the sugared strawberries. Combine the sliced strawberries, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and mash with a potato masher or fork until it is like a sauce with some berry pieces still intact. If you do not want pieces of berries in the finished ice cream, run it through a food processor or use a stick blender.
    strawberries on stoveetop with sugar before and after cooking.
  • Heat the milk and cream with some of sugar. Add the milk, cream, and 1/2 cup of the sugar to a large saucepan. Over medium heat, warm the mixture until it is very warm (175 degrees), about 5 minutes. It should be steaming but not simmering
  • Beat the eggs and remaining sugar. While the mixture is heating, combine the egg yolks with the remaining cup of sugar. Beat until it turns lighter yellow in color. A hand mixer works well for this.
    small mixing bowl with egg yolk and sugar before and after beating.
  • Temper the eggs by slowly adding some of the warm milk. Remove the milk mixture from the heat, and half a cup at a time, add roughly half of it to the egg mixture. Mix after each addition. Adding the warm milk slowly prevents it from cooking the eggs. Once you’ve added about half of the milk mixture into the eggs, pour the entire milk- egg mixture back into the saucepan. Heat over medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is 185 degrees, or has thickened enough the coat the back of a spoon. Do not boil.
    saucepan of milk and egg yolk being tempered.
  • Chill the custard and strawberries. Remove custard from heat and stir in the salt. Strain the mixture using a strainer or cheesecloth set over a large bowl. Allow to cool at room temperature, then cover and place in fridge until very cold- at least 6 hours, up to overnight.
    finished custard being strained over bowl.
  • Churn. Remove custard from fridge and set up ice cream maker, according to manufacturer's instructions. Churn until it is the consistency of soft serve ice cream, then add the strawberry mixture. Let the machine run a few more minutes until the ice cream is pink and the berries are distributed throughout.
    ice cream machine with soft ice cream before and after adding strawberry puree.
  • Freeze. Cover and refreeze 2-4 hours until hardened. Scoop and serve. Will last up to week in the freezer, stored in an airtight container with plastic wrap pressed on top. Let the ice cream sit at room temperature for a few minutes before scooping.
    close up of finished strawberry ice cream in scoops.

Notes

Do not rush any stage of ice cream making or it will not freeze properly.
Any whole pieces of strawberry will re-freeze solid, so be sure to mash them well!
To prevent freezer burn, use a special ice cream storage container or press plastic wrap right against the ice cream. 

Making ice cream is a labor of love. I adore the process, from simmering the berries with sugar to churning the creamy base. And there’s nothing quite like the anticipation that builds as the ice cream churns, slowly thickening and taking on that perfect pink hue. (If you’re looking for an easier method, try one of these condensed milk ice cream recipes!)

This recipe, with its creamy texture and bursts of fresh strawberry flavor, has become more than just a summer dessert in our home. It’s a reminder to slow down, to savor the sweetness of the season, and to cherish the simple joys that summer brings. Whether it’s a celebration, a family dinner, or just a quiet moment alone, a scoop of this strawberry ice cream makes every summer moment a little sweeter, a little brighter, and a whole lot more memorable.

homemade strawberry ice cream in loaf pan.

You can make this any time of year, but it reminds me of those long, lazy summer days that seem to stretch on forever, filled with sunlight, laughter, and the promise of a cool, creamy treat waiting in the freezer.

Homemade Ice Cream Tips

  • Choose the Right Strawberries. The flavor of your ice cream heavily depends on the quality of the strawberries. For the best taste, use ripe, in-season strawberries or frozen. Don’t waste your money on fresh berries out of season.
  • Freeze the Ice Cream Maker Bowl Properly. Ensure your ice cream maker bowl is completely frozen before you start churning. It should be placed in the back of your freezer where it’s coldest, for at least 24 hours, to make sure it’s fully frozen. Shake the bowl to check; you shouldn’t hear any liquid moving inside.
  • Strain for Smoothness. Even if you’re careful, some small bits of egg may cook during the custard-making process. Straining the custard through a fine-mesh sieve before chilling can remove any bits and ensure your ice cream is perfectly smooth.
  • Serving Tip. Remove the ice cream from the freezer about 5-10 minutes before you plan to serve it. This slight thawing makes scooping easier and enhances the flavor.

Key Ingredients and Tools

  • Heavy whipping cream. Found in the dairy section of most grocery stores, heavy whipping cream adds richness and creaminess to the ice cream.Heavy whipping cream is a key ingredient that gives the ice cream its luxurious texture and mouthfeel, making it an indispensable part of the recipe.
  • Egg yolks. Typically found in the dairy aisle, egg yolks are used to thicken the ice cream base and add a smooth, custard-like consistency.Egg yolks are crucial for the custard base, contributing to the ice cream’s richness and color. There’s no perfect substitute for the texture and emulsification they provide.
  • Fresh strawberries. Strawberries give the ice cream its signature flavor. Frozen strawberries can be used as a substitute if fresh ones aren’t available. Strawberries are the star of the recipe, providing a fresh, natural flavor and a beautiful color. Their sweetness and acidity balance the creaminess of the ice cream perfectly.

I don’t recommend substituting low-fat dairy or low-calorie sweeteners with this recipe.

frozen strawberries, eggs, sugar, cream, and milk on marble counter
  • Ice cream maker. Essential for churning the custard into ice cream, providing the smooth texture and incorporating air for creaminess.An ice cream maker ensures that your ice cream freezes evenly while being churned, which is crucial for achieving the desired creamy consistency and preventing ice crystals from forming.
  • Strainer. Used to sieve the custard mixture, removing any egg bits or unwanted solids for a silky smooth ice cream.The strainer is key to ensuring the final texture of the ice cream is perfectly smooth, enhancing the overall quality and enjoyment of the dessert.
  • Thermometer. A cooking thermometer is necessary to accurately gauge the temperature of the custard, ensuring it’s cooked to the right point without curdling.A thermometer helps you avoid overheating the mixture, which can lead to scrambled eggs instead of a smooth custard base, making it an indispensable tool for this recipe.

Having the right tools at hand is just as important as the ingredients themselves.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with fresh whipped cream, mint leaves, and shortbread cookies.

Troubleshooting and Help

Can I add other ingredients?

Yes! You can add nuts, chocolate chips, or any type of berry you like.

Can I reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe?

You can, but keep in mind that sugar isn’t just for sweetness—it also affects texture. Reducing sugar might make your ice cream less soft and more icy.

Storing Leftovers

While homemade ice cream is best enjoyed within a week for optimal taste and texture, you can store it for up to two months. Just know that over time, the flavor and texture may not be as fresh.

More Ice Cream Recipes To Love

Once you’ve mastered the ice cream-making process, you can customize it however you’d like. These are some of our favorite variations.

close up of finished strawberry ice cream in scoops.

 

Homemade ice cream is a tasty and rewarding summer dessert. If you have the time, it’s worth making from scratch to enjoy its deliciousness without any preservatives or artificial flavorings. The recipe might be a little complicated at first glance, but once you get started, it’ll make sense in no time! Enjoy!

Old-Fashioned Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe (Sweet + Creamy)

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6 Comments

  1. Hey there!
    What kind of ice cream maker do you have? I looked on Amazon and Walmart and immediately have decision fatigue. 😩
    This strawberry ice cream looks so delicious!!
    Thank you for sharing it!
    Lauren