Strawberry Balsamic No-Churn Ice Cream

No churning necessary for this beloved flavor pairing in ice cream form.

Strawberry Balsamic No-Churn Gelato

Strawberry Balsamic No-Churn Ice Cream-slash-Gelato

Though I’m lucky to have an ice cream churn attachment, I still love to make this Grapefruit Gelato of ours from time to time; it’s especially great to bust out as a houseguest offering a treat to underapplianced hosts. Since the magic has to do with the way the acidity in the grapefruit juice (or lemon or lime) reacts with the fat in the cream, I decided to experiment with another sweet + acidity combination: strawberries and balsamic vinegar. If citrus juices produced the desired effect, then surely vinegar would as well.

Behold! No-Churn Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream (or Gelato, as the texture reminds us a bit of that). I’m dying to try this with coconut milk sometime, too. 


1 pound strawberries, trimmed and halved
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, divided
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
2 cups heavy cream
pinch of salt

I combined the inactive time of these steps: I started the strawberries, then as they macerated, I got the cream base going and partly frozen. It all came together  beautifully!

  1. The first step is macerating the strawberries. Toss them together in a bowl with 1/4 cup of the balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Cover the bowl and let them soften for a good 4 hours. Strain with a sieve (you can save the reserved juice and vinegar; see below) and puree berries in a blender. Set aside in refrigerator until the time comes.
  2. Whisk the cream and remaining cup sugar together first, then add the remaining balsamic vinegar and salt and whisk some more – you’ll totally feel the chemistry working as it starts to thicken. Pour mixture into a 9 by 9 inch square or rectangular pan and freeze for about 2-3 hours until it is only partially set up (worst case scenario: if it freezes too much, let it thaw a bit on the countertop before you add the strawberries).
  3. Speaking of:  Now we take the pureed strawberries, pour in a swirl into the pan, then use a spoon to zigzag back and forth, to desired swirly-ice-cream aesthetic.
  4. Back it goes in the freezer, for at least 8 hours or overnight. Ideally, take it out 30 minutes before serving or so.

Optional but YUM: Take the strawberry juice  and balsamic leftover from making the puree and reduce it a bit on your stovetop, just until it’s thick and syrupy. Serve on top of ice cream.

— posted by Anne



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