Eggless Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream

While walking through the Santa Monica Farmers Market on Wednesday, I could smell the sweet strawberries well before I could see them. We're almost to that period in spring when you can cut into a perfectly firm strawberry and find a deep red color throughout. It's a thing of beauty.

Let's get this berry party started.

I think the key to making ice cream with a great mouthfeel is finding the right balance of sugar and water. Since water content in fruit can vary greatly, the roasting method helps control for texture while also concentrating the flavor. I discuss the science behind ice cream and ice crystals in this post so I won't duplicate all that content here.

Useless Facts

  • Strawberries aren't berries and technically they're not a fruit. The hundreds of little seeds that cover the outside are fruit. So, you are eating fruit when you have a strawberry, but the fruit isn't what you thought it was. Here's a brief explanation, and if you really want to impress your guests at the next dinner party here's the extended version.
  • If you place this year's California crop of strawberries end to end it would wrap around the globe approximately 15 times.
  • Eight strawberries have more vitamin C than an orange and, like my Spicy Basil Pesto, they're full of flavonoids. If this ice cream is packed vitamin C and antioxidants then it has to be good for you.


While making this season's first batch of ice cream, I failed to follow my own advice and didn't freeze the Cuisinart bowl for a full 24 hours. The soft serve was way too soft even after 25 minutes of processing. The ice cream ended up developing huge ice crystals as a result, and since I don't like eating sandpaper the batch went into the trash. That always hurts. It's critical that you freeze the bowl for at least 24 hours (preferably on the bottom shelf) and chill the base overnight. Are you listening, self?


Strawberries at Harry's Berries - Santa Monica Farmers Market



  • 1 lb strawberries (weight taken after they were trimmed)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey Note: I recommend using a mild flavored honey so the strawberries can shine.


  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 cups cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tbsp vodka
  • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar



  • Wash, dry, and hull your strawberries. You should have 1lb after processing.
  • Cut the strawberries in half (or quarters for the larger fruit).
  • Move your oven rack to the middle position and heat to 350. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and then lay a piece of parchment paper on top of that.
  • Gently toss the strawberries with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of honey. Note: I microwave the honey just a little to loosen it up.
  • Spread the strawberries on the parchment paper in a single layer and roast for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, tossing twice.
  • If you're squeezed for time this is where you can stop. Simply refrigerate the cooled berries in an airtight container until the next day.


  • Once the strawberries are finished, combine the milk, cream, sugar, and salt in a separate pot. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to 175 degrees, stirring frequently.
  • Remove from the heat and add the roasted strawberries, vanilla, remaining lemon juice, vodka, Grand Marnier, and then puree. Note: I just tip the pan and use an immersion blender. Works great and is easy to clean. If you prefer a blender or food processor that will work, too.
  • Move the now blended base to a large bowl and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight. Note: Be a friend to your ice cream maker and don't skimp on the refrigerator time.


  • Once the base has chillaxed, follow your ice cream maker's instructions and process. Note: I freeze my Cuisinart bowl for 24 hours and it takes 20-25 minutes for the ice cream to finish.
  • Transfer your soft serve to airtight containers and freeze until the ice cream is set.


Due to the lack of preservatives and eggs (eggs act as a natural stabilizer), this ice cream only lasts for a couple of weeks in the freezer. Over time the texture degrades and becomes icy. I recommend storing it on a low shelf since that's generally the coldest part of the freezer. UPDATE: Tried the ice cream from the photos after 3 weeks in the freezer and it's practically perfect. Two weeks is usually when you start to notice a change in texture, but this batch is going strong. So there you go.

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