Wednesday 4 June 2014

Strawberry and Rosewater Ice Cream

I know, I know... Strawberry ice cream does sound ordinary, but the addition of rosewater here makes it really special... The inspiration for this comes from a cheesecake recipe I made few years ago.  It's a lemon and poppyseed cheesecake and it is served with raspberry and rosewater syrup.  The cheesecake itself is delicious, but the syrup... oh, the syrup... I could drink it from the jug (perhaps with a touch of vodka and soda water). Anyway, I thought this berry and rosewater combination would be delicious in an ice cream and it is!

Rosewater, with its perfumey pungent floral taste and aroma, I think is a bit like Marmite... people either love it or hate it.  I happen to love it and it's a must-have ingredient in my pantry.  A little drop of it goes a long way; too much and it will overpower and ruin the dish... I mean it'll be like eating a bowl of potpourri.

For the ice cream I suggest you start with a couple of teaspoons and taste from there.  I did use a tad more because the rosewater brand that I use (The English Provender Co.) isn't too strong.  But just a note, you do want the rosewater flavour to be stronger when it's still in custard form.  As the ice cream base chills in the freezer, the flavour will mellow.  So, if it's weak from the start, you might lose the flavour later.

The grenadine syrup, a popular ingredient in cocktail making with its deep red colour is entirely optional.  No need to rush to get it if you haven't got some at home.  I just want to intensify the colour in both the strawberries and the ice cream.

Anyway, this is a very easy ice cream to make and really refreshing and you don't need an ice cream maker to make it.  Simply follow the method below.

This ice-cream is also my entry for this months' BSFIC challenge.  The theme for the month of June is delicious fruit, so if you're planning to make a fruit based ice-cream, be sure to join in!

Strawberry and Rosewater Ice Cream

250 gr strawberries
1 to 2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tsp rosewater, or to taste
2 tsp grenadine syrup
250 ml double cream
250 ml full fat milk
1/2 vanilla pod
5 egg yolks
100 gr caster sugar

Hull and chop the strawberries into little pieces... don't worry about chopping them too neatly, most of them is going to the blender anyway.  Put the strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle over the caster sugar.  If your strawberries are already sweet, a tablespoon will do.  Then add the rosewater and the grenadine syrup. Give them a good mix and leave to steep whilst you make the custard base.

Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan and add the vanilla pod, split down the middle lengthwise to expose the seeds.  Bring the mixture almost to a boil, then take it off the heat and leave to infuse for 15 to 20 minutes.  When the time is up, take out the vanilla pod, but don't throw it away... Let it dry and add it to your sugar pot and you'll end up with beautiful vanilla sugar.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the caster sugar until thick and pale yellow.  Slowly and gradually whisk in the warm vanilla cream to the yolks.  Then return the mixture to the saucepan and cook again over low heat, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon until it thickens.  This might take 10 minutes or so. Then take it off the heat and pour in a bowl to cool slightly.

Puree most of the strawberries, leaving about 2 tablespoons worth, in a blender.  Fold in the strawberry puree and the reserved chopped strawberries to the custard.  Now... if you're lucky and have an ice cream maker, use it according to the manufacturer's instruction.  I don't have one, and if you're like me, what you need to do is put the ice cream base into a covered container and stick it in the freezer.  Take it out after an hour and give it a good beating with a whisk.  This will prevent the ice-crystals from forming, so that you'll end up with smooth and silky ice-cream.  Do this at least three times then let it freeze completely and you know what to do when it's done... :) 


  1. It might have sounded ordinary, but that's my favourite. Thanks for sharing, Michael.

  2. Wow! It looks and sounds delicious! It would be a hit here so thanks for the recipe!

  3. Michael, that sounds perfect! Of course, even without the rosewater, strawberry is far from ordinary in my books. It looks like it came out just fine without an ice cream maker. Good to know.

  4. I'm definitely in the love camp for rosewater! What a divine combination Michael! :D

  5. I've used rosewater in a few recipes, Michael, but never thought to add it to ice cream. Super idea and a lovely combo.

  6. Michael, I'm totally drooling over your super yummy strawberry ice cream...a must make real soon!

  7. OMG! I love everything about this ice the touch of rose water...thank you so much for the recipe!
    Have a great week Michael :D

  8. So weird, I was SURE I left a comment back when you first sent me the link! Really love rose and I don't think we use it enough -- adds such a wonderful exotic summer flavour to fruit. Nice idea!