Strawberry-Fennel Ice Cream

By • June 4, 2010 • 40 Comments

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Author Notes: I haven't been very active on Food52 of late as I've been on a rather intense journey discovering the benefits of raw milk, lacto-fermentation and ancient grains—perhaps a bit out there for this crowd? But I came up with this recipe using raw cream, eggs straight from the farm, agave nectar and fennel pollen that tastes just like spring. The beautiful pink color comes from a puree of strawberries but there are also chunks of whole berry to add texture to the creamy base. - gluttonforlifegluttonforlife

Food52 Review: You would think that the key ingredient in this ice cream would be the fragrant fennel pollen, but it's actually the agave nectar. It makes for a featherlight custard and a sweetness that recedes to the shadows, allowing all the attention fall on the berries. The fennel does its work, too, and we liked how gluttonforlife let it infuse the ice cream without overpowering it. If you can't get fennel pollen, don't sweat it -- just add ground anise seed or fennel seed in the same proportion. - A&MA&M

Makes about 5 cups

  • 13/4 cup heavy raw or organic cream
  • 3 fat strips of lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel pollen
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 2/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons agave nectar, separated
  • 3 cups ripe strawberries, trimmed and halved
  • 1 cup strawberries, trimmed and cut into chunks
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  1. Combine cream, zest, fennel pollen and salt in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and discard zest.
  2. Whisk eggs with 2/3 cup agave nectar in a bowl, then add hot cream in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour back into saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened and an instant-read thermometer registers 170°. Do not boil!
  3. Immediately pour custard through a fine sieve into a metal bowl, then cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Cover and chill until cold, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
  4. While custard is chilling, purée strawberries with lemon juice and remaining 3 tablespoons agave nectar until smooth, then force through fine sieve to remove seeds (or not, this step is optional) into chilled custard. Stir purée into custard.
  5. Freeze in ice-cream maker. About ¾ of the way through (time varies depending on your machine), stir in strawberry chunks. Finish freezing, then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden.
Jump to Comments (40)

Tags: Healthy, seasonal, Spring, Summer

Comments (40) Questions (1)

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over 1 year ago Katie1

With fresh strawberries, yum!

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over 1 year ago Leilad

Raw is the best.

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over 3 years ago cristinabeana

This is a stellar recipe. I used fresh fennel pollen from my garden. To get the pollen pick the flowers from your fennel plant before the pollen gets blown from them. Be sure to leave about 5 to 6 inches of stem when cutting. Use a brown paper bag to shake out the pollen from the fennel flower by hitting it against the sides of your bag. Enjoy!

Ls

over 3 years ago gluttonforlife

Lucky you to have your own fennel pollen! I am now onto dill pollen which is great for pickles (among other uses).

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almost 4 years ago PollenRanch

Can we post some of your fennel recipes to our site? We would love to share these wonderful dishes with some of our fennel and dill clients. The more ideas, the better.

Ls

over 3 years ago gluttonforlife

Of course! If possible, please include a credit and link to my blog: http://gluttonforlife.com. Thank you!

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over 4 years ago Sagegreen

Love your photos, too!

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

A&M, what brand of agave nectar did you use when you tested this recipe? Thanks! ;o)

Me

over 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

I made this wonderful ice cream yesterday and my husband, the unofficial ice cream expert, LOVED it. So did I. Thanks!!

Ls

over 4 years ago gluttonforlife

So glad it was a hit with you!

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over 4 years ago courtneycarlson

Can you tell me more about fennel pollen--where do you find it?

Ls

over 4 years ago gluttonforlife

Here's a link where you can read about it and order some if you like: http://www.zingermans.com...

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over 4 years ago G-Love

I love this recipe, but not as much as I love gluttonforlife.

Ls

over 4 years ago gluttonforlife

Awww...you're just angling for more of that ice cream. ;-)

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Really interested in trying this, but it won't be with agave nectar. (See April 15 article in Huffington Post by Joseph Mercola . . . specifically, "Most agave 'nectar' or agave 'syrup' is nothing more than a laboratory-generated super-condensed fructose syrup, devoid of virtually all nutrient value, and offering you metabolic misfortune in its place.") Plan to use maple syrup instead; will report back. Sounds like there's something about agave nectar, however, that provides an advantage in maintaining the texture of the ice cream, so this will be interesting. Stay tuned . . . . ;o)

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over 4 years ago thirschfeld

Hey AJ, this is a great recipe but if you dislike agave nectar you may want to try brown rice syrup. I don't know the research on it but I know it is neutral in flavor where as maple syrup is probably going to over power everything in this really nice recipe.

Ls

over 4 years ago gluttonforlife

It's been pretty easy for me to find 100% pure agave made from the juice of the plant. An interesting alternative might be yacón syrup, although I see you're having a love affair with maple syrup. Hopefully, you're using grade B...

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Well, it's not really a love affair (and yes, it's Grade B). I find that maple syrup adds a mild sweetness, without a distinct flavor, in recipes where the other ingredients are themselves fairly flavorful. So it actually doesn't overpower the other flavors. What is the brand of agave nectar that you use? I'm not suggesting that they are all bad . . . but it does seem that the manufacturers of many are misleading the public into believing that the stuff they are making is actually good for you. The fact that the product is labeled "organic" apparently is not dispositive. ;o)

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over 4 years ago coffeefoodwritergirl

Read the article -- interesting that he says "many" and "most companies" but states that agave when extracted correctly and organic is at or under the index for safe (for allowed fructose levels in the body daily). Will be interesting to see what further research comes up on this and if articles like these help to regulate the controls on natural food products so that companies like the ones that he is referring to are not able to cut an otherwise natural product with corn syrup and the like....

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thirshfeld, I actually have some brown rice syrup, which I use on occasion in pecan pies. Ironically, it doesn't seem that neutral. I use both -- maple syrup and brown rice syrup -- in place of corn syrup in my favorite pecan pie recipe. I notice the brown rice syrup, but not the maple. ;o)

Ls

over 4 years ago gluttonforlife

Just read the HuffPost piece. Sigh. I think the bottom line really is to limit all sweeteners, and especially those that undergo extensive processing. I cut out all sugars for over a month and I can't tell you how much my skin, digestion and mental clarity improved. I think I will stick to rapadura and maple syrup and raw honey, but only for an occasional treat. Thanks for the heads-up, AJ! Let me know how the ice cream turns out...

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over 4 years ago coffeefoodwritergirl

Brown rice syrup -- have never tried that -- I am making some banana bread today and I think I will give it a shot....

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over 4 years ago coffeefoodwritergirl

I like your research journey gfl! My kind of food...=)

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over 4 years ago Allison Cay Parker

Love, love, love fennel pollen. I have some, too, and the ice cream maker is perpetually on the counter now (canister in the freezer). Love the surprising combo of fennel and strawberry. Genius. Good luck!

Ls

over 4 years ago gluttonforlife

Thanks, all, for your support! I tried a version of this with milk instead of cream and yacón syrup instead of agave and it was really good, though you had to whizz it up in the food processor every time it came out of the freezer.

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over 4 years ago Jennifer Ann

I am going to try this out on some company over the weekend - cannot wait!

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over 4 years ago monkeymom

This looks amazing. I have fennel pollen on hand and am loving it. Congrats on making the finals!

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over 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I'm so excited to have a new ice cream to try! Congratulations on being a finalist.

Me

over 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

I've been experimenting with ice creams that use something other than processed sugar for a few months and so love your use of agave nectar here. I'll definitely make this one this week it looks so interesting. Many congrats for being finalist this week!

Ls

over 4 years ago gluttonforlife

I almost never use sugar any more unless it's rapadura; honey also works well and I've recently discovered yacón syrup...

Me

over 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

I've been using honey with great success, but I'm going to experiment with agave nectar next starting with your ice cream! Haven't seen yacon syrup, but will look for that too. Is it similar?

Ls

over 4 years ago gluttonforlife

Yacón tastes something light a light molasses or a caramelized sugar. It's made from a tuber and is high in fructooligosacharides, which do not increase blood sugar.

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over 4 years ago thirschfeld

Congrats! This looks really good. I have been wondering where you have been. Raw milk, lacto-fermentation and ancient grains aren't to far out for me. I actually am always looking for new recipes for lacto-fermentation. I have two 10 liter crocks for sauerkraut and pickles, make my own kimchi etc etc so post away.

Ls

over 4 years ago gluttonforlife

Would love to see your recipe for pickles!

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over 4 years ago clintonhillbilly

wow, what an idea! congrats!

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over 4 years ago NakedBeet

Called it! ; )

Ls

over 4 years ago gluttonforlife

Clever girl!