I just bought my very first ice-cream maker, a very affordable Cuisinart in pink. Love it! It's actually a very simple contraption consisting of a freezer bowl which rotates on a spinning base, and there's a paddle that's inserted in the bowl which then churns the ice-cream as the bowl rotates. I've made ice-cream in the past, but using the manual method of freezing the mixture and stirring with a spoon every half hour so as to avoid ice crystals from forming. The kids and I had fun watching the mixture churn and slowly turning into ice-cream. Instant gratification.
My decision to make this delicious Strawberry Ricotta ice-cream was really because I had this tub of ricotta in the fridge that I was planning to use for ricotta cheesecake. I scrapped the cheesecake idea because firstly, I find it difficult baking any sort of cake with the kids running all over the house, in and out of the kitchen. Secondly, how many days and how many people would it take to finish a whole ricotta cheesecake, especially since it doesn't keep too long in the fridge. And so, here is the recipe for this light and creamy ricotta ice-cream with fresh strawberries. I was actually planning to add in some chocolate chips as well, but the freezer bowl only takes up to 1.5 litres and I think I might have exceeded the limit.
This ice-cream is fabulous sandwiched between these wafers that you see here. I got these ice-cream wafers from IGA supermarket, and they are fantastic. I personally prefer eating the ice-cream with the wafers rather than just the ice-cream itself, for a bit of textural contrast. Because it uses ricotta, the ice-cream will have the grainy texture that ricotta has, and so don't be expecting smooth and creamy ice-cream. But the ricotta and strawberries are delicious and makes an absolute treat with the wafers!
Strawberry Ricotta Ice-cream
1 1/4 cup thickened cream
1 cup sugar (or to taste)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
500g (1 pound) ricotta cheese
1 punnet (250g / 1/2 pound) fresh strawberries, roughly chopped in a blender/food processor.
Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to a simmer. It should be warm enough to dissolve the sugar. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved, then add the vanilla. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours until cold. Stir in the ricotta and mix well. Stir through the strawberries. Churn the mixture with an ice-cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions. Freeze until just firm. If the ice-cream is too hard, leave it out on the counter for a while to soften slightly before serving. Enjoy sandwiched between ice-cream wafers!