Cuisine Fiend

strawberry ripple ice cream

Mon, 22 July, 2019

Homemade ice cream without eggs rippled with fresh strawberry puree. It’s the smoothest vanilla ice cream Italian style with a swirl of strawberry granite: two of the best things for a summer day.

strawberry ripple ice cream

My ice cream season this year started late. Spring was malignantly cold and the summer began sluggishly; plus I took off on hols early this year and came back exhausted by the southern French canicule. What is it with people? Never happy with the weather.

I only discovered recently that the French are very categorical about their ice cream flavours: if it’s creamy, it’s never fruity. Fruit flavours are all sorbets not dairy and never the twain shall meet. As much as I respect the French and love sorbets, I think they miss a trick. Caramel, chocolate, pistachio, stracciatella are nice but sickly, and I do like a touch of a tang in my ice cream.

italian style strawberry ripple gelato

Perhaps they are being French about it – you know, ice cream all very well but you have to have rules, otherwise standards slip. Or they are just practical: no French vegans need to ask unnecessary question: if it’s fruit, it’s good. And all joking aside, maybe the reason they draw such a hard line is because adding fruit to ice custard dilutes the creaminess? It may well be so but then that’s why man created ripple.

Ripple ice cream is no flavour or vanilla (some people think it’s one and the same) ice cream with fruit sauce or syrup stirred into it to create swirls. It shouldn’t be very even, some fruit will mingle into the custard base, some will pool in the corners of a tub. That’s why my shop-bought tubs of ripple ice cream look like an ice age mole burrowed in it, the ripple tunnelled out leaving mostly plain vanilla.

vanilla ice cream with fresh strawberry ripple

The classic is raspberry, pipless and cooked down to syrup. It makes some sense because thick, unctuous ripple will not freeze to crystals against the creamy base. But actually, it may not be such a bad idea to have a mix of textures in your dessert, like a coarse fruit granita swirled into smooth ice cream. Plus strawberries don’t have those pesky pips that you have to discard through a sieve. Which makes the whole enterprise really, really easy.

The strawberry pulp blends into the ice cream more than syrup would but that’s quite all right as the flavour is more evenly distributed. The texture is lovely if you pay attention to it and inoffensive if you should take an exception. And the best thing is that you can serve the ice cream with extra fresh strawberries which invariably makes everything look charmingly pretty.

strawberry ripple ice cream

Servings: makes about 1 litreTime: 20 minutes plus chilling and churning


  • 180g whole milk
  • 86g caster sugar
  • 420g double cream
  • 1 tsp good vanilla extract
  • 100g strawberries, washed and hulled


1. Place the milk, cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a saucepan. Bring it slowly to 90C over medium heat. If you don’t have a thermometer, take it off the heat just before it boils and cool it down completely. Chill in the fridge overnight.

cooking ice cream custard

2. Puree the strawberries in a blender or push them through a sieve.

strawberry puree

3. Churn the vanilla mix in the ice cream maker according to the appliance instructions, about 30 minutes on average, or until the ice cream thickens and the machine starts to struggle to churn it.

making strawberry ripple ice cream

4. Scrape the ice cream into a large tub and pour over the strawberry puree. Fold it in gently to create a ripple effect and freeze for at least two hours before serving. Remove from the freezer 10 minutes before scooping.

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