Happy Independence Day!!! I have celebrated this holiday from all over the country – Kansas, Texas, Colorado, Alabama… I’ve watched fireworks lakeside, mountainside and from my own driveway. However, my favorite memories of this holiday are from my grandparents’ backyard. As a kid, we would drive down from Kansas to Texas to visit my grandparents. They would have what seemed like an endless supply of sparklers and popper for us to light up after it got dark. All of us kids would line up out in the yard, a few feet in front of Grandpa’s giant vegetable garden, and write our names in the night sky with the sparklers. Aside from summer camp, this has got to be one of my all-time favorite summer memories.
This year, I’m keeping the holiday low-key. My little one is too little to play with sparklers and I won’t be staying up late since I’ll need to be at work the next day. But I still want a festive treat. Making the ice cream ahead of time means all I have to do is scoop and pour some soda for this one. I opted for fresh strawberries since they are readily available this time of year. And in the continued effort to keep things simple, this is a no-churn ice cream. You’re welcome!
- Make sure the strawberry syrup has completely cooled before you add it to the cream mixture.
- The homemade syrup is really delicious – it would also be fantastic poured over any vanilla ice cream for a sundae.
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
16oz fresh strawberries, de-stemmed and finely chopped
16oz heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
14oz sweetened condensed milk
Strawberry soda (I used a passion fruit & strawberry Italian soda)
Place sugar, balsamic vinegar and half of the strawberries in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid has reduced by half. Set aside to let cool.
In a large, cold bowl, beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. Stir in vanilla, sweetened condensed milk, cooled syrup and remaining fresh strawberries. Pour ice cream into a 9×5 loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for a minimum of 6 hours, preferably overnight.
Place 2 scoops of the strawberry ice cream into a glass. Fill glass with strawberry soda until ice cream is covered and starts to foam. Serve with a straw or spoon.