Family lore has my dear Stoic the Vast making two unforgettable ice cream gaffes: He put whole blueberries in the ice cream maker once upon a time (they freeze into navy-blue bullets), and he made ice cream with buttermilk. Even the cats wouldn’t eat it is the “happily ever after” on this particular fairy tale.
Stupid cats. I made a 4-ingredient strawberry ice cream that had just the right “wang” from the buttermilk. It’s no-fat, not too sugary and, with those fresh berries, healthy, even.
I use a 26-year-old 1-quart Donvier manual freezer. We have a big freezer for big summer picnics, but I love this. If it ever gives up the ghost, I’ll get another. (They still sell them new on amazon.com for anywhere between $55 and $105).
There are a couple tricks to using this gizmo. One: If you get distracted and the paddle gets stuck to the frozen cylinder, just turn it backwards and then forward again. Two: When your mixture looks like ice cream, remove the paddle (sampling to make sure the ice cream’s all right), plug the hole in the lid with the little stopper and wrap the entire freezer in several layers of towels. Ice cream will be the perfect consistency in the time it takes to eat your supper.
Strawberry-buttermilk ice cream
2 cups fresh strawberries, washed and capped
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Mint sprigs for garnish (optional)
Process berries, milk, sugar and vanilla in food processor, then push mixture through sieve. Refrigerate all day until it’s nice and chilly. Make ice cream according to freezer directions, and garnish with mint if you like. That’s all there is to it. Onyx-dark chocolate wafers would be good with this too. Makes 1 quart.