Crème Fraîche Strawberry Ice Cream
This homemade Crème Fraîche Strawberry Ice Cream is luxuriously rich and creamy, with a delightful tangy flavor and a swirl of sweet roasted strawberries. It’s a gorgeous, delicious frozen summer treat!
Creamy Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream
Homemade ice cream is one of life’s little pleasures in my book, especially when I have sweet summer berries to work with. This Crème Fraîche Strawberry Ice Cream is a beauty – a gorgeous, delicious frozen summertime treat!
This strawberry ice cream recipe incorporates two of the loveliest ingredients:
- crème fraîche – rich and creamy, with a kiss of delightful tangy flavor
- roasted strawberries – tender, sweet, and intensely strawberry flavored
If you’re wondering what to do with all of this season’s wonderful fresh strawberries, this recipe is an outstanding way to enjoy them!
Why You’ll Love This Ice Cream Recipe
My family has grown very fond of crème fraîche ice cream. Here’s why we love it – and why we think you’ll love it too!
- Fun texture and flavor. The ice cream base, because it’s made with crème fraîche (see below for more on this ingredient!), is has a delightful creamy texture and lightly tangy flavor. It’s a unique twist on a more traditional strawberry ice cream.
- It’s never icy. I came up with a great way to ensure that the roasted strawberry ripple doesn’t become icy when frozen – I whisk the roasted strawberry purée with a bit of the crème fraîche ice cream base, borrowing some of that creaminess without robbing the swirl of its fresh strawberry flavor and color. I love that this ice cream stays creamy no matter how long it stays in the freezer.
- Versatile. It’s easy to swap out the fruit in this recipe. Just exchange the strawberries for raspberries or blueberries.
What is Crème Fraîche?
If you’ve ever wondered, “What does crème fraîche taste like?” – I think the closest thing is sour cream. Although I’d say that crème fraîche is lovelier, as it’s richer and tangier (but not necessarily more “sour”), and has a fresher flavor.
It’s wonderful in baking and other sweets recipes because of its high fat content.
Crème fraîche is more popular in Europe than here in the U.S., although it’s still easy to find in most grocery stores. You can also make it at home using a combination of buttermilk and heavy cream.
Here’s everything you’ll need to make this homemade strawberry ice cream.
For the exact ingredient amounts and full instructions, scroll down to the (printable) recipe card at the end of this post!
- Strawberries – For the best flavor, use the ripest, sweetest, most fragrant strawberries you can find.
- Sugar – To help make a simple strawberry syrup and to stir into the ice cream mix.
- Lemon juice – Freshly squeezed lemon juice will always give the best flavor.
- Milk – Whole milk gives a nice richness to the ice cream base.
- Salt – I always like a little salt in my homemade ice cream recipes!
- Egg yolks – These help make the ice cream wonderfully rich and smooth!
- Crème Fraîche – You won’t believe how delicious this ice cream is, with this ingredient mixed into it!
How to Make Crème Fraîche Strawberry Ice Cream
Follow along with my method below to make homemade strawberry ice cream:
Make the Roasted Strawberry Swirl
Roast the strawberries. In a baking dish, stir together the strawberries and sugar. Roast in a 375° F oven for 25 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Remove from oven. Let cool slightly.
- Puree the strawberries. In a food processor, or with an immersion blender, puree the roasted strawberries with the lemon juice. Place mixture in refrigerator to cool.
Make the Ice Cream Base
- First, set up an ice bath. Prepare a medium bowl with a mesh strainer over the top. Set this in an ice bath.
- Make the custard base. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk, sugar, and salt. Stir until warmed and the sugar has dissolved. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Very slowly pour warmed milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Then scrape warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan and place back over medium heat. Stir mixture constantly with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, scraping the bottom as you stir.
- Chill the custard in the fridge. Once the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon, pour the custard through the strainer. Remove strainer and stir custard over the ice bath until it is completely cool. Place custard in refrigerator to chill thoroughly, at least two hours.
- Add the crème fraîche and freeze the ice cream in the ice cream maker. Once the custard is fully chilled, whisk in the crème fraîche. Then freeze mixture in chilled ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Make the strawberry swirl. In a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup of the chilled roasted strawberry puree and ¼ cup of the softly frozen crème fraîche ice cream to make the roasted strawberry swirl.
- Combine crème fraîche ice cream and strawberry swirl. Spread half the crème fraîche ice cream evenly into the bottom of a container. Add about ⅔ of the roasted strawberry swirl, followed by the remaining crème fraîche ice cream. Top with remaining roasted strawberry swirl. Then use a knife to run a few swirls through the container, to lightly combine the layers.
- Freeze the ice cream. Place container in freezer to freeze completely, at least 4 hours.
What Does Roasting The Strawberries Do?
Roasting strawberries is an amazing way to bring out even more sweet flavor in this fruit.
You know how fresh, ripe strawberries taste so perfectly sweet? We take that idea and amp it up by letting the oven coax out even more flavor. Roasting concentrates their natural sugars for a deeper, richer strawberry flavor. More strawberry intensity? I’m in!
This is a great technique for boosting strawberries that are under-ripe or firmer than desired. And when done with perfectly ripe, sweet summer berries, this only intensifies that glorious flavor even more.
Roasting also makes the berries incredibly tender, which is another aspect that works great for this recipe. The strawberries are luxuriously soft and tender, and break down into the strawberry swirl even better.
Tips for Success + Variations
Here are a few tips that will help you make amazing strawberry ice cream every time!
- Thoroughly chill your ice cream machine’s container. If you have an ice cream maker that has a bowl that needs to be frozen first, be sure to put it in the freezer at least 24 hours prior to making (any) ice cream.
- Chill the ice cream base thoroughly before freezing it in the ice cream maker. This will yield the quickest and creamiest ice cream results.
- Add chocolate. This strawberry ice cream recipe is so good with chocolate! I like to add small-chopped semisweet or dark chocolate to the ice cream base for extra flavor. You could also use mini chocolate chips.
- Make your own crème fraîche. If you can’t find store-bought crème fraîche, you can make it at home: Mix 2 tablespoons of buttermilk into 1 cup heavy whipping cream. In a heavy saucepan over low heat, gently heat the mixture until it is only slightly warm, and then transfer the warmed mixture to a glass bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean dishcloth and let it stand at room temperature for 24 hours. It will thicken to look like yogurt. Once thickened, stir the crème fraîche and refrigerate until chilled. This recipe is easily doubled or tripled. Note that if your kitchen is cool it will take longer to thicken.
Ice Cream Topping Ideas
This is an ice cream flavor that I thoroughly enjoy all on its own. The crème fraîche and roasted strawberry flavors are a magical combination. But if you’re looking for more, here are a few ideas to amp up a bowl of homemade strawberry ice cream:
- Top with fresh whipped cream. Homemade whipped cream is a natural topping on bowls of homemade strawberry ice cream.
- Add sliced strawberries. This is a perfect, natural topping for strawberry ice cream. Slice up some sweet strawberries and offer them as an add-on.
- Or strawberry sauce. My fresh (not cooked) homemade strawberry sauce recipe takes this strawberry ice cream over the top for strawberry lovers! It adds another layer of beautiful strawberry flavor. Whipped cream and fresh strawberry sauce would be awesome toppings together!
- Drizzle on chocolate sauce. Our family loves this easy hot fudge sauce – it would be fabulous if you’re looking for some chocolate.
- Sprinkle with chopped nuts. For a crunchy, salty contrast, sprinkle the strawberry ice cream with toasted chopped nuts like almonds, walnuts, pecans, or a combination.
- Make a strawberry sundae! Put these ideas together and make a strawberry sundae – with whipped cream, sliced strawberries, chocolate sauce, and nuts (if you like)!
How to Store Homemade Ice Cream
Store homemade strawberry ice cream in an airtight, freezer-safe container. Homemade ice cream will have the best texture when enjoyed during the first few days, and up to 3 weeks.
Before enjoying, let the container sit on the counter for a few minutes so the ice cream can soften a bit for easier scooping.
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For the roasted strawberry swirl
- 2 cups hulled strawberries, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the crème fraîche ice cream base
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- big pinch of kosher salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- 2 cups crème fraîche
For the roasted strawberry swirl
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- In a 9" glass or ceramic baking dish, stir together the strawberries and sugar. Roast for 25 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Remove from oven. Let cool slightly.
- In a food processor, or with an immersion blender, puree the roasted strawberries with the lemon juice. Place mixture in refrigerator to cool.
For the crème fraîche ice cream base
- Prepare a medium bowl with a mesh strainer over the top. Set this in an ice bath.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm milk, sugar, and salt. Stir until warmed and the sugar has dissolved.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks.
- Very slowly pour the warmed milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Then scrape warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan and place back over medium heat. Stir mixture constantly with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, scraping the bottom as you stir. Once the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon, pour the custard through the strainer. Remove strainer and stir custard over the ice bath until it is completely cool. Place custard in refrigerator to chill thoroughly, at least two hours.
- Once custard is fully chilled, whisk in crème fraîche. Then freeze mixture in chilled ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Using the Pampered Chef ice cream maker, this only took about 15 minutes to reach the desired softly frozen consistency.
- In a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup of the chilled roasted strawberry puree and ¼ cup of the softly frozen crème fraîche ice cream to make the roasted strawberry swirl. You will have extra roasted strawberry puree. Place it in the refrigerator for another use - it's great spooned over ice cream or pound cake, and mixed into lemonade.
- In a container that holds about 5 cups, spread half of the crème fraîche ice cream evenly into the bottom. Add about ⅔ of the roasted strawberry swirl followed by the remaining crème fraîche ice cream, spreading evenly. Top with remaining roasted strawberry swirl. Then use a knife to run a few swirls few swirls through the container, to lightly combine the layers.
- Place container in freezer to freeze completely, at least 4 hours.
Crème fraîche ice cream base adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 671Total Fat: 47gSaturated Fat: 28gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 345mgSodium: 259mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 1gSugar: 51gProtein: 11g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
More Strawberry Dessert Recipes to Try
- Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
- Strawberry Cupcakes
- Strawberry Crunch Cake
- Easy Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie
- Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
- Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars
- Strawberry Fluff with Fresh Strawberry Sauce
This post was originally published in 2017, then updated in 2023.