Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

Back in May when my strawberry plants were thriving, I thought about what to do with the berries, besides gorge on them! (And share.) There’s nothing quite like that just-ripened strawberry, picked from its plant.

Then I remembered a milk shake my mother made, maybe in 1968 or 1969. We lived on Long Island, New York, at the time, and where we lived wasn’t populated. We had the Long Island Sound in the front, hills behind us, a lovely creek, and lots of green space.

My mother’s idol was Euell Gibbons back then, and she foraged everything. At the time I wasn’t fond of a lot that she foraged, like mushrooms and watercress, but I loved when the local strawberries were in full force. She picked these little strawberries and blended them with good vanilla ice cream.

These particular strawberries are what I’d tasted before in France, thanks to my mother. They have a strong perfume as well as a strawberry goodness and they’re called fraises des bois, or strawberries of the woods. Below is a photo I found online of these strawberries, on the left. I had some in my garden in the early days, but the larger, more common variety of strawberry has taken over, sadly. They spread easily.

After thinking about a strawberry shake, it was a given that I’d make strawberry ice cream with my berries. I pulled out my book The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz, published in 2007; there’s an updated version published in 2018. Sure enough, I found a perfect recipe using fresh strawberries. It’s even a little boozy!

I ended up not having enough from my garden, thanks to some pests and too much rain, so most of the strawberries I used for this recipe are store-bought. But they were good ones.

Here’s the author’s description of the ice cream recipe: Brilliant pink fresh strawberry ice cream is a classic flavor and, along with chocolate and vanilla, is an American favorite. I’m a big fan of any kind of berries served with tangy sour cream, but I think strawberries are the most delicious, especially when frozen into a soft, rosy red scoop of ice cream. Macerating the strawberries beforehand magically transforms even so-so berries into fruits that are brilliantly red. Try to eat this ice cream soon after it’s been churned.

Strawberry-Sour Cream Ice Cream
Makes about 1 1/4 quarts
printable recipe below

1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vodka or kirsch (I used kirsch)*
1 cup sour cream
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Slice the strawberries and toss them in a bowl with the sugar and vodka or kirsch, stirring until the sugar begins to dissolve. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour, stirring every so often.

Pulse the strawberries and their liquid with the sour cream, heavy cream, and lemon juice in a blender or food processor until almost smooth but still slightly chunky.

Refrigerate for 1 hour then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

My Cuisinart ice cream maker has two bowls, which is handy. Especially if you’ve ever poured too much into one!

The ice cream is good. You can taste a little zing from the sour cream. But I think I prefer a full fat ice cream; all heavy cream.

The other thing is…. I think I’d prefer a fresh strawberry shake. What I didn’t like in the ice cream was the frozen strawberry bits. They were icy and cold to eat.

And I don’t freeze my ice cream hard. I like it on the softer side and creamy.

So I learned a lesson here. Overall it’s a great recipe, but one I won’t repeat. My mother had the right idea using the fraises des bois in a milk shake!

*If you don’t want alcohol in your ice cream, a tablespoon of grenadine would be nice, and pretty!




About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen June 21, 2021 at 7:42 AM - Reply

    This looks delightful Mimi! You reminded me how much I miss wild strawberries, which were abundant when I was growing up. Nothing was better or sweeter, and although it took a lot of work to get any amount, it was well worth it!

    • chef mimi June 21, 2021 at 8:35 AM - Reply

      Yes! They’re just so different. So perfumy. I’m going to plant more, cause I only found a few in my garden.

  2. popsiclesociety June 21, 2021 at 8:18 AM - Reply

    Oh yum 😋 Heavenly delicious 😋 I love the wild strawberries of the woods. I used to go picking them with my grandparents in the woods! So flavorful 😋

    • chef mimi June 21, 2021 at 8:34 AM - Reply

      I really miss those. I need to find more to plant – i hadn’t realized the big ones had taken over!

  3. angiesrecipes June 21, 2021 at 8:21 AM - Reply

    So fresh, fruity and creamy! I want a huge scoop :-))

    • chef mimi June 21, 2021 at 8:33 AM - Reply

      Thanks, Angie! It was fun to make!

  4. The Parmigiana Whisperer June 21, 2021 at 3:42 PM - Reply


    • chef mimi June 22, 2021 at 7:29 PM - Reply

      I know!!!

  5. Mary June 21, 2021 at 5:13 PM - Reply

    Who doesn’t love the first Strawberries?! In ice cream I like the fruit pulverised- no lumps, for the very same reason as yours – too cold lumps in the lovely cream. I’m told that the more booze used in the Ice Cream the less hard it will freeze. Who’s complaining?! :))
    The Strawberry Milk Shake it will have to be!
    Thanks Mimi. :))

    • chef mimi June 21, 2021 at 5:26 PM - Reply

      Ha! No one’s complaining! except that you can’t taste it… Well I did learn a lesson. My husband reminded me that I don’t like chunks of chocolate in ice cream. They taste like hard chunks of wax to me.

  6. Healthy World Cuisine June 21, 2021 at 6:30 PM - Reply

    You scream, I scream we all scream for Mimi’s delicious strawberry ice-cream with fresh wild strawberries and booze. You just can’t go wrong with the combo! Super creamy! Craving a bowl tight now.

    • chef mimi June 22, 2021 at 7:30 PM - Reply

      Well, in all honesty, not creamy enough, and I should have blended the mixture more. But still really good and refreshing!

  7. Ben Maclain|Havocinthekitchen June 21, 2021 at 7:36 PM - Reply

    Oh I love those wild strawberries – so small but packed with an almost intoxicating aroma! (Perfume I used to have them a lot when I was a kid, but it’s not so easy to spot them nowadays. Anyway, this ice cream looks and sounds delightful, and I love the addition of sour cream.

    • chef mimi June 22, 2021 at 7:31 PM - Reply

      I’m so glad you experienced those. I’m not sure how widespread they are, but wow, they’re amazing!

  8. Mimi, this looks dangerously delicious! I remember eating those wonderful strawberries from the farmer’s market in France. They were so ripe and delicious that they needed to be eaten within hours of purchase.

    • chef mimi June 22, 2021 at 7:33 PM - Reply

      I’m so glad you had the opportunity to taste those. Incredible strawberries…

  9. Debra June 21, 2021 at 10:22 PM - Reply

    I have access to very good strawberries this time of year, and I am certainly looking forward to this taste treat! The ingredients are different from what I typically use in my ice cream recipes, and I can’t wait to taste the difference! :-)

    • chef mimi June 21, 2021 at 11:10 PM - Reply

      I hope you like this recipe!

  10. Sherry June 22, 2021 at 6:32 AM - Reply

    Yum. I love strawberry ice cream and I love the frozen bits:).

    • chef mimi June 22, 2021 at 7:27 PM - Reply

      I guess you either do or don’t!~ Interesting!

  11. Jeff the Chef June 22, 2021 at 7:52 AM - Reply

    This ice cream looks perfect! I agree with you that commercial strawberries are a disappointment even if they are better than they used to be, but you cannot beat the small, delicate, perfume variety.

    • chef mimi June 22, 2021 at 7:28 PM - Reply

      Aren’t they incredible!!! I need to plant more, for sure…

  12. Ann Coleman June 22, 2021 at 2:00 PM - Reply

    I just love home made ice cream, and strawberry and peach are two of my favorites. I’ve never tried a recipe using sour cream, but I’ll have to try it…the photos are divine!

    • chef mimi June 22, 2021 at 7:27 PM - Reply

      My sister just told me that I’d made peach ice cream for her years ago, when she visited, and I didn’t remember! I have repeatedly said that I need to make peach ice cream! Strawberry might be second best, maybe…

    • chef mimi June 23, 2021 at 7:46 PM - Reply

      Thank you. Honestly, I don’t think the sour cream enhanced the flavor.

  13. Raymund June 22, 2021 at 5:56 PM - Reply

    Love that ice cream! Fresh fruit ice cream here in NZ is quite popular, a lot of shops sell them during summer but is available all year round.

    • chef mimi June 22, 2021 at 7:26 PM - Reply


  14. Molly Pisula June 23, 2021 at 4:21 AM - Reply

    Yum! Love this idea for fresh strawberries. And all of David L’s recipes are top-notch!

    • chef mimi June 23, 2021 at 7:45 PM - Reply

      I just don’t think that using sour cream helped the recipe out… I would have preferred full fat cream. I mean, it’s ice CREAM!

  15. kitchenriffs June 23, 2021 at 10:32 AM - Reply

    Euell Gibbons!! Blast from the past. Have totally forgotten about him. Anyway, this looks terrific — lovely summer fare. Thanks!

    • chef mimi June 23, 2021 at 7:34 PM - Reply

      My mother idolized Euell! She not only foraged foods, but we had all kinds of tinctures and whatnot, in case of bites and burns… it was a very interesting time!

  16. cookingontheweekends June 23, 2021 at 5:20 PM - Reply

    I love that you grow your own strawberries. I’ve always wanted berries (and avocados!) in my garden. For now, it’s a lot of herbs, which is lovely, too. I’m sorry pests got to some of your strawberries, though it sounds like you were able to enjoy some of them first. :-) I think the only ice cream I love outside of chocolate and coffee is one made with fresh strawberries. Looks amazing. I have a no-churn version, but look forward to trying this one, too. Happy summer! :-) ~Valentina

    • chef mimi June 23, 2021 at 7:32 PM - Reply

      I have never tried no churn! I don’t know why, probably cause I’m old fashioned, and this electric gadget works so well! Gardens are tough, but a few zucchini and lots of herbs make them so worth while!

  17. Sissi June 24, 2021 at 8:31 AM - Reply

    I love all the ingredients in your ice-cream! The alcohol and the sour cream too!
    I have always assumed wild strawberries grew everywhere, in the USA too! I remember from my childhood they grew wild in the woods and then slowly, more and more people started to grow them in their gardens, then some started to sell…but they are never mass-produced. They are still rare to spot on the markets and cost a fortune compared to “normal” strawberries! This is why I actually grow several wild strawberry plants on my balcony! I pick one or two every morning and it’s such a pleasure!!!

    • chef mimi June 24, 2021 at 3:47 PM - Reply

      Oh you’re so lucky! I can only imagine what a treat a couple of them must be for you!

  18. sippitysup June 24, 2021 at 12:25 PM - Reply

    The first time I tasted French fraises des bois. I was blown away. But as you say good berries are still great and this dish proves it. GREG

  19. David @ Spiced June 25, 2021 at 10:29 AM - Reply

    I know what you mean about the frozen bits of berries in ice cream, Mimi. Even the store-bought versions usually have those, and they can be a little off-putting. A milkshake sounds like the way to go! And I’m really intrigued by the addition of kirsch here – I’ve used that one in baking, but never in ice cream. Sounds like I need to give it a shot…in milkshake form!

  20. Karen (Back Road Journal) June 28, 2021 at 11:21 AM - Reply

    When I was young, we would make strawberry or peach ice cream for 4th of July. We had a hand crank churn and everyone helped with the churning. I don’t think it froze near as hard as the ice cream makers most people use today. My mother would mix the cut up strawberries with a lot of sugar and she let them sit out for several hours until they were very soft. I don’t remember the strawberries being too hard once we ate the ice cream. Your ice cream looks great, too bad it wasn’t what you had hoped it would be.

    • chef mimi June 28, 2021 at 1:50 PM - Reply

      It wasn’t, for that’s okay, because I sure don’t need the calories! I thought the sour cream was a good idea, but I think full fat ice cream is best. Otherwise, it’s ice milk!

  21. Hannah Kaminsky June 28, 2021 at 1:07 PM - Reply

    There really is nothing like a fresh, ripe strawberry picked right out of the fields! I have such fond memories of picking berries with my family. I don’t think we ever did much with them though; no matter how much we gathered, they always disappeared in a flash! Of course I’m sure you understand my attraction to ice cream, so this is one worth holding out for.

    • chef mimi June 28, 2021 at 1:48 PM - Reply

      That’s just so true. Right off of the strawberry plant is best, especially still warm from the sun!

  22. David Scott Allen July 1, 2021 at 10:15 AM - Reply

    I loved your comment on Facebook (or was it Instagram?) thar you only “tasted it.” for me, tasting it would’ve meant eating the entire batch. :) It’s really beautiful!

    • chef mimi July 1, 2021 at 10:18 AM - Reply

      Ha!! Well, my favorite ice cream brand is Talenti, and if it’s around, I taste the whole pint. This just wasn’t as good as I hoped, which worked in my favor. I’ve honestly gained 20 pounds since beginning blogging! But not from sweets, since I rarely make them.

  23. Roz August 27, 2021 at 8:40 AM - Reply

    Mimi, don’t you just love “The Perfect Scoop”? It’s my go-to cookbook (and authority) for ice cream recipes! I have to make this strawberry next, I have a lot of frozen fresh strawberries from spring. I know that this will quickly become my husband’s favorite! Stop by and peek at my results for peach ice cream recipe from the same cookbook, it’s another Lebovitz winner. Like you, when I find a keeper, that’s it! You don’t have to look any further. I’m sure you feel that way about this strawberry ice cream. I’d have you over for an ice cream party if I could! Thanks for sharing, Mimi!

    • chef mimi August 27, 2021 at 8:49 AM - Reply

      Yes, he’s a good writer and knows his stuff! I’ll check out your peach version!

  24. Ellen September 8, 2021 at 8:59 AM - Reply

    Strawberry ice cream is a classic treat, and it is even better if you can make it with fresh strawberries! The fun thing about this recipe is that it can be prepared year-round.

    • chef mimi September 8, 2021 at 9:01 AM - Reply

      Exactly!!! You might need an heat lamp…

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