Buttermilk Mascarpone Stracciatella with Balsamic Strawberry Conserve for Ice Cream Tuesday

Buttermilk Mascarpone Stracciatella with Balsamic Strawberry ConserveHello, Tuesday. I’m so glad you’re here again.

Last week, Tuesday brought an outrageously decadent concoction, Triple Chocolate Coffee Peanut Crunch Gelato. I still have a little bit left, and the texture is just as lovely as the day I made it. In case you needed any added incentive to make some. This week, I figured I’d dial back the decadence just a bit.

Buttermilk Mascarpone Stracciatella sounds fairly intimidating, but it’s a very accessible base–easy to make, no eggs, delicious, fairly low in fat, all things considered. The balsamic strawberry conserve is rich and complex, yet it only contains 3 ingredients. 4 if you include salt, which you should. I will admit that adding a brown liquid to red fruit doesn’t yield the most beautiful color result. The conserve is rather a dark brick red. If you want a brighter red color, use white balsamic instead. I love the intensity of “regular” balsamic and was not sad to sacrifice some vibrancy for deep, complex flavor. As the conserve cooks, it gives off an almost chocolatey vibe. If you have one of those fun oil and vinegar stores near you, try making this with chocolate balsamic.
Buttermilk Mascarpone Stracciatella with Balsamic Strawberry ConserveThe last component, the scary sounding stracciatella just means long shreds of…anything. Sometimes it’s streaming threads of egg in a soup. Sometimes it could be torn sheets of pasta. In this case, stracciatella refers to the chocolate “chips” that lace the base. It’s a very easy process, too. Just melt your chocolate, with or without a little bit of added fat for consistency, and then stream it into the ice cream towards the end of churning, once the ice cream looks like soft-serve. The threads of chocolate get pulled in and harden upon contact with the cold ice cream, forming long “strings” of chocolate. Much less jarring than biting down on a huge frozen chocolate chip.
Buttermilk Mascarpone Stracciatella with Balsamic Strawberry ConserveI must reference my friend Debra (and The Professor) from SmithBites for some of the inspiration for this ice cream. Last week, they made a glorious Olive Oil Gelato with Rosemary and Strawberry Jam that had my mouth watering in a most unseemly fashion. I loved that they used mascarpone in their base, so I appropriated that idea. As well, I coveted their ribbon of jam. And since strawberries and balsamic are so lovely together, I threw them together in a pot and let them cook for a really, really long time. Thank you, Debra and The Professor for your beautiful ice cream. I hope you like what I have done with your idea.
Buttermilk Mascarpone Stracciatella with Balsamic Strawberry ConserveThe ice cream base is very smooth and creamy, but it does set up pretty hard in the freezer. Since you can’t boil buttermilk without bad things happening, you can’t really bind up any of the water contained in it. I cooked a bunch of starch with the whole milk portion to help offset that, and that keeps the ice crystals relatively small so things stay creamy. Still, expect to let this ice cream sit on the counter for a few minutes before scooping. You can also choose to vary the proportions of milk to buttermilk (I went with 1:1). Or you can leave out the buttermilk entirely, although I do love the tang it gives the base. Feel free to use all whole milk or even half and half for the dairy portion of this ice cream. If you are dairy free or vegan, go with full-fat coconut milk, maybe even with half an avocado and some lime juice thrown in for body and tang.

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Buttermilk Mascarpone Stracciatella with Balsamic Strawberry Conserve
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Author: 
Recipe type: Ice Cream
 
This makes about 1½ quarts of ice cream when all is said and done. You will not use all of the conserve in the ice cream, but I have it on very good authority that it is excellent on buttered toast.
What You Need
For the Ice Cream Base
  • 16 oz buttermilk at room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla paste (you can also cook a scraped vanilla bean with the whole milk if you'd rather)
  • 4 oz mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 16 oz whole milk
  • 10 oz granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
For the Conserve
  • 1 pound strawberries, washed and with the green tops sliced off
  • 4 oz granulated sugar
  • 1½ Tablespoons (4½ teaspoons) balsamic vinegar
  • heavy pinch of kosher salt
For the Stracciatella
  • 4 oz semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (you can also use good quality chips)
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil, cocoa butter if you have some or vegetable oil (if the chocolate seems a bit thick once melted. You want it to be drizzleable.)
What To Do
For the Base
  1. Place the buttermilk, mascarpone and vanilla in a large bowl topped with a fine mesh strainer. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium to medium high heat, bring milk, sugar, cornstarch and salt to a boil, whisking constantly.
  3. Let the mixture boil for about 10-15 seconds and pour through the strainer into the buttermilk mixture.
  4. Whisk until the mascarpone is melted and there are no lumps. Strain again if necessary.
  5. Chill to no more than 40F before churning.
  6. Churn according to manufacturer's directions.
For the Conserve
  1. Bring all the ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat, mashing the berries against the sides of the pan as they soften.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer until reduced and very jammy, about an hour. Stir occasionally to make sure it's not sticking, especially once things thicken up. You can puree the mixture, but I left mine as is for a bit more texture.
  3. Cool to room temperature and then chill.
For the Stracciatella
  1. While the ice cream is churning, melt the chocolate either over a double boiler or in short bursts in the microwave on medium power.
  2. If the chocolate seems a bit thick, melt in the additional fat.
  3. Place in a zip-top bag or a pastry bag fitted with a small round Tip (#2 or #3 would be ideal).
Putting It All Together
  1. During the last minute or so of churning, after the ice cream already is at soft-serve consistency, drizzle in the chocolate in long threads. Allow the churning action to pull in the chocolate before adding more. You may decide you don't want to use all the chocolate, and that's fine. Stop when you like the mix.
  2. Spread a thin layer of conserve in the bottom of your ice cream container.
  3. Top with ⅓ of the ice cream and spread evenly.
  4. Continue layering until the ice cream is gone. You will probably have some jam left, but that's okay. It is very good on toast.
  5. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ice cream and freeze until firm before scooping and serving.
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Other Stuff to Know
This ice cream does freeze pretty firmly, so allow it to sit out on the counter for ten minutes or so before scooping.

I probably say this way too frequently, but on the other hand, I always mean it: I hope you make this ice cream, or make a version to call your own. It’s a great way to use up some strawberries that might be a little past their prime. And if you don’t have or can’t find mascarpone, you can absolutely substitute cream cheese.
Buttermilk Mascarpone Stracciatella with Balsamic Strawberry Conserve
Thank you for spending some time here today on Ice Cream Tuesday! If you have any flavor suggestions, let me know and I’ll add them to my list.

And remember:

Ice Cream Tuesday

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Comments

    • says

      Thank you, Sophia! I’ve been fortunate in that what sounds good in my head has all worked out well in practice. I can’t say I will always be so fortunate, but I hope so! =)

  1. says

    Yowzers! Sometimes I wonder if, with all the flavor blends you put into your ice creams one day you’ll just overload a perfectly good scoop but noooooo. They just get better and better! The mascarpone has me swooning (I so want to try ice cream made with mascarpone!) but the chocolate and the strawberries are just stunning! You kill it, girl! Sharing and posting on my blog’s ice cream page!

    • says

      Thank you!! I will admit that I do flirt with the edge of too much sometimes, but if I plan on cramming a ton into an ice cream, I try to keep the base fairly lean so the whole thing is balanced. I had another dish of this last night, and it is Delightful! Thank you for sharing it, and I’m honored to be on your ice cream page!

  2. breabella says

    Very good ice cream. I’ve made 2 batches thus far and plan to make more for the 4th of July.

    I put the ice cream with stracciatella in a bowl, and put the strawberry conserve in a piping bag with a very large tip. I plunged it deeply into the soft ice cream and piped a thick ribbon swirl into it before freezing. I got a nice distribution that way.

    Thank you for a great recipe!

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