Strawberry-mezcal ice cream

Recipe by Leslie Brenner

It's best to make this a day in advance, so the custard can chill before you freeze it and the ice cream has time to set in the freezer. If you're using really ripe, fabulous berries, you can cut back the sugar in the first part of the recipe. Don't want the mezcal? You can substitute half a teaspoon vanilla or a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, no problem. But then you can't call it strawberry-mezcal ice cream.

Makes about 1 quart.

 

3/4 pound strawberries (1 1/2 pints), hulled

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

3 egg yolks

2 tablespoons mezcal

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the strawberries in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of the sugar to coat them. Spread them on a baking sheet and roast them for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and mash them with a potato masher. You want a little texture, but don't leave any large pieces. Set aside to cool, then chill in the fridge.

In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the cream and the rest of the sugar and heat the mixture of medium heat, stirring now and then, until the sugar has dissolved. Place the egg yolks in a small bowl, whisk them till they're just broken up, then whisk in a ladleful of the hot cream to temper the eggs. Pour the egg mixture into the pot of cream, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. 

Strain the custard into a bowl, and chill completely. 

Stir the strawberry mixture and mezcal into the custard and freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.

The ice cream is nice served with almond crisps. Or not.