Buttermilk Ice Cream

Buttermilk Ice Cream
Summer is here which means my freezer should be stocked with batches of homemade ice cream, but I have gotten behind in my usual production levels. Wanting to kick things in gear, I brainstormed about new flavors to concoct. I love a good vanilla accented with chocolaty or nutty bites, but I craved something a little different. Buttermilk popped into my head maybe because J. and I had just enjoyed a decadent Sunday breakfast complete with classic waffles. I didn’t quite know what to expect from swapping buttermilk for whole milk other than of course it would have that signature tang.

Buttermilk ice cream turned out to be a far more complex version of vanilla. It would have worked well with my go-to flavor additions like chocolate, caramel or nuts, but strawberries were the obvious pairing. After a vendor at the market informed me that I would only see strawberries for another week or so, I thought it was good idea to take advantage of their fleeting abundance. I made a simple strawberry sauce, and the sweetness of the ripe berries was the perfect counterpoint to subtle sour edge of the ice cream. Next time I whip up a batch of vanilla I will reach for buttermilk instead.

Buttermilk Ice Cream
Buttermilk Ice Cream

Makes about 1 quart

1 cup buttermilk
6 egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cups granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

Pour the buttermilk into a large bowl and set aside.

Whisk the yolks in a small bowl.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, simmer the heavy cream, sugar and salt until the sugar dissolves. Slowly whisk half the cream mixture into the egg yolks and then pour it back into the saucepan. Stir continuously until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Pour the cream mixture through a fine mesh strainer into the bowl with the buttermilk and stir in the vanilla.

Cool the mixture over an ice bath and refrigerate until cooled completely.

Churn in an ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Strawberry Sauce

Makes about 1 cup

8 ounces strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup water

In a small saucepan over medium high heat, combine the strawberries, sugar and water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 10-15 minutes until the mixture has thickened. Allow to cool before serving over ice cream. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


  1. Chris Johnson

    Hey Paige. Greetings from 中国. Quick question. What do you do to keep your strawberries from losing their color when you simmer them?

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