I have been looking forward to fresh strawberries for months and am so excited that we’re finally getting some good ones at the store. I loaded up last time I was there and have been eating them with breakfast all week. Cheesecake ice cream has been on my list of ice creams to make (and yes, I do have an actual list). Initially I planned to do a blueberry swirl, but with all the strawberries in my fridge making a pretty pink swirl for this ice cream seemed like the thing to do. The graham cracker crust is probably my favorite part of a cheesecake, so it was only natural that I included a crust component in this ice cream too.
This is one of the few ice creams I’ve made and liked that didn’t have a custard base. I usually find that most Philadelphia style ice creams are too icy and hard, but that isn’t the case at all with this recipe, likely due to the cream cheese and sour cream. While I did use the oven to make the graham cracker crust crumble, you could always ‘cheat’ and crumble up a pre-made crust if you’re adverse to turning on the oven and heating up your kitchen.
Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Ice Cream
- 16 oz. cream cheese
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- zest from 1 lemon
- 1 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 1/4 cup half and half
- 2 tbl. vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 2 cups strawberries, fresh or frozen
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 tbl. cold water
- 1 tbl. lemon juice
- 1 tbl. vodka (optional, will keep the strawberry swirl softer)
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tbl. sugar
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- Combine the cream cheese, sugar, and lemon zest in a mixer and beat on medium-high until smooth and well combined. Add half the sour cream and mix until combined then add the remaining sour cream. Stir in the half and half, vanilla extract and salt. Mix until smooth then chill in the refrigerator for several hours. While it is chilling, prepare the strawberry swirl and graham cracker crumble.
- To make the strawberry swirl, heat the strawberries and sugar in a medium, nonreactive saucepan until the strawberries release their juices and begin to break down. Mix the cornstarch with the cold water until smooth, then stir into the strawberries. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and vodka then chill thoroughly.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Pour the melted butter over the mixture and stir until combined. Press into the bottom of a 9 x 9 pan and bake for about 8 minutes until golden brown around the edges. Set aside to cool completely then gently break into chunks.
- Once everything is chilled, freeze your ice cream according to the manufacture’s instructions. Once finished, place a thin layer of ice cream in the bottom of a plastic container. Top with a portion of the strawberries and graham cracker crumble. Add another layer of ice cream and repeat the layers until you run out of ice cream. Freeze for several hours until firm. Enjoy!