Enjoy this guest post by Matt Robinson of Real Food by Dad:
Strawberry season is in high gear and luck for all of us as it coincides with ice cream season. With that I’m sharing a mash-up of the two with these Strawberry Ice Cream Brownie Sandwiches.
The Strawberry Ice Cream Brownie Sandwiches recipe comes together easily with a creamy, no-churn ice cream. You can eat it like that—scooped into a bowl, on a cone, between two cookies or make it into a brownie sandwich like the photo above and below. For what you see here, I went with a box brownie mix for a shortcut. If you go this route, use your preferred brownie mix and prepare it according to the instructions, then pour into a standard bake sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake it for about 15-18 minutes. Then all that is left to do is a quick assembly, chill, slice and serve.
The hardest part comes when there’s one left and a house full of grab-y hands. How does one decide between the 8-year-old or your wife—you don’t. Hold your breath long enough and they’ll work it out. True story.
Lucky for me, I still had nearly a full flat of strawberries, so I made a second round.
Yep, it’s not everyday you are gifted with two flats of strawberries straight from a farmer. But that’s what happens when you travel to a farm to see just how strawberries are harvested.
Can you guess who the farmer is from the city boy?
Yep, Hector is in the boots and he was kind of enough to take us around his farm in Oxnard, CA to talk all about strawberries.
I knew it would be a great, but it turned out even better than I anticipated, so I was glad my 8-year-old came along for an educational field day. And it was way better than he thought. He learned the life cycle of a strawberry from flower to fruit is about 24 days. See the white flower below, at the center is the start of a strawberry that will push its way up and out by growing larger and larger and then turning green to white, pink and eventually red as its ripens on the stem. It seems so logical, right? But who knew unless someone showed you or told you, because in all honesty, I never really thought about it.
After learning that, Hector showed Cole how to properly pick a strawberry—it’s all in a flick of the wrist. Well, as you can imagine, Cole lost no time practicing his newly found strawberry picking skills. Which of course naturally led to him also doing a lot of eating—he ate, and he ate . . . and he ate.
So while he was busy, Hector talked about his year long business that comes down to just a few months of harvesting. He is a second generation farmer who learned the business from his parents. His farm grows organic and non-organic strawberries that end up being shipped throughout California and the west coast.
For more information about Hector and the other California strawberry farmers click here. You can find their personal stories, read about their families and hear about the challenges of farming, from unpredictable weather to some of their favorite ways to enjoy or prepare the crops they grow.
Speaking of personal asides, check out Hector attempting a Kendama big cup to little cup after Cole gave him a two-second lesson on the latest 8-year-old rage. As you can see, he was so gracious and we had such a great time with him.
- 1lb. strawberries, sliced
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 large whole egg
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 2 oz. freeze dried strawberries, finely ground to powder
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Your favorite boxed brownie mix
- Toss sliced strawberries with sugar, spread onto baking sheet in a single layer. Roast at 375°F for 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and transfer to a blender and puree. Transfer the puree to a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.
- Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan (this will prevent the plastic wrap from shifting around in the pan) and the line pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 4-inch overhang on each side. Set aside.
- Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In a standmixer bowl, whisk together egg yolks, whole egg, sugar and salt. Set the bowl over the simmering water, making sure the bottom does not touch the water. Whisk the mixture continuously until it reaches 175°F. Transfer the bowl to the standmixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until mixture doubles in volume and is cool to the touch. Add the freeze-dried strawberries and beat until well combined. Turn off mixer and fold in strawberry puree. Set aside.
- In a second bowl, beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add half of the whipped cream to the whipped egg mixture and fold until just streaky. Add in remaining whipped cream and fold until well combined and no streaks remain. Pour the mixture into prepared loaf pan. Cover and freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Prepare boxed brownie mix according to directions, baking in a parchment-lined pan.
- Once brownies have cooled, cut into 24 squares (6 rows x 4 rows). Peel parchment paper from bottom of each square. For each sandwich, spoon ¼ cup Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream on bottom of 1 brownie square. Top with a second brownie square, bottom side down; gently press together.
Nutrition facts provided for Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream only, as brownie mix nutrition will vary.