Wild Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe: The Ultimate Version!
Updated: Jun 17
This dish in luxury in every sense, your going to need to forage a lot of wild strawberries and everything is full fat. Not everyone is going to be able to do it because of the sheer weight of this most amazing wild food that you need however, this is what makes it even more special!
Foraging Wild Strawberry
Foraging wild strawberries in the UK can be a delightful and rewarding experience. These small, delicious fruits grow abundantly in various habitats, including woodlands, meadows, and even gardens. Late spring to early summer, usually from June to July, is the best time to find ripe wild strawberries.
To identify wild strawberries (Fragaria vesca), look for smaller berries compared to cultivated strawberries. They typically measure about 1-2 centimeters in diameter and have a bright red color when fully ripe. Wild strawberry also emits a distinctive fragrance. The leaves of the plant are trifoliate, meaning they have three leaflets.
When searching for wild strawberry, explore woodland edges, hedgerows, meadows, and grassy areas. Keep an eye out for their low-lying foliage, as they often grow close to the ground. Once you have found a patch, there will ususally be a lot of plants there.
When it comes to harvesting, wild strawberry requires gentle handling as they are delicate and easily bruised. Pinch or cut the stem just above the berry to avoid damaging the plant. It's advisable to use a basket or container with breathable sides to prevent the berries from getting crushed.
Remember to practice sustainable foraging by taking only what you need and leaving enough berries behind for wildlife and other foragers. Avoid damaging the plants or their surrounding habitat, respecting the natural balance.
For a more definitive foraging guide, check out this post on wild strawberries.
Wild Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe
1 litre of double cream
300ml full fat milk
1 vanilla pod
250g unrefined caster sugar
10 egg yolks (free range, organic is a must!)
750g to 1kg of wild strawberry
You'll need an ice cream maker for this one!
Let me tell you, if was left with a single sweet wild ingredient and asked to make a dessert from it, it would be the wild strawberry. I know I keep banging on about them, but its June / July and I can’t get enough of this precious perfumed and sweet treat! They are in season now and the season is so short – to gather in enough quantity to make a dish like this you need a lot – if you get the chance to gather them, do. If you forage them and you have a chance to plant a few in your garden (like I have) you’ll stand more chance of gathering them in large numbers. If you haven’t got enough persevere, because this is so special.
In a heavy saucepan over gentle but constant heat, combine the cream and milk. Split a fresh Vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and add them to the cream and milk along with roughly two thirds of the sugar. Throw the pod into the cream as well and allow to just come to gently come to the boil.
In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks together with the remaining sugar. When the cream is ready, pour a third of it into the egg mixture and whisk. Pour egg mixture into remaining hot cream and return to the heat until mixture coats the back of a metal spoon. Do not allow the mix to boil as it will split.
Now in a blender add half of the wild strawberry and the remaining sugar and blend to a syrup. Now a little bit of a laborious task, chop the remaining wild strawberries into halves – and then add them to the syrup.
Finally, strain the custard and chill until cold (removing the spent vanilla pod). Once cold, pour into the canister of an ice cream maker (pre chilled – follow your instructions), loosely stir in the wild strawberry mix and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.
This will probably go back in the freezer to chill (in a suitably sized container), but be prepared to take it out before serving so that it is only just set before you plate up.
If you love ice cream, you love strawberries, or you love the classic combination of the both you will love this. Listen, it’s going to be a struggle to find the wild strawberries, you will plant the plants in your own garden to compensate and try and make up the numbers, if your short make the syrup from fresh British or even your own garden strawberries (add a little rose water, or rose petal syrup to try and mimic the wild strawberry flavour) leaving the whole and frozen chunky strawberry section to the wild strawberry.
The start of summer brings these amazing treats, they aren’t here for long so you have to collect and preserve them in any way so why not turn them into the most luxurious ice cream… Oh, I forgot to say one thing, if you think you’ll offer to this to your friends or even family you will be ashamed of yourself when you don’t.
So simply admit your selfish now and enjoy the whole pot to yourself!
Love creating recipes from wild foods? Check out our selection of wild food cookbooks.