This month, with Martha's help, I made Strawberry Shortcake Sundaes, from the July/August double issue of Martha Stewart Living. The recipe can also be found on Martha's website; just click on the link to see it. This month was pretty hectic with the LB's surgery, so I only had time to try one new thing from the current issue of the magazine. I absolutely loved this recipe. It was a little complicated as ice cream sundae-prep goes, but it made for a really special dessert on a Friday night. And you know how I feel about strawberries; when I saw this recipe among the several Martha suggested for fun ice cream treats, I just had to give it a try. I started the day before I planned to serve them, which seems a little odd for ice cream sundaes, but it took some labor.
Pound cake is a major component. I considered baking one from scratch, and I also looked at pre-baked ones in the grocery store, but in the end, I went with a Betty Crocker mix. It was less expensive than either the bakery pound cakes or the frozen Sara Lee ones in the store, and I could use real butter and fresh eggs. Another bonus was that it actually makes enough batter for two loaves of pound cake. I'm sure that a fully homemade pound cake would be even better, but this seemed like a good compromise because there was other work to be done.
There was also a strawberry sauce to make. This would be used in two ways. It was an easy little sauce, very similar to jam, actually. I liked that it included salt and lemon juice, making it slightly less sweet than jam. The technique was simple; just quarter the berries, place them in a saucepan with sugar, lemon juice and salt and bring to a boil while crushing the berries with a potato masher. Then the sauce stays at a low boil for 10 minutes, stirring often, until it coats the spoon.
Next, I folded the strawberry sauce into the ice cream with a rubber scraper. Martha said to leave some streaks of strawberry; I probably went a little past that, but it was fairly difficult to do because the ice cream was melting fast.
Then, I spooned it into a loaf pan, covered the pan with plastic wrap and put the pan in the freezer for the night. You have to do this ice cream step at least two hours ahead, but I decided to do it a day ahead just to be safe. You never know when something might take longer to freeze - or, heaven forbid, never freeze at all. I was kind of crossing my fingers for this part of the recipe.
The verdict was positive, as you might expect. Everyone liked the sundaes very much. It seemed that the ice cream was the best part. I liked that a lot myself; it reminded me of a kind of ice cream I loved as a child, Sealtest raspberry swirl, which had a very mild, sweet vanilla base with a generous ribbon of jelly-like raspberry sauce (without seeds) swirled throughout. Aside from being made with strawberries, my ice cream was different by having small chunks of fruit intact, which I liked too. The strawberry flavor was intense. The cake was good too; it soaked up the strawberry sauce nicely. We had some ice cream left over and we added more as we ate. As far as we're concerned, there is no such thing as too much ice cream.