Strawberry Mascarpone Ice Cream Sundae
Pairs Well With
1 cup heavy cream (not ultra-pasteurized)
1 cup half-and-half
½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
Pinch sea salt
1 cup mascarpone or crème fraîche
Sauce: 2 cups strawberries, hulled and coarsely chopped; 7 tablespoons sugar; 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Toppings: ½ cup sliced almonds; 2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
Make the ice cream: Put the cream and half-and-half in a small saucepan. With the tip of a knife, scrape the vanilla seeds into the mixture, then add the pod. Bring to a simmer, then cover, remove from the heat and let steep for 15 minutes.
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and salt until pale and thick. Whisk in the cream mixture, including the vanilla pod. Return to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until the mixture reaches 178°F on an instant-read thermometer. It will visibly thicken. Do not allow it to boil or it will curdle.
Remove from the heat and continue stirring the custard for about 1 minute to cool quickly. Let cool for 15 minutes, then whisk in the mascarpone. Strain to remove the vanilla pod, then refrigerate the custard until thoroughly chilled. Freeze in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Transfer to a lidded container and place in the freezer for about 1 hour to firm.
Make the sauce: Put the chopped berries, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl and stir to mix. Let stand for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Transfer to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring, over medium heat. Cook at a gentle simmer for 5 minutes, then let cool. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
To assemble the sundae, put a scoop of ice cream in each of 6 sundae glasses. Top with a few of the sliced strawberries and 2 tablespoons of the strawberry sauce. Repeat the layers. Top with toasted almonds and serve immediately.