Hundred-year-old Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe

Today, Strawberry Ice Cream sometimes seems boring; a hundred years ago it was very special. When strawberries were in season, it was time to get the hand-cranked  ice cream freezer out, buy some ice, invite friends over, and make Strawberry Ice Cream.

The hundred-year-old Strawberry Ice Cream recipe that I found was easy to make. It only had three ingredients: cream, sugar, and strawberries.  And, the ice cream was delightful. This classic ice cream was creamy and infused with the sunny taste of fresh strawberries.

There was no comparison to the cheap strawberry ice cream sold in plastic gallon tubs at the supermarket. It was somewhat similar to the higher-priced strawberry ice creams, but it did not contain the large chunks of frozen strawberry puree they often contain. The strawberries in this ice cream are “rubbed” through a strainer, so the pieces of strawberry in the ice cream were tiny which creates a lovely texture.

Ice cream that is not eaten immediately can be stored in the freezer. It was extremely firm when removed from the freezer, and should be allowed to warm for a few minutes before attempting to scoop.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: The Housewife’s Cook Book by Lilla Frich (1917)

And, here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Strawberry Ice Cream

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

(This recipe makes 1 3/4 – 2 quarts of liquid. If a large ice cream freezer is used, it may need to be doubled.)

1 pint strawberries

1 quart light cream (Half and Half)

1 cup sugar

Wash, hull, and slice strawberries, then mash with a potato masher or pastry blender. Add sugar, and let sit for 1 hour. Then “rub” the strawberries through a strainer or colander . (An old-fashioned, hand-cranked Foley mill works well to do this, but is not needed.) Discard the large strawberry fragments that won’t go through the strainer.

Stir the cream into the strained strawberries. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator, then place in ice cream freezer and freeze.

29 thoughts on “Hundred-year-old Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe

  1. This is such an easy recipe! I’m excited to try this out. I bet I can also substitute strawberries with whatever fruit is in season like mango. Thanks for sharing =)

  2. There’s nothing like homemade ice cream — strawberry and peach are my favorites. This is a nice, easy recipe, for sure. The straining is an interesting touch. I’ve never read of that before.

  3. Ooh, this sounds good. If I wasn’t allergic to milk, I’d try it in a heartbeat.

    Do you think you’ll be making homemade ice cream with other types of fruit later on this summer?

  4. Magnificent. Sounds so creamy and dreamy. It takes me back to childhood when we would haave homemade ice cream. Ahhh Yummy!

  5. I just picked about a pint of berries from my little patch out back. I may try this with a little less sugar and almond or coconut milk instead of cream (sorry, I need to vegan-ize your yummy recipes) 🙂 It’s really scary to read all the ingredients on the average store-bought carton, especially carrageenan. Your column always reminds me that simpler was often healthier.

      1. Hi Lydia~ I have not had a chance to make this, but what I would do is substitute coconut cream from a 14 oz. can (Trader Joe’s is the brand I use, as it has no additives). Refrigerate the can overnight, then open and scoop out the cream, leaving any residue or liquid behind for future blender drinks. I would try a half-portion first. I have made vegan whoopie pies with this cream and it’s wonderful!

  6. This is a wonderful recipe! There was no such thing as half and half back in the old days, be we do have light cream in the dairy section don’t we?

  7. I made strawberry ice cream a couple of times, but my recipe called for condensed milk rather than cream. It was pretty good, but I think I’ll try this one. I especially like having the strawberries so small, as a big hunk of frozen strawberry is hard on the teeth!

  8. When I think of my dad, I see his hands cranking at the handle of the ice-cream maker and poking the ice down with his fingers. We often had strawberry ice cream, made with the berries from our garden.

    1. I have a lot of fun trying these old recipes, and it’s always wonderful to hear when someone makes one of the recipes I post.

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