It's hot out, so let's get down to basics: A good old-fashioned strawberry milkshake. Why eat dinner when you can drink a shake? This is a serious strawberry milkshake, too; it isn't messing around. It doesn't involve anything fancy, anything difficult. Nothing "gourmet." This tastes like pure strawberry, not too sweet, but not too milky either. Creamy, thick, pale pink, just strawberry-strawberry-strawberry — all as it should be. Here's how to make your own. Don't you want a sip?
I adore a good strawberry milkshake, but I almost never drink them. They tend to be extremely disappointing. Fast food milkshakes are fake-flavored, dyed pink, worse than bad. No, no, no. And yet homemade shakes often let me down as well. In ill-inconceived attempts to make them "healthier" people water them down with milk, or up the quotient of strawberries, until they are just sharp and icy. Now, smoothies are well and good, but when I want a milkshake, it needs to be a milkshake, OK? It's an occasional indulgence, and therefore it needs to indulge. Got it?
I feel like I finally figured it out, my perfect strawberry shake. It's not groundbreaking; there's no gastronomic secrets here. But it delivers the goods. This is no fake-flavored strawberry, but it doesn't have icy chunks of strawberry in it either. It is just totally all strawberry, all the way.
The key, as all milkshake devotees know, is the ice cream. I like to use ice cream that doesn't have any eggs in it; I find that the custard taste distracts from the purity of the other flavors. For this shake, I prefer the simplest Breyer's formulation — just milk, cream, strawberries, sugar.
And for the berries, you hardly need me to tell you: Get them ripe, get them fresh, make sure they are sweet as can be. Happy slurping; if you love strawberry milkshakes I hope you get to try this one soon. It's pretty killer.
What You Need
1/2 pound fresh strawberries, plus more to garnish
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 to 1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon malted milk powder OR regular powdered milk (optional)
1 pint strawberry ice cream
1. Gather your ingredients. Make sure you are using excellent strawberry ice cream. No fake flavors! No dye! If you have it, pull out some powdered milk or malted milk.
2. Hull the strawberries and slice them. Sprinkle the sugar over them and stir in the vanilla. Put the strawberries in the freezer for about an hour.
3. Put two pint glasses (or four smaller glasses) in the freezer to chill.
4. When the strawberries have frozen solid, pull them out and put them in the blender with 3/4 cup milk. (Make sure you scrape in all the syrupy juice that has accumulated at the bottom of the bowl.) Blend until the strawberries are pulverized. There should be no big chunks left at all.
5. Add the malted milk powder and blend. (Note: The malted milk powder gives just a bit of extra depth and a hint of malty flavor without turning the shake into a true malt. If you opt to use regular powdered milk this also will just add a bit of richness and creaminess. But the powders are not necessary.)
6. Take the blender jar off the motor, and add the entire pint of ice cream. Stir it into the milk and strawberries by hand. Put the jar back on the motor and blend thoroughly. If it won't blend very well or gets stuck, carefully add as much as 1/4 cup more milk. Stir or shake if necessary.
7. Pour the milkshake out into the chilled glasses and garnish with strawberries. Slurp immediately!
• This makes 2 large or 4 small milkshakes (about 32 ounces).
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(Images: Faith Durand)