If someday I pack up all my bags and transport them 3,000 miles across the country without even a hint of warning and definitely without anything resembling two weeks’ notice.

I need you to know that it has nothing to do with the fact that staring at adipocytes (fat cells) under a microscope for hours at a time makes my head hurt.  Or that instead of trying to figure out which plasmids (circular pieces of DNA that we electrify into aforementioned fat cells so that they’ll express whatever gene we’ve engineered into them) I need to order to so that I can move forward with this whole “PhD thing“…I spent my time in lab yesterday impulse-procrastination-buying 32 oz bottles of vanilla extract online.  (How can one be expected to think about science when there is not even a tbsp of vanilla left in her household?!?!? Seriously.)

And instead. It has everything to do.

With ice cream.


Bi-Rite Creamery ice cream, to be precise.

It’s pretty much the stuff that dreams are made of.

(Or the stuff that you wish your dreams were made of because your subconscious likes to torture you by making you dream about DNA and glowing green cells.  Um, you know.  Hypothetically.)

I once walked approximately eight miles in a day with this girl on a healing stress fracture just so that we could justify eating it for lunch.  Oh yes, my priorities are screwed on right.


Unfortunately, trying to explain to my mother that I’ve abandoned both my future career as an MD/PhD and the east coast for a frozen dessert is not something I feel like doing anytime soon.  I have a feeling she just wouldn’t understand.

So when my best friend (who is, coincidentally enough the other reason why you’ll find me on a plane headed to SF at a moment’s notice, ready and willing to abandon my life in NYC) emailed me the recipe for Bi-Rite’s strawberry balsamic ice cream, I (a) squealed, (b) screamed, and (c) thanked the powers that be that I did, in fact, have exactly five egg yolks sitting in my refrigerator just waiting to be churned into strawberry balsamic heaven.

It was kismet.  And totally meant-to-be.


This ice cream tastes unmistakably like strawberries but then there’s this hint.  This twinge, if you will, of something else.  Something…addictive.  And while I’m not necessarily sure that you can pinpoint it as balsamic just on taste alone.

You can definitely tell that whatever it is makes it extra delicious.

So while I can’t exactly go to Bi-Rite whenever I want, I can at least have it sitting in my freezer at all times, ready and waiting for me to sneak spoonfuls of it every time I feel that compulsion to get on an airplane and never look back.  Which may or may not be everysecondallthetime.  But who’s counting.


Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart, adapted from Serious Eats

For the strawberry puree:

  • 1 1/2 pints strawberries (3 cups), hulled and halved or quartered
  • 2 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp good balsamic vinegar

For the base:

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cups 1% or 2% milk
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp good balsamic vinegar


  1. In a large skillet, combine the berries with the 2 1/2 tbsp sugar and 2 tsp balsamic vinegar.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the strawberries are soft and the liquid they release has reduced somewhat, 6-8 minutes.
  2. Let cool slightly, then transfer to the blender and puree.  Refrigerate until chilled.
  3. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks to break them up.  Whisk in 1/4 cup of the sugar.  Set aside.
  4. In a heavy, stainless steel pan, stir together the cream, milk, salt, and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.  Put the pan over medium-high heat.  When the mixture reaches a bare simmer, reduce the heat to medium.
  5. Carefully add about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture to the eggs while whisking constantly.  Repeat with another half cup.  ow that the eggs are tempered, slowly pour the egg/cream mix into the cream on the stove, stirring constantly. 
  6. Continue to cook, stirringly constantly, until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spatula, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
  7. Remove from the heat and strain into a clean container.  Set the container into an ice bath (or the fridge) and stir occasionally until it is cool.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
  8. Whisk the strawberry puree and the 2 tsp vinegar into the cream mix.  Freeze in ice cream machine following the manufacturer’s instructions.  Eat right away or, if firmer ice cream is desired, freeze for 4 hours.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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98 Responses to Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream

  1. Louisa says:

    I have strawberry infused balsamic vinegar, an overflow of eggs from my chickens, and fresh milk from a local dairy. THIS IS GETTING MADE IN MY HOUSE!

    But first I must get some strawberries.

  2. YES, PLEASE!!!!!! Mmmmmm. This looks awesome 🙂

  3. Looks freakin’ awesome!!! Love the combo!

  4. Um, one day we will be billionaires and we will be able to fly to San Fran any time we have an ice cream craving… that is my life’s goal:-) This looks amazing!

  5. Sweet goodness, yes please! This sounds awesome!…and I get the vanilla thing. I did something similar the other day but ordered malted milk powder. I still don’t know what to do with it!

  6. Hannah says:

    This kills me! I’m still waiting to unleash my strawberry cravings until the local u-pick has them ripe and ready, but it’s becoming harder and harder to wait. I love the pairing of balsamic and sweet berries, and naturally, ice cream is kinda my thing. The recipe in my book is for a blueberry-balsamic combo, but I’ll have to play around with a strawberry swap now. It just sounds too good to ignore.

  7. I NEED AN ICE CREAM MACHINE. You all torture me with ice cream recipes where I get all excited that this might be a no-machine-required recipe and then at the end BAM! Hopes and dreams shattered. Oh well. This does look creamy and delish. If you ever head to San Fran and need someone for the buddy system, let me know! I’ve always wanted to go! lol…

  8. When I think of summer and ice cream, I always think of strawberry and peach. The balsamic must really give a nice taste to the ice cream. It looks irresistible.

  9. Yah your coming to my area! Have fun in SF!! The ice cream looks fabolous! Going to buy an ice cream maker today! I just can’t go this summer without making ice cream! Have a safe and wonderful trip!

  10. london bakes says:

    Oh wow, this sounds amazing!

  11. SallyBR says:

    Dear, I am just about to lock myself in a small room with some radioactive iron and stay there for 2.5 hours – 2.5 boring hours, to measure how babies (strains of E.coli) bind iron on their surface. Each different strain has a different plasmid, expressing a slightly different receptor on the surface, and… you get the idea

    I much much rather be here reading your blog, but will have to just say bye and dream about your strawberry concoction while locked away, me and the iron


    Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

  12. Johanna GGG says:

    I’m not really into ice cream – except this one which looks just lovely and creamy and something I want to take a spoonful of – and another and another – what a nice thing to see in your freezer

  13. Amy says:

    Oh, I’d say your priorities are right where they need to be! I dreamt about bobby pins last night. Clearly my anxiety for Haley’s upcoming dance recital has kicked in, and the fact that it took me 3 hours last year to do her hair…and it still came undone. I’d rather dream about DNA. Or ice cream.

  14. MS3 says:

    This recipe looks amazing!!!! Do you have a specific ice cream machine, or do you have the ice cream attachment for your mixer?

  15. Faith says:

    At the first sight of local berries I’m going to be all over this recipe! (Would you believe strawberry season where I live isn’t until mid-June?!) I can’t wait. 🙂

  16. Donna says:

    It is breakfast time where I am. But I am thinking that this is much more fun than a bagel with cream cheese. So. Would it be wrong???

  17. This ice cream looks Aaaah Mazing!!!

  18. Claudia says:

    I will never buy strawberry ice cream in a store. I will always make a strawberry ice cream recipe. A definite yes.

  19. Okay, second time in one day that I’ve heard about amazing ice cream from Bi-Rite. Apparently I need to take a (super long) road trip! LOL, this sounds absolutely perfect.

  20. Did you have to go and give me a craving for strawberry balsamic ice cream?
    Looks so good!

  21. Mary says:

    Oh my GOODNESS! I’ve had strawberry balsamic ice cream on my to do list for weeks!! I am now desperately wanting it today. Ugh. If only we weren’t headed out of town tonight!

  22. Cate says:

    Bi-Rite IS the stuff dreams are made of! I haven’t been in far too long

  23. Saguna says:

    MMM, this sounds like strawberry, spinach and balsamic salad in dessert form…minus the leafy bits! I, too, just completely ran out of vanilla and went to Costco just to buy some just this afternoon.. Life wasn’t the same without it.

  24. Jenna says:

    Oh delight! I could have used this ice cream at 3am this morning when I was tossing and turning and couldn’t sleep because of the dang heat.

  25. I just bought an ice cream maker and am excited to try a bunch of different ice creams. Now, I don’t know what GOOD balsamic vinegar is. I just have the stuff that I buy at the grocery store. Is this going to make a difference? I totally am putting this on my list of ice creams to make!

  26. I really need to make some ice cream! This looks fantastic – I love the strawberry and balsamic combo!

  27. Kristen says:

    Did I ever tell you that homemade ice cream is one of my biggest weaknesses? We used to make it all the time when I was growing up with an old-fashioned hand-churn machine. It was awesome. But now I’m lazy and use my kitchen aid attachment :). I can’t wait to try this flavor!!!

  28. What an interesting combo — I’m certain it totally works! And I can completely relate to the battiness associated with doctoral work. Sometimes I wonder why I’m not just serving coffee instead!

  29. Vanilla extract and ice cream are important! Probably as important as PhD’s, right? And, this particular ice cream is one that I need to make right away.

  30. JoJo says:

    Interesting that you put balsamic vinegar!
    This looks very good though, I am always up for trying new things!

  31. katiez says:

    I really need to get an ice cream machine. Or move to Italy and live on gelato…

  32. alyce says:

    oh wow- this sounds soooo good. i love balsamic vinegar. i’ve been putting it into everything lately. the ice cream is like the final frontier 🙂

  33. Megan says:

    You’re making me wish I had all these ingredients on hand right now. Sounds like an amazing flavor!

  34. Beth says:

    I got weak in the knees just from reading this post. Wow. What a great way to start the weekend.

  35. Margarita says:

    I like that there is no ice cream maker required to make this happen! The combination of these flavor sound freakin awesome and as soon as summer vacation comes, I need to make time to make this!

  36. LOVE this combination Joanne!!

  37. Hotly Spiced says:

    You run marathons and you’re doing a phd and you cook and you blog? Do you get any sleep? What great looking ice cream. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten ice cream with balsamic vinegar. I would like to try this. I have a birthday coming up and what I want is an ice cream maker. I know you can make ice cream without one, but I just want one! xx

  38. Balsamic strawberries are irresistible – I think in ice cream form, unforgivable, since my jeans are splitting just by the pictures 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  39. Christine says:

    This sounds so good! Love to sprinkle balsamic on fresh strawberries! Ice cream would just be over the top!

  40. OohLookBel says:

    What a clever and delicious idea for ice cream. I’d certainly travel looong distances for this!

  41. Deborah says:

    This sounds amazing!! I would love a bowl of it right now!

  42. oh YUM! i love the combo of balsamic and strawberries.

  43. love2dine says:

    yum. SO TEMPTING. Nom nom.

  44. daphne says:

    So glad u hv got your priorities right!! Ice cream is sure the way to go.

  45. Julie says:

    Delicious! Beautiful! I’ve been wanting to make roasted strawberries, what’s better than to turn them into ice cream.

    Have a great holiday weekend.

  46. Lea Ann says:

    I’ve got some very good quality balsamic (18 year aged) and you can bet I’ll be buying some strawberries and making this is weekend. Thanks for posting the recipe Joanne.

  47. This has been on my to do list for a while! Looks great!

  48. That Girl says:

    One of these days I’m going to have to drag someone to Bi-Rite so I can try this ice cream!

  49. Mary says:

    OMG, that sounds good! I have to give this recipe a try. I’ll wager this is better than delicious :-). Have a great holiday. Blessings…Mary

  50. I live only TWO HOURS away from Bi-Rite Ice Cream. The last time I was there, it wasn’t open yet. Boo. I couldn’t talk hubs into camping out for two hours to wait for it to open. I am considering buying their new ice cream recipe book. In the meantime– strawberries and balsamic… love it! Thank YOU for posting this recipe. I’m next!
    Debby, “A Feast for the Eyes”

  51. Kim says:

    Funny enough, strawberry is not usually my first choice for ice cream when we go out for ice cream BUT it is my very favorite to make at home. I think it tastes SO much better homemade. This looks rich and delicious. Will have to try it!

  52. Cathleen says:

    Haha, who can get ANYTHING done when one has no vanilla in the house?!
    This looks delicious! I would have never thought to put balsamic vinegar in this, I’m intrigued.
    Also I have never heard about Bi-Rite Ice Cream, but I just looked it up. And it’s making me wish I had some ice cream right now.. YUM

  53. sophia says:

    I usually don’t got for strawberry ice-cream, but good lord, you make it sound like it’s the best stuff ever, and now I’m craving it!!

  54. Reeni says:

    I never heard of that ice cream but I understand cause I used to feel the same way about Bluebell ice cream. You make this sound like something we absolutely need in our lives! And by the looks of it you’re right.

  55. I think the addition of balsamic is brill here! Yay for homemade just as good as BiRite ice cream that allows you to stay put so your Mom doesn’t have a freak out. 🙂

  56. Tandy says:

    Awesome flavour combination 🙂

  57. Your posts always makes me laugh. If you were to leave your MD/PhD career for ice cream, I’m totally behind you on that! And I’m so glad you were able to get your hands on this recipe. Now I can make this, eat endless amounts of it, and be entirely happy (okay maybe not entirely because I’m sure I’ll have some associated weight gain with this).

  58. Gloria says:

    Dear this ice cream sound and look amazing:)))

  59. Monet says:

    Yes, my dear. This certainly does look addictive. I’m drooling…and it’s only 9am. Now I know what I want to have with my brownie tonight. Thank you for sharing. I’m sorry I’ve been absent for so long, but I’m glad I’m back. I just moved my blog to a new site, and I’d love for you to visit when you get the chance. I hope you are having a beautiful Sunday morning.

  60. That’s a fantastic combination for an ice cream! I love home made ice creams but strawberry isn’t one that I’ve tried making for some odd reason. I will try this. 🙂

  61. JasmyneTea says:

    Wow, that looks incredible. I’m totally bookmarking!

  62. Excuse me while I totally drool all over myself. This ice cream…oh my word. It looks ammmaazzing. 🙂

  63. Strawberries and Balsamic are such a magical combination and brilliance in ice cream.

  64. Natalie says:

    I love the combination of strawberries and balsamic vinegar but have never thought of putting them in an ice cream – crazy! It looks delicious though!

  65. Gwen says:

    I’m pretty sure that you are my new BFF….. Did I just say BFF? What ev’s. Would you hate me if I told you I’m not in love w ice cream? I can’t believe you walked 8 miles for it and on a fractured foot no less!
    Honestly tho, this really does sound fabulouse and will give me and the kids something fun to do next week!
    Now, go study! 😉

  66. I would definitely travel for a bowl of this ice cream. It sounds gobsmackingly good. (Not sure if that’s a word but if it isn’t, it should be.)

  67. nina says:

    I love strawberries and anything added to it as well:). lol balsamic vinegar in an icecream….thats something interesting.yummy yummy:)

  68. Miriam says:

    I could easily justify walking 8 miles for ice cream too 🙂
    Looks awesome!
    [email protected]Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  69. This strawberry balsamic ice cream looks very delicious! I can’t wait to make them. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  70. grace says:

    my problem with making ice cream, other than my lack of a maker, is that i’m terribly impatient! it’s tough for me to wait for it to harden. creative flavor, joanne!

  71. Katerina says:

    I think ice cream is the cure for everything! I love it and I bow to it! This one looks fantastic!

  72. Dining Alone says:

    That looks DELICIOUS and right up my alley. I love balsamic anything 🙂

  73. A friend with a coveted ice cream recipe is a friend indeed! ?

  74. This looks and sounds incredible. I’ve had strawberries and balsamic ON ice cream, but never in it. It’s such a great combo!

  75. Candace says:

    This looks sooo yummy! I’ve served David notice earlier this week that I absolutely MUST HAVE an ice cream machine soon and this post just reinforces that need. I had my sites set on making sorbetto; but I’m sure there will be room for ice cream….specifically this one.

  76. Carolyn Jung says:

    Bi-Rite ice cream is astoundingly good. I can see why you’d move mountains or, uh, hobble for miles, for it. It IS worth it. 😉

  77. Kerstin says:

    Ugh, I’ve been dreaming about research lately and I don’t like it all – not healthy!

    Your ice cream looks so refreshing and unique – yum!

  78. Lauren T says:

    MMMMMMMM that sounds so good right now!

  79. Jenn Kendall says:

    oh my god – strawberry balsamic ice cream?? AMAZING Joanne!!

  80. Lora says:

    A really great ice cream flavor. So pretty too! Maybe try making your own vanilla. A lot easier and less expensive.

  81. I put balsamic in strawberries to macerate them but I would have never thought to add it to strawberry ice cream! This must taste wonderful.

  82. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, Balsamic goes perfect with the strawberries. This is a combination made in heaven. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  83. Cara says:

    I don’t blame you. Ice cream solves everything. Or at least makes it a whole lot better. Sore throats and achy muscles included – cause that’s where I am right now, and can you guess how I chose to treat it?

  84. Shannon says:

    i’ve made strawberry ice cream before and drizzled it with balsamic cream i brought back from italy… heaven. this might just make it a little more portable 🙂

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  94. […] the balsamic strawberry business is nothing new.  Somebody s’more-d it and Joanne ice cream-d it, both of which are ideas that blow my mind in the very best way […]

  95. Cakespy says:

    I realize this is from a while ago, but – OMG!

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