The Best Strawberry Shake


Stawberry ShakeWhat could be better than a tall strawberry shake? You’ll find that you can deliver a better shake than the local car hop. This is a thick strawberry shake made with plump, ripe berries and premium ice cream. It’s topped with sweetened, flavored whipped cream.

The following recipe makes two shakes.  So as to not overfill the blender, make a half at a time.

2 1/2 cups of ripe, fresh strawberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
about 3 cups premium vanilla ice cream
2/3 cup half and half (or a 50:50 mixture of milk and whipping cream)
sweetened whipped cream for topping

  1. Wash, trim, and slice the berries. Sprinkle the sugar on the berries and let them soak at room temperate for two hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Place half the strawberries and half the ice cream in a blender plus half the juice from the berries. Puree until smooth and combined. Add half of the half and half and mix.
  3. Put the shake in a tall, chilled glass while you make the second shake.
  4. Top the shakes with whipped cream and an optional strawberry and serve.

There are some tricks to making a very good strawberry shake.  Start with the very best berries.  If they are not fully ripe, they won’t be flavorful but if they are starting to get mushy, they may have an off-taste.  And put the right amount of berries in the shake.  Judge the amount by the color of the shake; it should be a rich but pastel pink.  If it’s too light, add more berries.

Taste the shake before you serve it.  If it does not have enough strawberry taste, add some strawberry flavor.

Before making the shakes, chill the blender and glasses in the freezer.  It’s hard to make a thick shake in a warm blender; it melts the ice cream.  Your ice cream should be rock hard.  (Use an ice cream spade, not scoop, to pry out hard frozen ice cream.)  Don’t mix the shake any longer than necessary; the friction from the motor causes heat that will melt the ice cream.

For the whipped cream topping

1 cup heavy whipping cream (the fat content should be 35% or more)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or other flavor

1. Chill the cream, the utensils, and bowl that you will be using.
2. Beat the cream at medium speed until soft peaks form.
3. Add the powdered sugar and flavor and continue beating until stiff peaks form.  Do not over whip.

Instead of vanilla, try a different flavor.  Strawberry of course works but any of the “warm” flavors will do.  French vanilla, brown sugar, and caramel flavors are all good choices.

Baker’s note:  If you have extra whipped cream, try spooning it in dollops onto waxed paper and freezing it.  After it is frozen, the dollops can be peeled off and stored in a zipper-type plastic bag.

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