Strawberry Rose Ice Cream — a creamy no-churn, no-ice-cream-maker-needed ice cream made with fresh strawberries and just a hint of rosewater.
I used to have a pretty… interesting… job. For 3 years I worked as a research assistant in the field of behavioral pharmacology (basically studying how drugs affect your behavior), and I worked in the psychedelic department.
We would bring people in (for my study they were people who had or once had cancer) and give them a dose of the psychedelic/hallucinogenic psilocybin (the chemical that makes magic mushrooms “magic”). Totally legally.
Part of my job would be to sit with another “guide” and the person in a small room while they experienced their “trip”, and to monitor them and help them work through issues that arose during the session.
At every session there was a rose, usually red, that we would ask the subjects to take a moment to look at and contemplate midway through their experience. Sometimes they weren’t particularly interested, sometimes they were too distracted by other things they were “seeing” and sometimes they would get lost staring down into the petals.
The whole thing was (to put it way simply) pretty neat, and probably a pretty unique experience as far as jobs go.
I left that job almost four years ago, but whenever I see a rose it always throws me back to those sessions. Those were transformative experiences, not only for the patients, but often for the guides, and sometimes the rose could be the catalyst for that. If nothing else, it was a pretty and consistent symbol of transcendence.
When I decided I wanted to start incorporating roses into my baking (or rather freezing, here), I wanted to pay at least a little homage to that. I’m not pretentious enough to suggest that this ice cream will change your life or that it is transcendental, but just maybe for strawberry ice cream it is. Here, rosewater takes possibly one of the most basic ice cream flavors ever to grace your palate and turns it into something nearly other-worldly.
Fresh strawberries (the riper the better) give this ice cream a vibrant, bright flavor — a taste as familiar as summer sunshine on your skin. If you like larger pieces of strawberry in your ice cream (as opposed to just the strawberry puree) , feel free to chop up a few extras into small pieces (I wouldn’t make any of them larger than your pinky nail) and fold them in just before you pour your ice cream into the pan to freeze.
The rose flavoring is subtle, and you only need a very small amount for this recipe. I’d definitely call the flavor sophisticated, and it makes every bit of difference to this otherwise familiar strawberry ice cream. It’s a dusky, floral (obviously) infusion, and I’ll admit it’s not for everyone. I didn’t even offer any to my youngest sister because I didn’t think she would enjoy it (and also maybe because nearly all of it melted by the end of this photo shoot).
I certainly enjoyed it, though.
You might be able to find a bottle of rose-water at your local grocery store — I’d check the exotic food section if your store is fancy enough to have one. If not, though, you can buy a bottle off of Amazon (affiliate link) as I did.
Yes, I know, $8 is a lot to spend when you just need two teaspoons of rosewater, but think of how many batches of rose-flavored desserts you can make with it! White chocolate rose frosting? Rosewater macarons? The floral opportunities are endless and I’m jotting down ideas in my notebook as I type (no seriously).
Plus it’s sure to last longer (and taste better) than a dozen real roses, which you probably won’t be able to find for $8.
If you want to read more about the psychedelic research I mentioned, you can check out this article.
Strawberry Rose Ice Cream
- 1 lb strawberries stems removed
- 2 tsp rose water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1-3 drops pink food coloring optional
- In blender, puree strawberries (some small pieces are fine)
- Add condensed milk, rose water and vanilla extract and blend until combined.
- In a separate bowl (preferably a chilled metal bowl), beat heavy cream with an electric mixer on high-speed until stiff peaks form.
- Pour your strawberry mixture into the heavy cream and fold until completely combined.
- If desired, stir in 1-3 drops of food coloring for a deeper color.
- Pour into a parchment paper or wax-paper-lined 9x5 bread pan and cover tightly with clear wrap.
- Freeze overnight.
- Allow ice cream to soften at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before scooping and serving.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
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Can you use a ice cream machine?
Hi Midge! Unfortunately I have never used one so I’m not sure how they work or if this would work in one. If you do try it I would love to know how it goes. 🙂
When you freeze the strawberry mixture, is it safe to place the mixture in bakware into the freezer? Like will it damage your bakeware?
Unless your particular bakeware specifically advises against placing it in the freezer you shouldn’t have any issues. 🙂
Where did you find these tins? Amazing just beautiful. is there a name/maker/ on them, I’d love to find these. I love Rose water. I’m going to try
Hi Vicky! I actually found them on Ebay years ago. I don’t see any names or markings on them anywhere unfortunately. 🙁
I honestly just came here to see where that pharmacology story was going 😆! But now this ice cream has caught my attention! (Btw, this is the second recipe I’ve seen this month calling for rose water. Hadn’t even heard of the stuff prior to the first recipe. Must be a sign that I should get some. 😆.)
So I look forward to trying this is the near or distant future!
I found this beautiful site when scanning Foodgawker for picture inspiration for my own Strawberry Frozen Yogurt Recipe. WOW!!! You photography is STUNNING!!! So beautiful! I write a craft blog and decided to add a recipe or two a month for my readers. A lot of craft blogs do it, and people like it, so I thought I would try it out. I love to cook and take pictures, so I decided to give it a try. The photography end of it is so difficult! I think food photography is the hardest to do well, and you are doing it amazingly well! Very inspiring!
You are seriously so sweet! This comment made my day, the photography part is definitely the most difficult for me, so this comment means a lot to me. Thank you so much!
Wow!!! This looks gorgeous and delicious. Your Pictures are beautiful Sam. Pinning
Thank you so much, Puja!! ☺️
Hello! I love ur recipes, in going to make your strawberry cake next week. For your rose water ice cream I don’t have rose water at the moment. what can I use as a substitute? Can I use water or milk and how much?
There really isn’t a substitute for the rose water here. You can just leave it out and your ice cream will still turn out. 🙂
Ana | Espresso My Kitchen
Strawberry Rose Ice cream sounds pretty amazing AND your photos look amazing!
This is one of the most unique ice cream flavors a I’ve ever seen! My mom loves rose water for beauty remedies, so we have a bunch stalked up in my house… maybe I can sneak some to make this ice cream. Haha. Also, I love how you took pictures of the ice cream in measuring cup things, it looks so pretty! 🙂
What a unique and delicious ice cream! Everyone would be wowed when this came out for dessert.
Cannot wait to try this one, but won’t tell Joe about the rose part until after he has a taste. 🙂
I used dried rose petals and orange oil or dried lavender and lemon oil to make microwaveable herbal packs. They smell so great and heated make tired sore muscles feel amazing. I buy remnants of material with a kitchen type design or a soft flannel with a PJ theme, sew them together (5 inches by 10 inches) fill them with the herbs, oils and rice and give them away.
I will send you the yum yum cake recipe hugs, Pat
Haha, I think he will pick up on it pretty quickly 😉
I really love that idea, I actually happen to have a fair amount of dried rose and lavender on my hands right now and that sounds like a perfect way to use it up! I would LOVE the yum yum cake recipe, thank you so much, Pat! 🙂
Medha @ Whisk & Shout
Rose ice cream is such a delicate and mellow flavor and I love how you added the strawberries into it too! Yum 🙂
Thank you, Medha! 🙂