Strawberry pretzel salad is one of those magical foods from back when I was little. You know the one…a pretzel crust, a layer of cream cheese filling, strawberries and jello on top? It made an appearance at nearly every special occasion, it was incredibly delicious, and even though it tasted exactly like a dessert it was always somehow served with the main course like it was ‘regular’ food. Then, dessert came afterwards.
2 desserts for the price of 1.
See? I told you it was magical.
Today, we’re turning those flavors into ice cream because it’s high time we get this ice cream train started for the summer, no? The weather has certainly been heating up, and I’ve been getting the most incredible strawberries at the store lately. They’re definitely the best yet this year.
Between the strawberry sauce, the cream cheese base, and the mixed-in pretzel pieces, this ice cream tastes just like the (magical) strawberry pretzel salad you remember…only this really is a dessert. And, this frozen treat would make a great finale for an upcoming Memorial Day picnic you might be hosting. You can make it well in advance, so you don’t have to worry about it the day of (or even the day before) your party. Just grab some cones from the grocery store, and you’ll have the perfect post-cookout indulgence.
- ~~~ Strawberry Sauce ~~~
- 1 ½ tsp. cornstarch
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup diced fresh strawberries
- 2 tsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- ~~~ Ice Cream ~~~
- 14 oz. cream cheese, at room temp
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup whole milk, at room temp
- ¼ cup sour cream, at room temp
- ½ cup broken pretzel pieces or chips
- For the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until completely incorporated. Combine cornstarch mixture, sugar, berries, and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 6-7 minutes, stirring often, until the mixture is thickened. Cool. Refrigerate until chilled.
- For the ice cream: In a stand mixer, mix cream cheese on medium speed until completely smooth, about 3 minutes. With mixer running, slowly add sugar and salt. Mix until smooth.
- Add vanilla and mix until combined.
- With mixer on low, slowly add milk.
- Transfer mixture to a large bowl and whisk until milk is totally incorporated into the cream cheese mixture.
- Fold in sour cream. Cover and refrigerate at least three hours or overnight.
- Pour chilled mixture into the frozen bowl of an ice cream maker and mix according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When ice cream is at soft serve stage (about 8-10 minutes), pour the strawberry sauce and the pretzel pieces into the machine and let mix.
- Transfer ice cream to freezer-safe container and freeze until firm.
Ice cream adapted from Cuisinart.