After the long winter, early season strawberries are a welcome sight. Plump and lightly sweet, early strawberries are more mild-tasting than their vibrant red peak-season counterparts and I’ve found they sometimes need a little boost to bring out the flavor. Roasting accomplishes this beautifully. In the oven, strawberries release some of their juice, concentrating the sweetness. Whenever I find myself with a batch of so-so strawberries, I find that roasting half the berries and then tossing them with fresh ones drastically improves the flavor and is perfect for spring treats like strawberry shortcake or parfaits.
For these milkshakes, though, I opted for all the bright berry intensity that a full batch of roasted strawberries lends. The smoky sweetness of roasted berries was balanced by the creaminess of vanilla ice cream, and made for as simple as it was special.
Though I’ve included it, milk isn’t strictly necessary and you should feel free to add more or less depending on your shake thickness preferences. Also note that the roasting time may vary depending on the size of your strawberries and their water content – keep an eye on them towards the end of roast time and pull once the juices have thickened in the pan and the edges of the strawberries have started to brown.
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 pint vanilla ice cream
- 1/2 cup milk, as needed
- Whipped cream for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a small rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Scatter berries on baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Roast 20 – 30 minutes, or until berries have released their juices and edges begin to brown. Set aside to cool completely.
- Combine roasted berries, any accumulated juices, and ice cream in the pitcher of a blender and blend until smooth. Add milk as needed to loosen shake if it’s too thick.
- Pour blended shake into glasses, garnish with a dollop of whipped cream, a whole strawberry, and a straw, and serve immediately.