While the South has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to exclusive produce from citrus to apples, figs to muscadines, strawberry season is one of the year’s more magical times. From Louisiana’s famous Ponchatoula strawberries to the ones that grow in central Florida, when the season is ripe, it’s imperative to take advantage. We love to put strawberries in pies, cakes, salads, and jam, but sometimes we just want that fresh, sweet flavor without the wait. That’s when we pull the ice cream out of the freezer and make these old-fashioned milkshakes. Not only do they make the world slow down for a second, they’re the perfect thing to share with your kids, your grandmother, you aunt, or your best friend.
The secret to making the best milkshake? Don’t skimp on quality. Like any recipe with a short ingredient list, you want to make sure that every component is the best you can afford or find for the best flavor. Look for strawberries at your local farmers market so you know they were picked closer to being ripe on the vine. Use real vanilla extract for a true taste and a subtle floral note to compliment the berries. When it comes to the ice cream, we love to use a smaller batch, Southern-made brand like Sweet Magnolia Gelato from the Mississippi Delta or High Road Craft Creamery from Atlanta. And don’t forget to use whole milk. Anything with less fat content will make your milkshake watery.
12 ounces fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced (about 2 cups sliced), plus more for garnish
3 cups vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sweetened whipped cream
How to Make It
Process strawberries, ice cream, milk, and vanilla in a blender until smooth, about 45 seconds. Pour into glasses; garnish with whipped cream and strawberries.