Strawberry ice cream with guajillo chile and lime

Strawberry ice cream with guajillo chile and lime DSC6665

For some reason, I have it in my head that strawberries should arrive here in New York by early May. But these past few weeks, every time I’d go to the farmers market, I’d only see those same sad baskets of apples and pears that have been there since last fall.

“Where are the strawberries?” I would ask. “Be patient,” said the farmers. “They’ll arrive.” But it’s hard to be patient when Poteet, Texas had its annual strawberry festival in early April, and some friends back home were telling me that their strawberry plants were already fading. And yet, still no sign of strawberries here.

Last week, however, I walked to the market and the chalkboard that announces what’s on offer said, “Strawberries! Strawberries! Strawberries!” Clearly, everyone was as excited as I was. It being early in the season, there was only one farmer selling them and the line was endless. When I finally reached the front of the line, the farmer advised me to eat them that day as they probably wouldn’t keep very long. Of course, that was not a problem, and I went home and ate the whole pint in one sitting. The next day, I returned and bought more.

Strawberry ice cream with guajillo chile and lime | Homesick Texan

My first inclination was to make strawberry shortcake with my haul. This past weekend, however, it was so hot that turning on the oven to make biscuits was out of the question. So I made ice cream instead.

The first batch I whizzed together the berries and the cream in the blender, which resulted in a muted pink ice cream that one friend said had the visual appeal of Pepto Bismol. I agreed.

For my second batch, I first macerated the strawberries to bring out their juices, adding a slight sprinkle of guajillo chile powder for some earthy heat. I then made a batch of vanilla ice cream, and simply stirred in the strawberries at the end. Not only was this strawberry ice cream more visually appealing, but it ended up being a better showcase for the fresh berries, as well.

Strawberry ice cream with guajillo chile and lime | Homesick Texan

If you’re like me, and you don’t want to wait for your desserts, you’ll enjoy this ice cream as it can be made in about half an hour since there’s no cooking on the stove involved. And this is important, as you won’t want to waste any time that could be spent eating this year’s crop of strawberries.

Strawberry ice cream with guajillo chile and lime DSC6665
5 from 1 vote

Strawberry ice cream with guajillo chile and lime

Servings 1 quart
Author Lisa Fain


  • 8 ounces strawberries, hulled and cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon guajillo chile powder
  • 3 cups well chilled light cream or half and half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. In a bowl, sprinkle the strawberries with the brown sugar, cinnamon and guajillo chile powder, and let sit for 30 minutes until soft and juicy. Gently mash with a potato masher.

  2. Meanwhile, stir together the cream, vanilla, granulated sugar, lime juice, and salt. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

  3. When the vanilla ice cream base is done, gently stir in the strawberries.

Recipe Notes

Guajillo chile powder can be found in some specialty markets, but it’s easy to make your own, too. To do this, remove the stems from 8 ounces of guajillo chiles and place in one layer on a baking sheet. Cook the chiles at 300° F for 5 minutes or until dry. Crumble the dried chiles into a bowl and then grind them in a spice grinder or blender.

  1. apronless

    Oooo chiles in the ice cream? Marvelous.

    On another note, I kind of like my strawberry ice cream pepto bismol pink… I prefer to think of it as 'pastel.' Heh.

  2. This is the first I've ever heard of guajillo peppers. How hot are they?

  3. Caroline @ Pink Basil

    Oh, this sounds just amazing! I would never have thought of putting chili or lime juice in the ice cream; can't wait to try this!

  4. Mary at Deep South Dish

    Wow, chiles! Can't say I've ever done that before. How interesting! Yep, I'm on the Gulf Coast & we already had our early round of spring strawberries (which aren't as sweet if ya ask me anyway). The only ones we're getting now are California, not that there's anything wrong with that, but we're pretty much waiting it out on the summer crops from Louisiana & Florida now.

  5. With strawberry ice cream, I usually macerate, then mash up half of the strawberries, adding the mash (and the juices) to the ice cream base. The mash and the little bit of juice give the ice cream a delicate pink color that's less pepto-bismol and more evening primrose. I add the other half of the strawberries at the end for texture and, yes, to highlight the berries themselves.

    I have a batch in the freezer right now, in fact!

  6. I live near the Gulf Coast, so my experiment with growing my own strawberries is working, sorta, except some critter keeps beating me to my strawberries! I suspect birds, since there's just a bit of strawberry left.

    I've never had any kind of chile in any ice cream. According to Wikipedia, quajillo/mirasol "has a green tea flavor with berry overtones", so I bet they go nicely with strawberries. A scoville site lists them as similar or slightly less hot that jalapenos.

  7. Lisa Fain

    Apronless–That's a much nicer color description!

    Janus–Not very hot at all. It's earthy and has some berry notes.

    Caroline–Hope you you like it!

    Mary–Someone else said they thought the early spring berries weren't as sweet as the late spring ones. I wonder why?

    K–That's a great tip, I'll try that next time!

    Shreela–That's a perfect way to describe the flavor. Thanks! And I didn't know they were also called mirasol–good information to have!

  8. Nisrine Merzouki

    Unusual but pretty awesome combination. I will give it a go.

  9. lpburke86

    Frankly, The Poteet festival this year was kinda disappointing. Not at all what I remembered from previous years.

  10. Lauren F

    Lisa, this sounds awesome; what a surprising combination of flavors. Now that strawberry season is upon us, I am craving my late grandmother's specialty, the Berry Bavarian Crown. It's an improvement on strawberry shortcake (at least in my mind) that combines strawberries, torn-up pieces of angel food cake, whipped cream, and gelatin for color and texture. It's heavenly, managing to be both decadent and light as air. Has anyone else had this delicacy?

  11. SeattleDee

    The ice cream sounds delicious, but I'm still stuck on the phrase " so hot that turning on the oven to make biscuits was out of the question". Sigh! I turned on the oven just to bask in its warmth and baked cookies this weekend. Maybe if I make strawberry ice cream with guajiilos the weather will follow.

  12. missmaei

    It's "fixin" to be peach time in Texas. I drive from Dallas direct to the orchard for them. Suggestions?

  13. Lisa Fain

    Nisrine–Hope you try it!

    Ipburke86–That's a shame.

  14. What an ingenious combo!

  15. Lisa Fain

    Lauren–I've never made Berry Bavarian Crown, but that sure does sound refreshing!

    SeattleDee–Ha! Don't worry, I'm sure hot days will make it to the PacNW soon enough!

    MissMaei–I'm fond of this blueberry-peach cobbler recipe.

  16. Pink Party Girl

    Girl, you're 'talkin' Texan' when you put chili and lime in the same sentence…much less the same recipe!

    I live in 'way out' West Texas, and can only imagine what kind of strawberry withdrawals you must of had, just waitin' for the season to start!
    Down here, it oughta be gettin' close to peach pickin' time in Fredericksburg and the Hill Country…

  17. tami curtis

    of all places to find guajillo chile, i actually found them in an english farmers market – i just about froze on the spot! i am NEVER this lucky! i'm off to make this recipe now with my new ice cream maker.

  18. Lisa, what ice cream maker do you have? I'm so tempted by your ice cream recipes but foiled by the lack of apparatus! I think it's time to get one…

  19. Some Girl

    Oh goodness, chilis and strawberries sounds like a delicious combination! It must be a Texas thing but there are very few recipes where a bit of chili heat would not be a welcome addition! And with the coming heat I love any ice cream recipe that doesn't involve stove top cooking. Thanks!

  20. Because you said so, I'll try this. Chiles and ice cream ?

    Now can you use another type of chile if you can't find these ?

    Toronto ain't exactly overflowing with gaujillos !

  21. Lisa Fain

    [email protected] Kitchen–It is, but it works!

    Pink Party Girl–I'm in Austin this week, and there are already trucks selling peaches.

    Tami–No way! I love it!

    Mijke–I have a Cuisinart one. It was about $50.

    Some Girl–I'm with you! I can add chiles to just about anything!

    Tommy–You might find them in Toronto, as a reader found them in London. Whole Foods in NYC has been selling them. But if you can't find them, for this recipe I'd substitute a New Mexico chile or a bit of chipotle powder. The latter is smokier, but would also go well with the strawberries.

  22. As you may have inferred from my last comment, I've never seen guajillo peppers in my area. What would you say would be a close substitute for them?

  23. Anne Stesney

    Did anyone ever tell you that you're a genius? Chile and lime with strawberries and cream is truly inspired. Can't wait to make it over my vacation.

  24. deceiverofmen

    oh man, that has been one good thing about having just moved to california- the strawberries are both plentiful and amazing and have been so since i stepped off the plane in april. I've never had such reliably and wodnerfully sweet strawberries. I've been eating them so often i might turn into one.

    San Francisco is never too hot to turn on the oven (oh why oh why did i pick northern cali?). I think I may use your chile idea in strawberry shortcake.

    Except i'm trying to be healthier, so it'll be macadamia cream and whole wheat biscuits. I can't wait to try the pairing of chile and strawberry!

  25. Lisa Fain

    Janus–I'd substitute chipotle or ancho. Neither tastes the same, but could be interesting. Or if you just want a heat, a sprinkle of cayenne would be great.

    Anne–I hope you enjoy it and have a wonderful vacation!

    Deceiverofmen–That is definitely something I love about California–that cornucopia of excellent produce almost year round. And I think that SF gets pretty warm in September, so you'll have some semblance of summer.

  26. Erin @ Cake Makes Sense

    This literally has my mouth watering. Must buy an ice cream maker!

  27. Hornsfan

    Lisa this looks divine – unfortunately the strawberries here in Texas are definitely fading but I'll have to bookmark this for next year!

  28. OMG,,,this has gone straight to the top of the ice creams to make list…never thought of guajillo chilli with strawberries before but the minute I saw it new I would have to try it. Thanks for the inspiration.

  29. Shelley

    I don't get the mix of sweet and hot, but then, I'm from West Texas, not East!

  30. Strawberries, and peaches. My goodness peaches. It's so hard to hear my mother bragging on the fruits she's getting each week from Efurd Orchards down in Pittsburg, TX. I'm in VA, and those we're getting from SC around here just don't compare.

    Btw, strawberry ice cream is making me think of Big Red for some reason… Maybe I'm dreaming of a big, red float… Have you had any more luck since your 2007 holiday gift guide post, finding it up northways?

    And thanks — I love your blog.

  31. Lisa, I just returned from Whole Foods with some beautiful strawberries, just so that I could make this recipe. Surprisingly, I already had whole, dried guajillo chilli peppers in my cupboard. How would you suggest I go about making a powder of them> Should I toast a chili in a dry skillet, then grind with a mortar/pestle?

  32. Lisa Fain

    Erin–There's nothing like homemade ice cream–it's a good investment!

    Hornsfan–Sounds like a plan!

    Mairi–You're very welcome!

    Shelley–Sweet and hot is a wonderful combination!

    Sarah–A Big Red float would totally hit the spot right now!

  33. Lisa Fain

    Lisa–Yep, you can toast in a dry skillet or in the oven and then grind.

  34. Thanks, Lisa. I toasted the chile in a dry skillet and ground it in my blender.

    I just finished making this and I had to let you know that this is THE BEST STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM I have ever made. For the past several years I've tried different strawberry ice cream recipes, trying to fine "the one"…this is it! The chile and lime add wonderful background notes, that enhance the berries without overpowering the them. As K suggested, I added half the berry mixture to the base & churned, and mixed in the remaining berry mixture at the end. Perfect!

    Thanks again for another wonderful recipe!!

  35. mm.. sounds interesting.. now when can I come over for some?

  36. Hi, Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. Growing up in Texas, we always made strawberry or peach ice cream for the 4th of July. We would hand churn it under a large oak tree and everyone had a turn at the crank. I love putting chili in chocolate cake so I will try chili in the strawberry ice cream. It sounds great…a little heat for the 4th.

  37. This ice-cream sounds amazing and those peppers are my favorite. WHen you soak them and then blend them in a blender they are perfect for chicken, etc. Also such great idea for lime, strawberries, pepper ice-cream. Love it!

  38. ceilithe

    Yummo, I've got strawberries that have been waiting to turn into something delicious. The tip about chile will now make that happen. Only, since we can't do dairy anymore, I'm using Arroy-D 100% coconut cream — alive and in heaven 🙂

  39. We made this ice cream for the dessert category of our Chili Cook-off. We toasted the guajillos in a skillet (I burned them the first try in the oven) and then blended them in the Magic Bullet to a powder. First off, mine isn't nearly as beautiful (a mauve color from the strawberry juice–I might drain them next time). This is a great strawberry recipe, though we couldn't taste the heat of the chiles. So, we made a second batch, left out the strawberries, and added the guajillo powder to the milk to steep. Then we spiked it with cayenne to get some heat and added a little extra lime. Now it's got a nice kick and we love it! My initial thought was to swirl the two together, which I would have done if I'd made them the same day (too tricky once the first batch was hard from freezing).

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