I need a pick-me-up. Just a few moments of quiet, and maybe something like this Frozen Strawberry Lemonade. Seems like everyone’s got this kind of thing on their menus this summer. Kiddo and I started making it at home sometimes, though, a year or so ago. We’re big fans of the frozen Minute Maid lemonade you can sometimes find in stores, but it’s rare and hard to find, actually. It’s also a little pricey when it comes right down to it. So once upon a time, I hauled out our small countertop ice cream churn, mixed some frozen lemon concentrate, some water and sugar together, then dumped it in said churn. So simple. So easy. So just as good if not better than the “real” thing!
My mom gave us a bunch of strawberries straight off a strawberry farm not long ago, and since they were pretty ripe, I threw most of them in the freezer. So this recipe is even easier than you thought. Just reach into the freezer for two of the ingredients. Your own frozen berries or store-bought or even fresh, any will work.
How much sugar is used depends on you. We started with about half a cup, pouring it into a bowl that had the can of frozen lemonade concentrate and about two to two and a half cans of water. You don’t want to completely dilute the lemonade as directed on the can if you’re looking for a nice sweet/tart flavor. Start with half of the water it recommends, taste and go from there. Same with the sugar. Maybe half a cup first and add more if needed. We used three-quarters cup total.
The berries get a quick trip to the microwave, mostly thawing them. If they’re still a tad bit frozen, that’s OK. You want to be able to mash them up a little. We threw in about two tablespoons of sugar with them.
If you prefer not to have any pieces of strawberry in your lemonade, mash the berries in a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl and use only the liquid that is strained into the bowl.
And it’s as simple as into the churn it goes! We filled the churn about three-quarters full with the lemonade and then added the mashed strawberries, to make sure we had enough room. If you have one of these small churns, you’ll either already know how much to fill it or grab the manual to check.
This is one of the few things made in this churn that is pretty much ready when the churn is done – to a point. Ours took about thirty minutes to come to a slushy consistency, but at that point there was still a little liquid at the bottom that wasn’t quite slushy. It depends on how slushy and frozen you prefer yours to be. You can either stir the liquid into the slush that’s there (and probably drink it with a straw) or put it in the freezer to harden some more (and then later eat it with a spoon).
I think our humidity level the day we made these was around 200%, or at least it felt like it! It was exceptionally hard to get any photos of the finished “frozen” lemonade. It came out of the freezer perfectly slushy and frozen, and within minutes it was a quickly melting mess. This made me realize, we just can’t do a blog post on frozen/slushy/ice cream/summery fun stuff because our humidity won’t let us.
Griping about the weather aside, though, this stuff tastes great! The level of sweet to tangy tartness was just right, and the frozen strawberries, mashed down to release their juices, flavored the lemonade really well. This is a fun project to get the kids involved with, and they love the end results even more. After we were done cooking that day, I got this out a couple of hours later and, sure enough, it had hardened enough to be at that spoon-eating consistency. Perfect. Cool. Tasty! Enjoy.
Frozen Strawberry Lemonade
from Full Fork Ahead
Prep Time: 5 minutes Chill Time: 30 minutes to 2 hours Level: Easy Serves: 4-6
- 1 can frozen lemonade concentrate
- 2-3 cans water (use the lemonade can as a measure)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup frozen strawberries, thawed
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
Place the frozen lemonade concentrate in a bowl and add two cans of water to the bowl, using the lemonade can as your measuring device. Add 1/2 a cup of sugar to the mixture, stirring till dissolved. Taste. If the mixture is too tart, try adding a little more water and/or sugar until the taste is right for you.
Place the strawberries in a small bowl along with the two tablespoons of sugar and mash until the berries release their juices. You can have some chunks of strawberry if you prefer. If you do not want chunks of berries in your lemonade, mash the berries very well in a fine-mesh strainer over the bowl, catching any juices in the bowl.
Fill a 1 1/2 to 2 quart size ice cream churn bowl (already frozen according to manufacturer’s instructions) about three-quarters full with the lemonade mixture, then add the strawberry mixture. If you have room, fill with more lemonade mixture up to the manufacturer’s suggested fill line. Set the churn as directed and churn for about twenty to thirty minutes. (We started seeing slush around 20 minutes into the churning process.) If your churn has frozen your lemonade sufficiently for you at the end of the thirty minutes – enjoy! If you prefer it slushier or hard enough to eat with a spoon, place it in a freezer-safe container, cover and freeze for another hour or two. Can me made ahead and thawed slightly if necessary before serving. It should stay good in the freezer for about a week.
If you have leftover liquid that wouldn’t fit in your churn, you can either save it in the fridge for a few days to make another batch of frozen lemonade, or you can dilute it to a drinking consistency for someone to enjoy as a beverage.
If strawberries aren’t your thing, you can do lots of variations. Just do plain, regular lemonade or use peaches, blackberries, raspberries – whatever you prefer. Some fruit may take more effort to make enough juices to flavor the lemonade. We made Fresh Peach Lemonade once, and that might be a good guide for using peaches in this recipe and creating a liquid from them.