Pour half-and-half into a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. In a bowl, beat egg yolks and half cup of sugar until pale and smooth. Stir one-quarter of hot half-and-half into egg mixture, stirring well.
Then, pour yolk mixture into warm saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 3 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature and cover with plastic. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.
An hour before making the ice cream, in a bowl combine berries with 2 tablespoons of sugar and let sit for 1 hour. Then mash berries with a fork until they are bite-sized.
Stir into chilled custard mixture and pour into ice cream maker; follow manufacturer’s directions. Freeze at least 2 hours before serving.
All materials courtesy of Tennessee Department of Agriculture. Visit the www.picktnproducts.org home page and click on the strawberries image to be directed to a statewide directory of local strawberry patches. For more recipes using Tennessee strawberries and other seasonal or artisan farm products, click on “Cook Now.”