Double Blueberry ice Cream? Isn’t just the regular kind good enough for most people? Why do you need to have double blueberries? Because I am fiendishly clever, that is why. And because I have a lot of blueberries. Despite the late frost that took out a lot of the apple crop hereabouts, the blueberries are doing very well this year, and the recent hot weather has them all ripening at once. Like, NOW-NOW-NOW! And, as I mentioned in a post last week, I freeze a lot of them for wintertime baking, but for ice cream, I like to use fresh ones.
I tried a couple of different recipes last year, and ended up not posting them, because I just wasn’t getting the flavor I was looking for. I tried using raw berries, and then I tried using cooked berries, and wasn’t happy with either of them. Then, the cucumbers starting coming on like gang-busters, so I got distracted by pickle making and forgot about the ice cream until this year’s haul. So, as I was looking over my recipes and notes from last year, it occurred to me that if each of the other tries was almost what I wanted, maybe combining the two ideas was the answer. And glory-be if I wasn’t right! This is rich and creamy [and not at all low fat, so if the guilt gets to you, do some extra sit-ups to make up for the calories] and the combination of the raw and cooked berries gives it an intensely fruity taste that is still fresh and bright. The addition of lime or lemon zest is just a little extra kick, that also intensifies the flavor of the blueberries.
This is Philly-style ice cream, which means you don’t have to plan too far ahead, because, unlike cooked custard bases, the mixture will already be pretty cold. I do stick the berry mixture in the freezer for about 20 minutes, just to make the churning faster, but you could skip that step. I have a Cuisinart 1 & 1/2 Quart Ice Cream Makerso this recipe fits that size. That also means I have to remember to freeze the inner bowl, but I just keep it in a plastic bag in the freezer all of the time anyway, so I don’t have to think about it.
So, let’s get started – here is how I made it:
2 cups fresh blueberries, divided
¾ cup of granulated sugar
Zest of a lime or lemon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup half and half
1 & ½ cup heavy cream
Place 1 cup of the berries in a small saucepan, along with a tablespoon of water, over low heat. Allow to cook, covered for about 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes so that the berries don’t stick. A lot of the berries will have split open, but don’t worry if not all of them have.
Place the other cup of the berries in a blender, along with the cooked berries. Pulse a few times to get things going, then blend at a higher speed for about a minute, until all of the berries are liquefied. Add the sugar, and blend for another 30 seconds, add the zest and salt, and blend another 15 seconds. Blending times are approximate, and may vary, depending on how powerful your blender is. Scrape mixture into a bowl, and place in the freezer for about 20 minutes to get it a little colder.
Whisk in the half and half and the cream, and then churn according to your machines normal directions. It will take about 20 to 25 minutes to turn into a creamy soft-serve consistency. You can eat it right away, or let it ripen in a container in the freezer. If you have a machine with a freezer bowl, make sure to get the ice cream out of it right away, or it is going to harden in there and be very difficult to get back out again. Keep the ice cream in a sealed container for up to a month. Pressing some plastic wrap or parchment paper directly on the surface will prevent ice crystals from forming.
Mmmmmmmmm – looks pretty doesn’t it? It tastes just as good as it looks too! I like to use my tiniest cookie scoop and a little bitty bowl to serve ice cream – it looks cute like this. I have to admit that that ice cream cone up at the top of the post is my favorite way to eat it though – I’m a sucker for an ice cream cone.