Who doesn’t like Blueberries? The perfect combination of delicious and healthy, there’s no one who can deny this sweet fruit, and an Ice Cream is one of the purest ways to enjoy this Superfruit. Vibrant, colorful, and the perfect blend of sweet and creamy, just like an ice cream should be, you will surely love this version of Blueberry Ice Cream. This recipe comes from the Fine Cooking magazine [photo by Sarah Jay]. It may sound to be a bit more tedious than other run-of-the-mill ice cream recipes, but it is truly worth the effort.
The custard gives a nice creamy base to the dessert, and can be adapted to make other varieties of treats too, including milk shakes or puddings. The Blueberry Syrup is again a versatile recipe preparation which can be used in anything – from pancakes to cobblers or pies. You can make the syrup ahead of time and refrigerate it, to cut back active cooking time. Also, I know a lot of my readers are pure vegetarians, so I have included the Eggless version of the ice cream too, so now you have no excuse whatsoever, to go right ahead and enjoy this creamy frosty treat!
Fresh Blueberry Ice Cream
10 oz. (2 cups) fresh blueberries
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
Ice cream custard
2 cups half-and-half
5 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Making the Blueberry Syrup
In a 2-quart heavy-based saucepan, combine the berries, corn syrup, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Set the pan over low heat and mash the berries roughly with a potato masher or the back of a large fork. Increase the heat to medium low and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then let cool for 5 to 10 min.
Put the berries in a fine sieve set over a bowl. Press on the berries to extract all the liquid; discard the solids, and you’ll get about 1 cup of thick blueberry juice. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. You can make the syrup up to three days ahead of making the ice cream.
Making the Custard
In a 1- to 2-quart heavy-based saucepan, heat the half-and-half over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching so it doesn’t boil over, and then remove it from the heat.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, lightly beat the yolks to break them up. Whisk in the sugar just until incorporated. Don’t over-whisk; you don’t want a very thick, pale mixture.
Set the bowl on a damp towel to hold it steady and very slowly pour the hot half-and-half over the egg mixture, whisking constantly so the yolks don’t curdle. Rinse the saucepan but don’t dry the inside; a film of water helps prevent the custard from sticking to the pot.
Have ready a fine sieve set over a bowl. Return the custard to the saucepan and set it over medium-low heat. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook the custard until it thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon, 7 to 10 min.; a finger drawn across the back of the spoon should leave a clean trail.
Immediately pour the custard through the sieve. Stir in the cream and the vanilla extract and press a piece of plastic onto the surface of the warm custard to keep a skin from forming. Poke a few slits in the plastic with the tip of a paring knife to let the steam escape.
Let cool slightly and then refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours but ideally 8 hours or overnight.
Making the Ice Cream
Stir the blueberry syrup into the chilled custard; mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into an ice-cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer’s instructions. For the most intense flavor, serve right away. Otherwise, store in an airtight container for up to a week; let the ice cream soften in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before serving to coax out more flavor.
For an eggless version of this recipe, replace the 5 eggs with 3/4 cup heavy cream and 3/4 cup sour cream. Heat all the ingredients for the custard except the sour cream, and bring to a light boil. Allow it to cool to room temperature. Then blend the custard along with the blueberry syrup and sour cream. Pour the entire mixture into a bowl and refrigerate until chilled. Transfer into an ice-cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to complete the recipe.
This is a very versatile recipe, meaning you can use it to create your favorite Berrylicious Ice Cream. Make Strawberry syrup the same was as above, for a lovely red treat. Or you could mix a few berries together, and add about half cup of cheesecake pieces to the ice cream-maker to come up with your version of Blueberry Cheesecake Ice cream! The possibilities are endless.
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