It continues to be hot. Like H-O-T hot. I feel like I’ve been melting, or on the verge of melting, for weeks. Which is good and bad when ice cream is involved. You want your ice cream cold and tasty, but not too cold that you can’t eat it without a dreaded brain freeze. And then you don’t want it too melty so it turns into a big drippy mess and gets all over your face and clothes, or whatever else happens to be around, like your iPhone, or your cat.
These are the things I was thinking about when I was making my latest batch of ice cream. This time I’ve gone the fruity route, using blackberries, those darker, richer cousins of raspberries and strawberries.
I really love the color of this ice cream, it’s such a happy purple. It just makes me smile. It’s like staring into a bowl of Grimace or something. Wait, is that weird? Forget I said that. The heat has gotten to me. It’s nothing like a bowl of Grimace. It’s sweet and creamy and berry good … and might just be one of the tastiest varieties I’ve made.
Blackberry Ice Cream
2 pints of blackberries
1 1/4 cups of sugar
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
3 cups of half & half
5 large egg yolks
In a medium saucepan, combine the blackberries, 1/4 cup of sugar and the lemon juice. Simmer over low heat until the blackberries have broken down and are syrupy, about 20 minutes. Next, pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl, using a spoon or spatula to get as much of the liquid through as possible. Discard the remaining pulp and seeds and let the liquid cool.
In another saucepan, heat 1 ½ cups of half & half and 1 cup of sugar over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a bowl until pale yellow and thick, about 3 minutes. Gradually add some of the warm half & half mixture into the egg yolks while whisking constantly. Then pour the egg-half & half mixture into the saucepan and continue cooking over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes.
Add the remaining 1 ½ cups of half & half to the blackberry mixture, and then add the egg-half & half mixture and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold or overnight.
Place the mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the machine’s instructions. Most machines take 20 to 40 minutes to make ice cream. When the ice cream is thick and creamy, place into a freezer-safe container (with piece of parchment paper between the ice cream and the lid) and let it harden for a few hours.
Let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before scooping, and then eat.
Okay, if you’re keeping track, this is technically not ice cream as well, but it is frozen and delicious and a summertime favorite. And it gave me the chance to try out my new super-cool (har-har) Zoku popsicle maker. If you don’t know what that is, then you’re in for a real treat. It’s this magical little invention that freezes popsicles right on your counter in 9 minutes or less. I know! I could hardly believe it myself until I tried it myself, and literally 9 minutes later I was enjoying a strawberries and cream popsicle. Don’t skip the first step – letting the berries sit with the sugar and vanilla makes them soft and juicy. And the Greek yogurt adds some subtle tang, but if that’s not your thing you can use regular yogurt.
Strawberries & Cream Popsicles
1 lb of strawberries, hulled & diced
4 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 cup of Greek vanilla yogurt
Place the strawberries in a bowl along with the sugar and vanilla, and let stand for about 15 minutes until juicy. Place into a blender, add the yogurt and mix until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds (or your properly frozen Zoku machine) and let freeze. Then enjoy.
I’m Montana bound for a friend’s wedding so I’m making this short. But before I head off to Big Sky Country it’s time for some Big Berry Flavor. And it’s courtesy of this incredibly simple triple berry sorbet. So go pop your ice cream maker in the freezer, grab some fresh berries and celebrate Independence Day with a sweet and tart frozen treat.
Triple Berry Sorbet
– 1 pint of blueberries
– 1 pint of raspberries
– ½ pint of blackberries
– ¼ cup of sugar
– ¼ cup of honey
– 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
– 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
– Pinch of salt
In a large bowl, add the berries, sugar, honey, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt. Stir to combine then use a potato masher to smash the berries. Place the berry mixture in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture through a mesh strainer to remove any seeds and large fruit pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or until cold.
Place the mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the machine’s instructions. Most machines take 20 to 40 minutes to make ice cream. When the sorbet is thick (mine was ready at 20 minutes or so), eat immediately. Or place into a freezer-safe container for a few hours to let it firm up, and then eat.
Happy July 4th folks!