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 once you give this a try, you will be thanking me for my fiendish ways.
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. It’s an insider secret to the incredibly interesting world of a food blogger that when you have to test each recipe so many times to make sure other people can reliably duplicate your results, you can get tired of making the same thing over and over. You get tired of eating the same thing too, and heaven knows we love blueberry ice cream, but before I was happy with a recipe, I got distracted by all the cucumbers the garden was churning out, and started making pickles instead. So this year, I was determined to get it figured out.
Previous attempts had used all raw berries, then all cooked berries and I wasn’t happy with either of them. 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. As it turns out, that was perfect. 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, meaning you don’t have to plan too far ahead, because, unlike cooked custard bases, the mixture doesn’t take a long time to cool down. 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 Maker, so this recipe fits that size, which is pretty standard. You do have to remember to freeze the inner bowl, but I keep it in a plastic bag in the freezer all of the time anyway, so I don’t have to think about it.
- 2 cups fresh blueberries, divided
- ¾ cup of granulated sugar
- Zest of a lime or lemon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 & ½ cups 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, stir to be certain the sugar has all dissolved 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 ice cream machine's 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.
I admit that I am a sucker for an ice cream cone, but it is awfully good in bowls too – I like to use my mini cookie scoop to fill a small bowl – so pretty!