Blackberry Ice Cream

We’ve been getting blackberries in our Greenling box for a few weeks now, and while they’re perfect just out of the box (literally, when it’s still in the green box), I’ve been trying to think of new ways to use them in recipes.

Since it’s been ice cream season (i.e., 90+ degree weather) here in South Texas for a while now, I thought I might use our blackberries to make my first custard-based ice cream. I’ve previously shied away from custard-based ice creams for a few reasons, namely because they’re so high in fat and because I thought they were tricky to make. Turns out that I was right on only the first count.

I halved the recipe to accommodate 1 pint of blackberries. If you have 2 pints, use the original recipe. What’s weird is that both recipes yield about 1 liter (I stored mine in one of those tall plastic containers that wonton soup comes in, so I’m sure about this). No idea how that happened.

I highly encourage you to check out the original recipe for this one; the pictures on Jen’s site are incredible.

Adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop, via Use Real Butter

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c. half-and-half
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. heavy cream
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 c. strained blackberry puree (You can use 1 pint of whole blackberries. I highly recommend using a food mill for this, as blackberries have large seeds. It’s much easier than pureeing in a food processor or blender and then removing the seeds with a strainer.)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  • Heat half-and-half and sugar over medium heat in a small saucepan.
  • While it’s warming, pour the cream into a bowl and place a strainer over the top. In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Set both bowls aside.
  • When the sugar has completely dissolved into the half-and-half and the mixture is warmed through, slowly add the warmed half-and-half to the eggs, whisking constantly.
  • Pour the egg/half-and-half mixture back into the saucepan, stirring constantly until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
  • Pour the egg/half-and-half mixture (now resembling a custard) through the strainer into the cream. Add the blackberry puree and the lemon juice.
  • Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 4 hours. (The mixture needs to be completely chilled before putting it in the ice cream maker to avoid overchurning, which leads to increased ice crystals and thus a less smooth texture [a tip from Alton Brown]. But the mixture should be used in 4 hours to preserve the fresh berry taste [a tip from David Lebovitz].)
  • Churn the ice cream in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After it’s finished churning, put the ice cream in a tupperware and cover it with saran wrap before sealing the container (a tip from Alton Brown). Freeze for 2 hours before eating.

Verdict:
This was my first attempt at custard-based ice cream, as I had (incorrectly) thought that it required a ton of work. It doesn’t! This ice cream has a beautiful pinkish-purple color and a wonderfully rich and decadent flavor without being overly heavy. This would be perfect with the blackberry-peach crisp I made a few weeks ago, and would be so easy to make a few days ahead of time for company.

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