Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Homemade Blueberry Ice Cream

Summer is berry season, and when there are berries, there's the promise of fabulous desserts — Summer Pudding, Fruit Crisps and homemade Ice Cream. Inspired with the bounty of blueberries in the market this week, we decided to try the Blueberry Ice Cream recipe from the 'Chelsea Market Cookbook' which I purchased on our trip to NYC earlier this year. According to the recipe, puréeing and cooking the blueberries concentrates their flavour to make an especially rich ice cream. To start, milk, cream and sugar are brought to a simmer over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Egg yolks and sugar are whisked together in another bowl then added to the warm cream mixture and cooked over medium low to produce a thick rich custard — this becomes the base for the ice cream. 

The Chelsea Market Cookbook

The puréed blueberries are then added to the custard and strained to get rid of any undesirable solids. The whole mixture is then poured into a large bowl and set over an ice bath to chill for 30 minutes, then processed in an ice cream or gelato machine until the Blueberry Ice Cream is set. The end result is delicious — a gorgeous lavender coloured ice cream with a rich and creamy texture — the perfect dessert for a hot summer afternoon.

Blueberry Ice Cream
Makes 1 Quart

18 oz fresh blueberries
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/3 cups white sugar
8 large egg yolks

Purée the blueberries in a food processor or blender. This will produce 3 cups of purée. Transfer it to a medium heavy-bottomed sauce­pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until the purée is reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Set it aside.

Combine the milk, cream, and 2/3 cup of the sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often to dissolve the sugar. Remove the pan from the heat.

Set a wire sieve over a medium heatproof bowl near the stove. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and remaining 2/3 cup sugar until it's thick and pale yellow, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. Return this mixture to the saucepan and cook it over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard is thick enough to coat the spoon and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the custard reads 180°F, about 3 minutes. Immediately whisk in the blueberry purée. Strain the mixture through the sieve into the bowl. Discard any solids in the sieve. Put the bowl of custard into a larger bowl of iced water and let stand, stirring occasionally, until it's cold, changing the ice as needed, about 30 minutes. The mixture can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.

Pour the mixture into an ice-cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions. Transfer the soft ice cream to a freezer-safe covered container and freeze until it is firm, at least 4 hours. Scoop the ice cream into serving bowls and dig in!