I recently took a trip to Maine where the blueberries are famous, but not quite ripe yet. Nevertheless, I picked up some homemade blueberry jam at a roadside farm stand, and came home to blueberry season here in Texas. (So cheap!) I was in a blue mood–the good kind.
For this recipe, I smash the blueberries with a potato masher rather than blend them, because I don’t want to get any of the skin texture in my ice cream base.
I also use a higher ratio of cream to milk than I normally do because–as I add so much fruit juice liquid to the base–I don’t want it to become watery (and then icy). I wish I could tell you it was more scientific, but it was simply a hunch from experience!
Be sure to layer your jam, don’t churn it into the ice cream! From the great Max Falkowitz:
Start drizzling fudge or caramel into your churning ice cream and you won’t make a swirl; you’ll get a muddy streak. To keep swirls clear and unmuddied, add them once the ice cream is already churned. By layering ice cream with its swirl in a long, wide container like a loaf pan (the best tool for storing ice cream in your freezer!), you create striations that, when scooped, formed nice swirls.
You can read more about his suggested process here.
- 3 cups blueberries
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 sugar (divided in two parts)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 6 oz. blueberry jam (more or less if you’d like)
- In a large pot over medium heat, stir the blueberries, lemon juice, and half the sugar (3/4 cup) until the sugar is dissolved. Then use a potato masher to smash the blueberries as much as you can (some smaller berries may not get caught by the masher. It takes me about one minute.). Let the mash simmer for about 5 more minutes, and then strain the mixture. You may need to use a spatula to push the liquid through the strainer. Reserve 1 cup of this juice for adding to the ice cream base in a later step. If you have more than 1 cup of blueberry juice, use the leftover juice it in delicious mocktails/cocktails!
- Heat the milk, cream, and remaining sugar (3/4 cup) over low heat and stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl, and combine them into the milk mixture (making sure not to scramble the yolks). Cook, stirring occasionally, until it reaches between 74-78 degrees C on a candy thermometer.
- Turn off the heat, add the 1 cup of blueberry juice from step 1, and stir to combine. Pour the ice cream base into a bowl with lid or Tupperware, and place it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
- Add the base to your ice cream maker and churn it according to the maker’s instructions. When it’s ready, layer your ice cream with striations of blueberry jam. Place the ice cream in the freezer for a few hours or overnight to solidify.
- Scoop and enjoy!