Delicious Wild Blackberry Ice Cream!
- posted on: July 30, 2019
- posted by: Eva Jacobson
It’s early August, and in the Pacific Northwest, that can mean only one thing: wild blackberry season. They may be a nuisance, but they’re a delicious one. We do our best to eradicate invasive blackberry vines at 21 Acres, but in the meantime, we don’t want to let the bounty go to waste!
From 11am-2pm every Saturday through the end of August, we’ll be hosting Blackberry U-Pick days at 21 Acres. A batch of deep fuchsia ice cream is one of the best things you can do with a bumper crop of fresh blackberries. We love this simple ice cream recipe, adapted from Serious Eats. Philadelphia-style ice cream is egg-less, making it both easier to prepare than custard-based ice cream and a better showcase for fresh fruit flavors.
Caroline Ferguson, 21 Acres Farm Market Lead… and one of our favorite recipe testers… used a mix of wild blackberries and black currants in her ice cream, but you can use any variety of fresh fruit, reduced until syrupy and then strained. Be sure to taste and adjust the sugar accordingly, keeping in mind that ice cream will always taste less sweet once frozen.
Please note that alcohol in the recipe is completely optional. It helps keep the ice cream slightly softer and more scoopable, but feel free to leave it out if you prefer. Caroline used kirsch, a German cherry brandy that she likes to keep on hand during the summer for all of her baking projects—just a tiny splash helps stone fruit, berries, and cherries taste even more divine.
Recipe for Wild Blackberry Ice Cream
2 pounds fresh blackberries, rinsed and drained, or a combination of summer berries
¾ cup sugar
Pinch ground cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 pint (16 oz) heavy cream
1 tbl liquor, such as bourbon, rum, or brandy, optional
Lemon juice, optional
Maple syrup, agave nectar, or another liquid sweetener, optional
Combine fruit, sugar, and salt in a large pot and stir to combine. Using a wooden spoon, mash berries until you have a rough puree. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until bubbling. Simmer, continuing to stir, until the mixture has thickened and reduced by about half. The syrup should thickly coat the back of a spoon, but should not be so thick that it is difficult to stir.
Remove berries from heat and strain into a large bowl through a fine-mesh strainer. Stir the mixture with a rubber spatula and press firmly to force through the strainer until only seedy pulp remains in the bowl. You should have about 2 cups of berry puree. Stir cinnamon and vanilla into puree. Cover and refrigerate until completely cold.
Remove bowl from refrigerator and add cold cream to mixture, stirring until completely incorporated. Taste and adjust flavor balance with lemon juice and/or liquid sweetener, if necessary (keep in mind that all flavors, including sweetness, will taste more muted once frozen).
Churn cold ice cream base in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. When ice cream looks thick and light, scoop into quart container, cover surface with plastic wrap, and freeze until firm. For optimal quality, enjoy within a few days.