I scream, you scream..... for Blueberry Ice Cream!
My downfall. Ice cream. That's it in a nutshell. But let's not dwell on that right now; instead, scroll down and take a gander at that ice cream color! And where else would you find this color? On my pink shirt, on my rubber spatula and on the white colander I used. Yes, blueberry ice cream reminders are everywhere. Permanently, probably. And I was was warned too.
I know everyone adores David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop, but my kitchen dessert guru Maida Heatter has some marvelous ice cream and sorbet recipes in several of her cookbooks as well. I've made nearly all of them over the years and to date my favorite is Palm Beach Orange Ice Cream, with a close second going to Pumpkin Ice Cream. Maida also has a recipe for Gin Ice Cream which is quite mild and tastes divine with fruit. But it doesn't take an interesting photo; we can rave on and on about a recipe, but if the photo does not look enticing or at least interesting, nobody's going to give it a chance. Right?
Lately, Daring Bakers have been making Burnt Sugar ice cream. It looks marvelous, but Nancy at The Dogs Eat the Crumbs says that Thomas Keller's recipe in Ad Hoc is lots better (and, from what I read, his chocolate chip cookies are THE BEST) so that recipe is next on my to-make list, once I work off the calories as a result of this posting. Sigh.
One ice cream I'd never made was Maida's Blueberry ice cream and because she raves about how wonderful it is, (smooth/creamy/rich/deluxe/delicious are her exact words) I made it last weekend. We've had a couple weeks of 90° + weather, so summer is upon us in Florida and that spells ice cream to me.
Maida Heatter's instructions say: "the blueberries will stain both rubber and wooden spatulas; don't use anything you will feel sad about if this happens." So I have nobody to blame but myself. I didn't mind the spatula and colander, but I could kick myself for not wearing an apron, preferably the oldest one I own. Popping those hot blueberries on the side of the pan caused all sorts of trouble with my pink shirt, so be careful if you try this recipe. (I'm presoaking as I write this; I live in hope.)
The results? The blueberry ice cream was perfect. Every description Maida used was spot on. The flavor was ambrosial. This recipe is really a keeper and the red/purple color makes such a beautiful presentation. It doesn't freeze too hard and isn't excessively sweet either. I loved it plain, but happened to have some pomegrante arils and they gave it an interesting kick. And perhaps made the photo more enticing?
Blueberry Ice Cream From Maida Heatter's New Book of Great Desserts
2 one pint boxes fresh blueberries
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons kirsch, crème de cassis or brandy (I used crème de cassis)
Wash and drain the berries. Place them in a wide and heavy saucepan or frying pan. Add the sugar and stir to mix. Cover, place over low heat and cook for 5 minutes to soften the berries a little and partially melt the sugar. Then raise the heat to moderate, uncover the pan, stir until the mixture comes to a boil and let boil for 5 minutes, stirring and pressing the berries against the sides of the pan to mash them.
Set aside to cool for a few minutes, then strain through a large-mesh stainer. Do not use a strainer that has fine openings because even with a coarse strainer some of the the fruit will not go through. ( I used a colander, unfortunately a white colander, but it worked perfectly.) However, press through as much as you can.
Place the puréed berry mixture in the freezer or refrigerator until very cold. Stir in the salt, cream, lemon juice, and kirsch, crème de cassis or brandy. If the mixture is less than extremely cold, chill it some more in the freezer or refrigerator. This is important.
Freeze in a churn, following manufacturer's directions. Because of the alcohol, this does not freeze too hard to serve directly from the freezer.
P.S. I have a really exciting giveaway coming up for Father's Day! Stay tuned.