All good berries go to heaven — others go into blackberry ice creamMay 28, 2007
As a lover of berries, I wholeheartedly endorse eating them as God and nature intended: straight off the bush… or out of your grocer’s green quart container. And I’m a true believer: I regularly gorge myself on whole cartons of berries — and cherries, now in season! — minutes after they enter my house.
Blueberry-purple tongue? No problem. Strawberry seeds in my teeth? Who cares? Cherry juice stains on my blouse? My drycleaner loves ‘em.
But, sadly, sometimes a berry-buying frenzy can result in berry casualties. That’s right: You see all those gorgeous gems stacked into sparkling pyramids in the produce department, and you can’t help yourself… you overbuy. Some berries get shoved to the back of the fridge, forgotten. Perhaps some go uneaten when you leave town for a few days. Or perhaps some were just slightly too ripe when purchased. In any case, sometimes berries go past their prime — and, shockingly, sadly, are no longer fit to consume unadulterated.
That’s where my husband’s ice cream machine comes in.
Ice cream is the perfect resting place for berries otherwise destined for the boneyard. Softened by time and ready to relinquish their luscious juices, overripe berries partner perfectly with a little cream, sugar and cold freezer air. Sure, they’re no longer as sweet or sunkissed as they once were. Yes, they have undesireable blemishes and their skin gives a little too easily. But none of these things matter when they come into contact with blissfully sweet cream.
Yes, friends, you can ressurect those past-their-prime berries. Don’t toss them into the garbage… toss them into ice cream, man.
With Memorial Day now here, we can officially (in a non-official capacity since June 21 still has that whole cosmological argument) say that summer is here. From a kitchen standpoint, this is awesome. Let’s be honest — as cooks, there are two great benefits:
First, the kitchen can be closed. Things are fresh. You can create a lot of delicious dishes with just a knife and a bowl. Furthermore, you can cook outdoors — bringing in those incalculable benefits of charring and burning things over flames.
Second, everything is in season. Most fruits tend to be fresh and local for a brief period. The number and colors of ingredients explode. Pretty much everything tastes better for the next 20 or so weeks until the last of the apples start to make their way off the trees.
This recipe is an homage to one of those ingredients that is starting its brief but vibrant trip into freshness — the blackberry. While I’d recommend you eat as many of these while you can, this is a great use for those that you start to see go wrong before you can get them out fresh. Also, feel free to substitute the frozen variety.
Finally, I feel the best part of this recipe is that it is a combination of flavors I really enjoy. It is sweet, tart, tangy and smooth. It has a refreshing character that makes it great for an evening summer meal — and there are a number of those ahead.
Blackberry Ice Cream
1 quart blackberries
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
Juice of 1 lime
3 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1. Add the yolks and sugar to a medium-size bowl. Whisk together and then set aside.
2. Using a double boiler — or, less ideally, a medium-size pot — over medium-low heat, add the milk, cream, blackberries and salt. Regularly whisk the mixture, heating until the temperature reaches approximately 145F. The mixture should begin to turn purple.
3. Once the cream mixture has reached the desired temperature, slowly add about half of the mixture to the eggs and sugar while whisking vigorously. This will prevent the eggs from curdling. Once the eggs and cream have been thoroughly integrated, pour back the egg mix into the remaining cream.
4. Whisk constantly and slowly as the mix rises in temperature. Once the temperature has reached 165-170F — or when the mix evenly coats the back of a spoon — remove from heat and add the lime juice and vanilla. Whisk them in completely and move to a new container to cool. The mix can be placed in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours or, preferably, into the refrigerator overnight.
5. Churn according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. After churning, place in freezer to firm up. I recommend placing a seal of plastic wrap tight against the ice cream after making it to prevent a skin from forming on the ice cream’s surface. Serve once firm enough. Enjoy!