Happy Sundae Sunday!
My friend Di of Di's Kitchen Notebook had the fun idea to celebrate July, National Ice Cream Month, with a virtual ice cream social. She invited bloggers to post ice cream - or related recipes such as syrups or toppings - today. By month's end Di will gather all of the ice cream treats into one big round-up post on her blog. Click over there in a few days to see some fabulous frozen treats and accompaniments.
For Sundae Sunday I wanted to try an ice cream flavor that I've never made, which, among other things, rules out yet another vanilla or coffee ice cream post on this blog! My farm box has been including some wonderfully flavorful blueberries this month, so I set out to find a good blueberry ice cream recipe. [edit to add: after I wrote this I realized that I had actually posted a blueberry frozen yogurt two years ago]
When I'm ready to make ice cream, I usually turn to one of two volumes on my cookbook shelf, The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz, or Murphy's Ice Cream Book of Sweet Things. But I also love exploring ice cream recipes that I find online or in one of my other cookbooks.
Recently I signed up for an online service called Eat Your Books. The way it works is that you input the cookbooks that you own (which is simple because they have tons of cookbooks - about 2000 - already in the database) and then you can search for recipes by ingredient or by type of dish. The search results will give you the recipe name, the cookbook name, and a list of the ingredients. I happily paid the $25 fee - about the cost of a new cookbook these days - and I use the service several times a week. As a result, I have ended up using my own cookbooks more than ever before. (I need to mention I have no connection with Eat Your Books. I have received no compensation from the site, nor have I been asked to mention it on my blog. I just want to share with you a service that I have found to be very useful.)
My search on Eat Your Books pointed me to several promising blueberry ice cream recipes, and I zeroed in on the Blueberry Ice Cream from Amanda Hesser's Essential New York Times Cookbook. Here's what Hesser says about this recipe:
"I love that when you taste this ice cream it's not immediately clear that it contains blueberries. The lemon gives the ice cream a sharp, high pitch and a soft, buttery texture."I couldn't wait to try this ice cream and see what we thought!
- I've included the recipe for this ice cream, below.
- My blueberries were smallish, with a tart flavor, closer to wild than to typical cultivated berries, which I find to be sweet but often bland.
- I went strictly by the book for this recipe.
This flavor of this ice cream was rich and fruity, intense and bright. The cream supported and gave body to the ice cream but didn't weaken the impact of the blueberries and the lemon. I'm glad I added kirsch; it sharpened the flavors and lent a wonderfully smooth texture.
I objected to the bits of blueberry skins in the ice cream and I regretted that I hadn't strained the ice cream base before churning it, but my husband disagreed. He thought the little pieces of skin lent a nice textural contrast.
Stay tuned for more ice cream posts, as I finish out National Ice Cream Month with a week of ice cream on my blog!
Blueberry Ice Cream
Adapted slightly from The Essential New York Times Cookbook (Amanda Hesser, p. 726)
1 pint blueberries
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup water
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp kirsch (I added this ingredient to help keep the ice cream from freezing too hard)
Heat blueberries in a heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally, until they break down and yield their juices, 10 to 15 minutes.
In the meantime, dissolve the sugar in the water over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until you have a thin syrup. Let cool.
Puree the blueberries in a food processor, then transfer to a bowl and add the lemon juice. Mix in the cooled syrup and the cream, and mix well. Chill overnight
Once chilled, pour the blueberry mixture into an ice cream maker, straining if desired, and freeze according to your machine’s instructions. Pack the ice cream in an airtight container, and freeze until ready to serve.