Blackberries are among my favorit fruits. I can hardly get enough of these wonderfull sweet treats from mother nature. Another summer favorit is ice cream. One day I was picking blackberries I thought; Hey, why have I never put these in ice cream? As I could find no good reason not to, I went to work combining two summer favorits into one. The result was delicious.
Step 1: What You'll Need
1,5 dl sugar
3 dl cream
2 dl whole milk
1 vanilla pod
250 g blackberries
Our cream has 38% fat content. The whole milk has 2% fat content. More fat gives a softer ice cream.
Whisk or mixer
Cloth or sieve
Spoon or other stiring tool
Ice cream maker
Step 2: Get the Berries.
The first step is to get hold of some nice blackberries. You can buy fresh or frozen ones, or venture outdoors to get your own if you are lucky enough to have them growing in your area.
If you are picking your own, look for the really nice and ripe ones. When they are really sweet an ready, they loose their shine and the surface goes a bit matte. The berry should let go of the bush without much resistance. These bushes fight back, so I usually bring a leather welding glove that I use to lift the branches with while I pick.
Step 3: Blackberry Syrup
Now that we have our berries, we need to make some syrup. Blackberries contain rather large stones that we want to get rid of before we get to the ice cream.
Add the berries and about 0.5 dl of the sugar to a pot. Add just a little water to make sure nothing burns before the berries start giving of juice. The sugar helps the juicing process a bit by adding osmotic pressure to the mix.
Let the berries simmer for about 15 minutes while you stir occationaly.
Now we need to filter out the juice. I use a purpose made cloth bag, but you can use a clean dishwashing towel or a fine sieve. The berries have a strong color, so don't use anything you don't want to get pink. Let the juice drip of an squeeze out the rest.
Put the juice back in the pot an simmer it over low heat to reduce the volume. when it starts turning into a thick syrup you are done.
The sweetness of the berries can be highly variable, so you have to test what ammount of sugar suits you.
Step 4: Add Some Vanilla
I think vanilla is a nice addition to the rich blackberry flavor, so I add a vanilla pod.
Split the pod and scrape out the seeds with the back of a knife. Add both seeds and the pod to the syrup. Add the 2 dl of whole milk to the syrup, and heat it gently. This is to get some extra flavor out of the vanilla, and to dissolve the syrup nicely in the milk.
When the mixture looks nice and uniform, fish out the vanila pod and toss it. Mix the milk and syrup with the cream in a different container. We need to cool the mixture down a bit before mixing it with the eggs, so using the warm pot is not a good idea.
Step 5: Mix an Freeze
Mix the rest of the sugar with the eggs, and then add the cream and syrup mixture.
Our ice cream maker doesn't have active cooling, so I usually put everything back in the fridge for a while to make sure it is cold before starting the freezing process. At this stage you could leave it all in the fridge til the next day if you want. This is a nice way to save some time if you know you want to make ice cream for dessert the next day.
Add the mixture to a running ice cream maker. It is important to have it running, so the first bit of liquid doesn't freeze to a hard shell at the bottom befor you get the mixer running. leave it in the machine until it gets a nice and creamy consistency. This would depend on your machine and the ambient temperature, but for me it takes about 45 minutes.
IMPORTANT: This recipe uses whole eggs, and the mixture is not heated. This means you have to be sure your eggs don't contain salmonella. We are lucky enough to not have this problem in Norway, but sadly salmonella is quite common in eggs around the globe.
Step 6: Enjoy
Now you can pour the ice cream into a container and put it in the freezer for storage.
You could also serve it directly. If you do, using cold bowls is a good idea, as the ice cream is quite soft an melts fast at this stage.
This ice cream contains quite a lot of tasty fat, so it can't be stored for too long in the freezer. You should eat it within a couple of months ( it would be lucky to survive a week in our freezer).