I have a secret berry patch near my work. Over the past few weeks during my lunch hour, I would head down the street, around the corner, and then along a country lane. At the end, I would find a tangly mess of thorny bushes loaded with sun-warmed berries.
I am never prepared for berry picking. Protective long-sleeved top and long pants? No. Sturdy shoes for stepping on and over thorny branches? No. Heavy duty gardening gloves, mega garden shears, and a stack of plastic buckets? No, no, no. Office clothes, open-toe shoes, and two pint-sized Ziploc bags tucked in my back pocket? Why, yes! That’s me. But so far, I’ve emerged from the bushes unscathed (except for the odd little scratch here and there), and my clothes are still free of berry stains.
As with Week #19′s Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream, this recipe requires the berries to be pureed and strained of its seeds, which are full of bitter tannins. The puree is then gently simmered until its volume is reduced by one-half, reducing its water content and intensifying the sweet blackberry flavour. Enjoy the last days of summer with some berry picking and this simple, four-ingredient ice cream recipe!
2 cups of strained blackberry puree (about 4 cups of fresh or frozen berries)
3/4 cup white sugar (adjust to taste; depends on the sweetness of your berries)
3 cups half-and-half cream
- Puree the raspberries at low speed in a blender. Strain the puree through a sieve to remove all the seeds. You should have about 2 cups of puree.
- Pour the puree into a saucepan. Bring the puree to a simmer over medium heat and let the puree reduce in volume by one-half, stirring occasionally. This should take 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool.
- In a heavy saucepan, lightly whisk together the eggs and sugar.
- Add 2 cups of the half-and-half cream.
- Cook the mixture over medium-low heat stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (170 degrees F / 77 degrees C).
- Remove from heat immediately and add the remaining half-and-half to stop the cooking. Place the saucepan into an ice bath to cool the custard rapidly.
- When cool, whisk in the blackberry puree.
- Chill overnight in the fridge.
- Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.