Sunday morning I was informed that it was my duty to make blueberry ice cream for a family gathering that afternoon- no problem, right?
Somewhere in our genetics, we are programmed to love ice cream. I have an old-fashioned ice cream maker similar to this one that might be one of my most prized kitchen tools. No half-gallon machine for me, this puppy can churn out 6 quarts at a time. When I'm feeling nostalgic(or want to punish an unruly guest), I can even throw on the hand crank.
My early morning market trip gathered all the necessities for a blueberry cheesecake ice cream. Months ago I made a fine, fresh cherry cheesecake recipe and intended to just throw in blueberries instead of cherries. I'm convinced that Dolly and Quincy ate my recipe. I tore the house apart looking for it, examining every nook and cranny that I could have stuffed a small handwritten recipe. No luck.
If you follow me on Twitter, you saw that I was desperate and even shouted out to see if anyone had a cheesecake ice cream recipe- even Bettina Boateng from NBC 13 in Birmingham tried to help me find one(Follow her on Twitter if you don't already). No luck.
I think I looked at most of the recipes that I could find online. It takes very little for me to try something new, but I wanted this to be a time-tested recipe.
After a couple of hours of searching, I mixed about 10 of the recipes together and said, "Here we go."
Before the recipe, I cannot forget to thank the Auburn University Hort Forum for the fantastic blueberries. They are beyond sweet and very mature for an early season fruit. They've figured out a way to make blueberry lemonade, by the way. Heaven!
The recipe is a bit more labor intensive than most of my ice creams. I don't typically make a custard even though virtually every recipe we make contains eggs. Some folks get freaked out by eating raw eggs- if that's you, put your mind to ease and find someone with farm-raised, free-range eggs.
Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
yield: one half gallon
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2 c. granulated sugar
5 egg yolks
2 c. half and half
2 c. milk(I used skim, makes it low-fat ya know?)
3 1/2 c. fresh blueberries
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. confectioner's(powdered) sugar
pinch of salt
1 TB lemon juice
1 TB vanilla extract(I use Grey Goose vodka that has been infused w/ vanilla bean)
3/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
Combine half and half with milk in saucepan on stove- gradually increase heat to boil. Be careful, if you just turn the heat on you will scorch the mixture(trust me, I've done it). In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese, granulated sugar, and egg yolks. I use a hand-mixer and bring to consistency of frosting. When milk mixture begins to boil, remove from heat and allow to slightly cool. Pour milk mixture gradually in to cheese mixture, stirring constantly. Place bowl in larger bowl with ice and allow to cool, stirring occasionally. Mixture will thicken as it cools.
Sort blueberries and eliminate any stems, leaves etc. Place berries in med. saucepan with powdered sugar, water and salt. Bring to boil- reduce heat and simmer 10-12 minutes until sauce thickens. During this process, I took my potato masher and beat the berries up a bit, creating a mash but leaving around 1/3 of the berries whole. Remove from heat and cool completely.
After custard and berries have cooled, mix together. Add lemon juice, vanilla and graham cracker crumbs. I used pre-prepared crumbs this time, but if you want to make your own, just lightly toast them in the oven with some butter beforehand. Prepare ice cream according to your maker's directions.
Always allow your ice cream to ripen at least an hour before you eat it. This actually tasted better the next day(You thought I was going to dip some in a bowl for the picture and not eat it?).
Hope you enjoy- It's summertime, this is the stuff we are supposed to be eating!