Last week, I shared my discovery of a local park that has over 3,300 blueberry bushes…that locals are welcome to pick from for FREE. However, we timed our visit a bit on the early side and only managed to pick about 3 cups worth of blueberries in an hour. (I’m told we should wait another couple weeks, then there will be blueberries galore!)
My son had the brilliant idea of turning our blueberries into homemade ice cream! It sounded delicious and easy enough. Besides that, my husband received a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker a couple years ago as a gift from his mom, and we need to put it to more use! (PS – If you want one of your own, this best-selling Cuisinart frozen yogurt-ice cream maker is currently ~$70 on Amazon.)
I found a very simple recipe over at Food.com. However, a warning: while this recipe is indeed easy to make, it requires an abundance of patience. This can be difficult if you have little ones (or bigger ones) chomping at the bit for homemade ice cream! I promise you this ice cream will be worth the wait.
- 4 cups of blueberries, fresh or frozen*
- 4 cups half & half
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tbsp water
*We only had 3 cups of blueberries, so I substituted with 1 cup of frozen strawberries from our strawberry picking trip last month. It turned out delicious, which leads me to believe you could really work with any combination of berries you see fit – raspberries, blackberries, tayberries, etc.
Bring the berries, sugar, and water to a boil. Then reduce the heat and let simmer until the berries are soft.
This part took me about 10 minutes or so.
Strain out the seeds and skins. I did this put putting it through a sieve with a large bowl underneath. I then took the back of a spoon and pressed and pressed the mixture to squeeze out every bit of goodness I could. While it might be a little OCD, I then Vitamix’d the juice just to puree any bits of skin or seed that might have snuck through.
The result is more or less sweetened berry juice.
Whisk in the four cups of half and half. Now if that seems really fatty to you, I suppose one could cut it with skim milk. Or perhaps make a dairy-free version using almond or soy milk. (I just didn’t try either and can’t verify what the final result may be.)
Refrigerate the mixture overnight. While you’re at, put the drum to your ice cream maker in the freezer.
The next day, pour the mixture into the frozen ice cream maker drum. I found it to fit just perfectly!
I then turned my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker on for about 15 minutes. This ice cream maker is one of those gadgets that’s fun to have around, but I get you might not want to run out and spend $50 for one right now. Consider adding it to a wishlist for Christmas or your next birthday. It’s also a nice thing to have if you like ice cream but would like more control of the ingredients involved.
Now…time for, yes, more waiting. I removed the mixture from the drum and put it in a freezer-safe glass container for a couple hours.
The result? Definitely worth the wait! For the complete instructions along with reviews and modifications, please see Food.com.
Have you ever made your own ice cream before? Any other ideas for modifying today’s recipe?