Blackberry Ice Cream flavoured with Bay
This Blackberry Ice Cream is perfect for late summer or early autumn when the blackberries are in season. It is a simple, custard-based ice cream which is flavoured with a sweetened puree of blackberries. I also add an additional flavouring by adding bay leaves to the custard mixture. Blackberry and bay is an excellent flavour pairing. The warm spiciness of the bay provides a background note to the sweet and sour flavour of the berries.
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What you need to know about this Blackberry and Bay Ice Cream
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- As I am keen on using seasonal, local produce, I make this ice cream with foraged wild blackberries. However, if you want to make it outside of blackberry season – August to September in the UK – then it is absolutely fine to use shop-bought blackberries. However, the blackberries that you buy in the shops are bred for sweetness and will not have the sharp, sweet-sour flavour of wild blackberries. If you are using shop-bought blackberries, you may want to add the juice of one additional lemon to the ice cream mixture.
- I like to experiment with flavour combinations and so I have added bay leaf to the recipe. If you don’t have any bay leaves to hand, or simply don’t like the idea of adding this to your ice cream, that is fine. Just leave it out. The ice cream will still taste good!
- Although you can make this recipe without an ice cream maker, it is a lot easier if you have one. You can buy a basic ice cream maker fairly cheaply.
- It is best to start this recipe the day before you eat it. This will mean that once you have made the basic custard, it will have time to chill down before you put it in the ice cream maker the next day.
- You can also make this ice cream well in advance if that is more convenient. I generally make double the quantity and keep it in the freezer where it will last for up to three months.
- As with most home-made ice creams, it helps to remove the container from the freezer about ten minutes before serving as this will make it easier to scoop.
How to eat this Blackberry and Bay Ice Cream
This ice cream is pretty good just serves on its own. However, here are a some ideas for other ways that you can serve it.
- A few fresh blackberries served with the ice cream is a good addition.
- Blackberry and apple is a classic combination. You could serve this ice cream as an accompaniment to any apple-based dessert. It is excellent served along with Apple Ice Cream and also with Apple Crumble or Apple Pie.
- A drizzle of something alcoholic is also a good way to go with any ice cream in my view. Try something with a base note of apple, such as an apple liqueur. Alternatively, go for a double hit of blackberry by using Blackberry Gin.
In praise of blackberries
I try to use seasonal, local food but I am not an expert forager and am still on a steep learning curve about identifying and using wild food. However, blackberries are a foraged food that I have picked and enjoyed since I was a child. They are easily identifiable and grow in abundance pretty much everywhere in late summer. The time to pick blackberries is August and September. I will pick enough to use immediately and also try and pick a supply for the freezer as they freeze very well. In addition to ice cream, they are great in crumbles and pies and can also be used to make Blackberry Gin and Blackberry Muffins.
Other home-made ice cream recipes
I am a great home-made ice cream enthusiast. I make it in the summer, of course, but am happy to eat it in winter too! There are some brilliant, shop-bought ice creams available but it is so easy to make your own. I like to experiment with flavours and some of my other recipes are listed below.
- Roasted Cherry Ice Cream – juicy fresh cherries with a bit of booze make this a rich and indulgent dessert (you can leave out the alcohol if you really want to)
- Coffee Ice Cream – quick and easy, store-cupboard recipe using instant coffee which has an amazingly rich coffee flavour
- Cranberry Ice Cream – if you have any left-over cranberry sauce, you know what to do with it
- Elderflower Ice-cream – easy recipe using elderflower cordial – delicious floral taste of summer!
- Lavender Ice-cream – another gorgeous floral ice cream (bit of a theme here at tastebotanical…) made with fresh or dried culinary lavender
- Lemon Curd Ice Cream – this tangy, three-ingredient recipe is probably the simplest ice cream recipe you will find
- Rose Ice-cream – made with culinary rosewater, this ice cream is the essence of an English summer garden
- Strawberry Balsamic Ice-cream – strawberry ice cream given a lift with a dash of balsamic vinegar to bring out the sweetness
- Thyme ice-cream with honey and mascarpone – thyme, honey and mascarpone…. in an ice cream – what’s not to like?
Blackberry Ice Cream recipePrint
This Blackberry Ice Cream is made from juicy fresh blackberries enhanced by the rich spicy flavour of Bay.
- 450 g (1 lb) fresh blackberries
- 50 g (5 oz) caster sugar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 425 ml (15 fl oz) double cream
- 4 bay leaves (fresh or dried)
- 4 egg yolks
- Puree the blackberries, caster sugar and lemon juice in a food processor or using a hand blender. You will have approximately 600 ml of puree depending on the juiciness of your blackberries.
- Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl until the mixture looks paler and resembles a mousse.
- Add the bay leaves to the cream and heat it to scalding point in a saucepan or in a microwave. Do not allow to boil – it will be the right temperature when you are just about able to bear to dip a finger in it.
- Pour the cream into the bowl containing the egg yolks and whisk all the time.
- Transfer the combined mixture into a bowl set over a pan of simmering water or, ideally a double-boiler, as you need to reheat it very gently.
- The mixture will gradually thicken until it looks like a custard (which is what it is). Stir regularly to make sure it does not stick while it is thickening.
- Remove the thick custard from the heat and transfer into a bowl. Do not remove the bay leaves from the custard yet. They will continue to impart their flavour while the custard cools.
- Add approximately two thirds (400 ml) of your blackberry puree to the custard.
- Allow to cool to room temperature and then transfer to the fridge to become thoroughly chilled.
- When you are ready to make the ice-cream, remove the bay leaves and transfer the ice cream mixture to your ice cream maker and use according to your machine’s instructions. If you do not have an ice cream maker, you can place the mixture in a freezer-proof container, put in the freezer for several hours until half-frozen. Whisk the mixture and then return to the container and replace in the freezer until totally frozen.
- When the ice cream is almost set, stir in the remaining one third of the blackberry puree so that it forms a “ripple” through the ice cream.
Keywords: ice cream, blackberries, blackberry