Cold Comfort Ice Cream: Creative Ice Cream Recipes from Snowy New England

Archive for the ‘Summer’ Category

Even better than Black Raspberry!

I decided to make this flavor after a bumper crop of fresh blackberries came into all of my local grocery stores, yielding pints and pints of fresh, juicy, inky black berries on sale for only 99 cents a pint. So what to do with them all? Make tasty homemade ice cream of course! Part of the many charms of DIY ice cream is that you can make flavors that are nearly impossible to find commercially. Blackberry ice cream is one such flavor. Sure black raspberry is readily available, but do you really think it’s made with real, wholesome, honest to goodness black raspberries? In most cases I highly doubt it. Not only does the homemade kind have real, natural ingredients but the taste is superior as well. A beauty both to look at and to eat.

Quick Skillet Jam

When I first started to make fruit ice creams, I followed certain recipes that instructed me to simply mix pureed fruit right into the ice cream base. In my opinion, I think this method yields an icy finished product. You see, water is the enemy of ice cream. Added water to your base will diminsh creaminess and produce an icy result every time. This is tricky when it comes to making fruit based ice creams because fruit inherently contains a lot of water. My solution? The quick skillet jam. By making a jam I boil the troublesome water out of the fruit while concentrating the flavors of it simultaneously. Then, right before you put it into the ice cream maker, I add a small amount of pureed fruit for freshness.

You've got to love lavendar ice cream!

Please don’t be afraid to make a skillet jam!  Trust me, it’s fall off a log simple. You just mash up the berries a bit, through em’ in a pan with some sugar and booze, and simmer over low heat until jam-like.  No scary canning, sealing or boiling required. The jam won’t keep as long as a properly canned preserves would, but it you really don’t need it to. This jam is made for a higher purpose- providing sweet, sweet flavor to your homemade ice cream!

A great way to kick off summer!

Blackberry Ice Cream is a perfect flavor for summer, and this recipe came out beautifully. The texture was actually velvety with a creamy, fruity flavor. Do think of this pretty little dessert next time berries are on sale at your local supermarket. Or whenever the mood strikes!

Blackberry Ice Cream Recipe


12 oz. blackberries, divided

2 cups half and half

3/4 cup sugar, divided

3 large egg yolks

pinch of salt

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier liquor, or other liquor compatible with blackberries

1.) To make the easy skillet jam, combine 9 oz of the blackberries, ½ cup of the sugar, and 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier in a medium pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until reduced, with a jam-like consistency (about 30-40 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add in the remaining tablespoon of Grand Marnier and remove from heat. Spoon into a container; cool to room temperature.

2.) Place remaining fresh blackberries in food processor. Pulse until blended. Strain puree through a sieve to get rid of extraneous seeds.

3.) Combine half and half in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Heat until bubbles appear near the rim of the saucepan and steam begins to rinse, but do not let it boil.

4.)    Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks together in a large bowl and gradually add the remaining ¼ cup sugar. Whisk the mixture until the yolks look fluffy and turn a pale yellow color.

5.)    All the while whisking the egg yolk mixture, slowly and gradually add the half and half and when fully emulsified, pour the mixture back into the medium saucepan. Over low heat constantly mix the base with a spatula or wooden spoon until it thickens slightly and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 6 minutes.

6.)    Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pinch of salt, vanilla extract, blackberry puree and blackberry jam, whisking well to blend. Refrigerate 4 hours to overnight. Freeze according to your ice cream machine’s instructions. Enjoy!

Make it a sundae!

While I think this ice cream is stand alone delicious, I think it would taste lovely with a white chocolate hot fudge sauce drizzled on top. Blackberries and white chocolate are a tried and true delicious flavor combo. Emeril Lagasse makes a tasty looking white chocolate sauce here:


A Sophisticated Treat.

I never planned on making this ice cream. I love cooking seasonally, so I usually confine berry based ice creams and sorbets to summer, when they’ve reach their very zenith of ripe freshness. But truth be told, I love raspberries and strawberries whether or not it’s the middle of July or the dead of winter. What truly inspired me to make this ice cream was the simple fact that pints of raspberries were on sale for only a $1 each at my local supermarket. Where I live, that’s an unheard of, ridiculously low price! I came home from the grocery store with a great bounty of beautiful raspberries and I knew I couldn’t let them go to waste. Flipping through David Lebovitz’s extraodinary ice cream cookbook, The Perfect Scoop, I came across his recipe for a Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream and was sold on the idea immediately. The dark chocolate with the tart, yet sweet raspberries made for an incredibly rich, luxurious ice cream. This is the tuxedo or the evening gown of frozen desserts. Rich, velvety and luxe- perfect for the sophisticated palate.

Fresh berries!

Even though raspberries aren’t in season right now, I still think that a Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream qualifies as a fall/winter ice cream. Sure the berries are summery, but for some reason chocolate ice cream always struck me as more of a winter flavor. Speaking of chocolate, this recipe calls for dutch process cocoa. Different from the regular variety, “dutched” cocoa is treated with alkali, which neutralizes acids. The resulting cocoa powder is a bit milder, and darker in color and flavor in comparison to natural, unsweetened cocoa. Unable to find pure dutch process cocoa, I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder, which is a mix of both cocoas. This cocoa worked beautifully, and gave the ice cream a deep, dark chocolate flavor.

My Perfect Scoop!

Part of what makes this ice cream such a treat is the fact that so often the raspberry/chocolate combination can result in a dessert that’s sicky sweet and cloying. Artificial raspberry flavor is truly gross, and tends to taste more like cough syrup than anything found in nature. This ice cream is the opposite of that, using only real, fresh and natural ingredients. When I told a friend that I was making this ice cream she remarked that she didn’t like chocolate and raspberries together. After having one  bite of the finished product she quickly changed her mind.

Haute Ice Cream

I know I say this every week, but this truly has to be up there with my all time greatest ice creams. Once again, David Lebovitz delivered with another fabulous recipe. My family and I enjoyed this so much that we’re planning on using it as a centerpiece dessert after a filet mignon dinner on New Year’s Eve. We’re actually planning on turning it into a deluxe ice cream pie by filling a chocolate cookie crust with the freshly churned ice cream and topping it with a whipped cream/creme fraiche mixture, chocolate shavings and more fresh berries. Yum, I can’t wait!

Recipe adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Chocolate-Raspberry Ice Cream


2 Cups Heavy Cream
7 Tbsp Unsweetened Dutch-process Cocoa Powder
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 3/4 Cups Raspberries, fresh or frozen

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1.)Whisk together the cream, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla and sugar in a large saucepan. Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it comes to a full, rolling boil (it will start to foam up). Remove from the heat and add the raspberries. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.

2.)Puree the mixture in a food processor or blender. If you wish, press the mixture through a mesh strainer to remove the seeds.

3.) Allow the mixture to chill thoroughly, then freeze it in an ice cream maker.

Make it a Sundae!- Top with hot fudge laced with a few tablespoons or Chambord or Framboise to heighten the rich flavors. Add whipped cream and more fresh raspberries and enjoy!

Lighten Up!– You can substitute half and half for the heavy cream pretty successfully in this recipe.