Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Simple Blackberry Ice Cream

Blackberries: Part 1

They are seedy, messy, and small. And I am obsessed.

Stained fingertips and baby fists. Scratched forearms. Precious hours exchanged for a paltry pint or so. But there is something about setting off down the dusty lane that runs by our house and competing with the blue jays, squirrels, crows, and deer for our share of our neighbor’s wild blackberries.

We’ve made a deal with him: We can pick all the blackberries we want, so long as we give him a share of whatever we make. He’s a beef rib and takeout pizza kind of guy, not one to be beguiled by the rustically interesting character of berries in the morning oatmeal. So clearly, I have to work some magic on these seedy little nubs.

It’s taken multiple cartons of heavy cream, sticks of butter, and pounds of sugar. Rough job, but at the end of the day, I can turn the fruits of our labor into something little resembling fruit.

Progress? Maybe not. But lots of deliciousness to be had along the way.

Very Basic Blackberry Ice Cream

This ice cream is ridiculously easy if you have an ice cream maker. It's intensely purple, a little seedy, and not too sweet--rustic. Our neighbor asked if we put food coloring in it to get that shocking purple.

Mix in a bowl:
1 1/2 cups milk and heavy cream, in combination (I usually use 1 cup cream, 1/2 cup whole milk, but sometimes lighten it up a little)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract

Smash with a fork in another bowl:
about a cup of blackberries
2 T. sugar

Chill both bowls in fridge until cool. Process milk mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions until you have a slushy almost-ice cream. Add the berries and let the machine run until you have ice cream that is pretty thoroughly frozen. Eat or store in a container in the freezer.

I've found that if I run the machine a little longer than I think is necessary, my ice cream stays lighter and doesn't turn into a brick in the freezer.

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