I love that our woods supply us with so much to eat. This time of year, it produces one of my favorites – blackberries. We do have some cultivated blackberries out by the garden but while they are big and juicy, they just do not have the flavor of wild berries.
Early one morning last week, after all the animals were fed, Boone and I grabbed the berry baskets and hopped on the Gator. Gave Miss Rosebud a wave as we went by and out into the fields we went hunting berries and boy did we find them! I think Boone ate as many as he picked.
We picked until the baskets were full and our fingers were stinging from the thorn pricks. I already had plans for these berries – freezing a good portion of them to make jelly later and making Blackberry Lime ice cream. It is so creamy, rich and wonderful!
For this recipe you will need an ice cream maker. I have made it by putting the ice cream in the freezer and stirring by hand every couple of hours to prevent ice crystals but I like it better made in the machine. Mine is a hand-me-down from my mom that is close to 40 years old and still works like a champ.
Go ahead and get all the ingredients out, 3 mixing bowls, 2 saucepans and some type of mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
- Go ahead and separate the eggs and set the yolks aside in a mixing bowl.
- Measure out the cream into another mixing bowl and set it aside.
- Set out 1 empty bowl.
Now it is time to warm up the berries to get the juice out. I measure out about 4 1/2 cups of berries in a saucepan and set them to a low simmer. You are looking to get them soft and then mash them in the saucepan to get the juice out.
Remember that empty bowl you set out? Using a mesh strainer or a cheesecloth, strain the berries over the bowl and I mean really work them to get all the juice you can. I stir the pulp around until it is fairly dry. The chickens love the pulp. Once that is done set the juice aside and now it is time to warm up the half-n-half and sugar. Combine the half-n-half and sugar into a saucepan. Warm it up over low until you feel the sugar has melted when stirring it. Get your bowl of yolks and slowly pour the half-n-half mixture into them whisking the whole time. Take your time, you do not want to cook the eggs. Now pour it all back into the saucepan.
Heat the sugar mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mix coats the mixing spoon pretty well. You will be able to tell because it will get velvety and a bit thick. Pour the custard through a mesh strainer or cheesecloth into the bowl of cream you set out earlier and add lemon or lime juice. Both are good or leave it out if you prefer. Measure the blackberry puree into the custard also. 1 ½ cups of puree is what you need but if it is a bit more, go ahead and add it. If it is a bit short, it will still be fine.
The bowl can now be set in ice to cool down. You can either set it in a larger bowl filled with some ice or pour some ice in the kitchen sink and set the bowl in it. Once it is cooled down, chill it further in the fridge for a couple of hours. Now you can make it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.
When it is done and poured into a container to put in the freezer, I lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the ice cream before closing the container lid. This helps prevent ice crystals.
- 1½ cup half-and-half
- 1 cup sugar
- 1½ cup heavy cream
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1½ cup strained blackberry puree (make from 4 -4½ cups whole berries)
- 1 Tbsp. lemon or lime juice, fresh or bottled
- Warm half-and-half and sugar in medium saucepan.
- Pour cream into large bowl and set mesh strainer over top.
- Slowly pour warm half-and-half into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
- Stir constantly over medium heat with heatproof spatula, scraping bottom as you stir until mixture thickens and coats spatula.
- Pour custard through the strainer and stir into cream. Mix in *puree and lemon juice then stir until cool over ice bath.
- Chill thoroughly in fridge and churn ice cream according to manufacturer's instructions within 4 hours of making mixture.
- *Blackberry Puree: 4 -4 ½ cups blackberries, heat, crush, strain.