Spring is here! You know it's never too early to be eating ice-cream. Although I'm not one of those who would casually consume ice-cream during the winter freeze, I do have occasional cravings that eventually leads me to the local ice-cream shop (aka Jeni's Ice Cream). What I really like about Jeni's Ice Cream is the intense and creative flavors that are infused into their well made batches. No regrets for the pricey small cups! But, when I do have spare time, I'd like to make use of our ice-cream maker using fresh seasonal ingredients available.
This recipe is by no means an imitation of Jeni's but in fact adapted from "japanese farm food" cook book by Nancy Singleton Hachisu with a little self-curated bonus recipe for the leftover puree debris (trying not to waste any ingredients here).
The simple approach and minimal ingredients allow the blackberries' natural tartness to shine despite the rich heavy cream base. The depth of the flavor is almost in comparison with sorbets and the bright color reminds you of the fresh spring days ahead.
I will take a different approach on this post, demonstrating step-by-step instructions accompanied by pictures. The post is a little long, but you may find at the very end a simplified version of the recipe and the required list of ingredients.
The key equipment for this recipe are:
After cleaning the fresh blackberries, you want to create the fresh fruit puree that we will be using for the recipe. No shortcuts here! I prefer using fresh blackberries because the frozen blackberries have a diluted taste due to the ice crystals formed during the freezing process which completely destroys the cellular structure of the berries. If that doesn't sound appealing to you, trust me, use fresh blackberries. Pulse or blend the berries in the food processor/blender until the berries have disintegrated down to just having a few whole seeds. For food processor users, pulse a couple of times, maximum 1 minute before the berries become a nice puree.
Next, pass the berries puree through the sieve. Make sure you squeeze out all of the puree juice, leaving a dollop of berry seeds and fibers. One would probably discard the puree debris, but you can still use it to make a refreshing infused water or spritzer (alcohol version). Continue to read for the blackberry infused water recipe.
In a small saucepan, dissolve sugar in the heavy cream on low heat. Stir until sugar has dissolve without coming to a boil. Remove the saucepan from heat and add kirsch liqueur to the creamy mixture. Pour the mixture into the blackberry puree.
Stir the mixture well until the white streaks disappear and you reach a glossy eggplant block color.
Pour the mixture into the ice-cream maker and voila. Allow 15-20 minutes for the machine to freeze mixture until a soft-serve texture has been reached. Transfer the ice cream into a freezer safe container. Freeze 2-3 hours before serving.
While waiting for the mixture to churn in the ice-cream maker, why not enjoy a refreshing blackberry infused water made from the puree debris that you assumed had no more use? What you need:
In a highball glass or any tall glass, layer ice to almost the rim. Add a dollop of the puree debris. Pour sparkling water or sparkling wine. Stir the mixture and place the garnish. Optional step, you may add sugar to taste.
Blackberry Ice Cream
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