I love David Lebovitz. He is a brillant pastry chef and a fantastic writer with a great sense of humor. I simultaneously drool and laugh while reading his blog and his recent book, The Sweet Life in Paris. So when I was recently given a huge bag of frozen blackberries, I went to his book, the bible of ice cream, The Perfect Scoop, for a recipe.
His recipe for raspberry ice cream was the perfect fit. I have made ice cream using several different methods, including a custard base as this recipe calls for, but this was the most labor intensive one I have ever made. But I actually enjoyed the process. A large part of the labor was due to pureeing and de-seeding the blackberries. While labor intensive and time consuming, this ice cream was not difficult and the results are well worth the effort. The end result is a rich, creamy, decadent ice cream that firmed up beautifully after a night in the freezer.
My favorite ice cream is black raspberry chip from the regional ice creamery Graeter's (although their strawberry chip is a close second). I have often wondered if I could make something similiar to my beloved obsession (seriously, I could eat every day and write an entire blog entry on the reasons I love this ice cream) and I think I have found it in this recipe. It is the perfect use of summer berries and the perfect treat on a hot summer night.
Notes: You will need to puree and strain the blackberries before starting the ice cream. I started using a food mill to puree, but eventually moved to pureeing the berries in the food processor and then straining the seeds using a fine mesh strainer.
I placed the cream with the sugar in the saucepan by accident, but it didn't seem to have an effect on the end result. Warning, the custard is so freakin good that I advise against tasting it because you may not be able to stop. I stopped just short of licking the pan and only stopped there because I didn't want to risk tongue burns.
Blackberry Ice Cream
adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups strained blackberry puree (I used about 4-5 cups of large blackberries)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Warm the half-and-half and sugar in a medium saucepan. Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top.
In a seperate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir in to the cream. Mix in the raspberry puree and lemon juice, then stir until cool over an ice bath.
Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator, but to preserve the fresh berry taste, churn the ice cream within 4 hours after making the mixture.