Sunday, September 19, 2010
Blueberry Pie Ice Cream
Autumn officially begins this Wednesday, and in New York, I can feel it. "Why, hello there!" it says with a sly smile. "Why, hello!", I reply, "So nice to see you again!" I love this time of year - the cool breezes on my face, the here-then-gone explosion of color in the trees, and the lure of apple season right around the corner.
But I'm also sad to say goodbye to summer. No more picnics in the park. No more movies on the pier. And no more ice cream.
Well, you know me. At least less ice cream, and certainly not the kind I'm about to share with you. You see, the recipe below could only have been thought-up on one of those blissful, lazy summer days - the kind when anything seems possible as the sunshine stretches out before you and you lean back in your chair with a monumental "life is good" sigh.
The credit for this one goes entirely to the Music Man. After enjoying a spectacular blueberry oatmeal crisp at the New Leaf Restaurant, my pie-loving creative genius of a boyfriend suddenly turns to me with a wild look of inspiration in his eyes and spews out the following: "What if we made ice cream that tastes like blueberry pie?!?! We could put, you know, little bits of pie crust in there! Yeah! Oohh! Yeah! That would be good! Let's do it! Do you have the stuff at home to do that?! Today?! We should do that!!!! That would be SO good!!! Don't you think that would be good!?!?!?!?!"
In fact, I did. And boy, was it GOOD. If my guy has more treat ideas like this one up his sleeve, we're going to make an even better pair than I thought. On multiple occasions I had to take the tupperware away from him so he didn't eat the entire thing in one sitting. And then, of course, I took it back out and ate more than I should have in one sitting.
So grab the last of those blueberries from the market and celebrate summer. Like this ice cream, it'll be gone before you know it.
Blueberry Pie Ice Cream
Recipe by Becky, adapted from this recipe at Group Recipes and this recipe at Fine Cooking
Makes approximately one quart
For blueberry puree:
1 pint fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
For basic ice cream:
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
5 large egg yolks
1 frozen pie crust
1. Bake pie crust according to package directions. Allow to cool completely, then break into bite-size pieces and freeze until ready to use.
2. Toss blueberries, sugar and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the basic ice cream custard:
3. Pour one cup of the heavy cream into a medium bowl and set a fine strainer over the top. Place this bowl inside a larger bowl prepared with an ice bath.
4. Whisk egg yolks in another medium bowl.
5. In a medium saucepan, mix the rest of the cream with the milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Warm over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and tiny bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan, 3 to 4 minutes.
6. Slowly pour about a cup of the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly (this tempers the egg yolks so they don't curdle). Then, pour the warmed yolks into the saucepan with the rest of the milk mixture.
7. Cook the custard, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. If using an instant read thermometer, it should read around 170ºF (77ºC). (TIP: To test the thickness of the custard, run your fingernail down the back of the spatula. Don't burn yourself! If the line remains intact, the custard is ready; if the edges start running back together, give it another minute.)
8. Immediately strain the custard into the cream, then stir the mixture over the ice bath until cool. Cover and chill while preparing the blueberry puree.
When blueberries are ready (after 2 hours in the fridge), combine with the custard and churn into ice cream:
9. Drain the juice from the blueberries. Stir juice into custard.
10. Puree the berries in a food processor until smooth. Stir berries into custard. Chill mixture in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
11. Freeze in ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
12. When ice cream is churned, quickly stir in pie crust pieces with spatula or wooden spoon. Transfer to air-tight container and freeze until thickened and hard, at least 2 hours. Keeps for up to 2 weeks.
NOTE: I more or less halved this recipe, using 2 eggs and just over 1/2 pint blueberries. However, I still used the juice of half a lemon and a whole pie crust. Yum!