Blueberry ice cream, au natural. The berries are roasted to remove waters and concentrate the flavor and sugars. A simple base is mixed with the berry puree and once churned, this is the most unmistakably blueberry ice cream you can make at home.
Two things to know about this recipe: 1. the idea was born during my baby food making days, and 2. the first time I made it my husband told me it was the best ice cream he had in his entire life.
So let’s talk baby food. Our pediatrician recommended this book called Little Foodie when babygirl was just starting solids. We tried a few different recipes from it, none really clicked for us except this one dead simple recipe of chucking a couple of handfuls of fresh blueberries into the oven with a bit of cinnamon. The berry lover in me was intrigued, and gave it a go.
Blueberries Sprinkled or Blueberry Flavored ice cream?
Babygirl loved it and made a wonderful purple mess on her face. When I tried it, I was suddenly let in on this secret roasted blueberry world that no one had disclosed to me before. I thought about all the times in my life I had made various blueberry bakes – muffins, cakes, scones, cookies even. With every one of these, the blueberries were sprinkled in, almost like an afterthought. But what if I made them the star? What if I could use this to flavor the entire batter? And so I got to work. I came up with a blueberry loaf recipe we loved and I did the same with strawberries a few weeks later. And that color that blueberries gave, sans lemon, was so incredible I wanted it everywhere and on everything (except baby’s clothes, ya know?).
The Most Blueberry Ice Cream
And so, this ice cream recipe was born – one where blueberries are not relegated to a ripple or made artificially blue but are bursting into center stage, beautifully naturally purple. I made it twice more afterwards, once with a custard base which we did not like as much and then once again with perfect measurements for an eggless base and an unmistakeable mouthful of the perfect berry.
What blueberries should I use to make this?
The blueberries you use will make a huge difference in taste here. If your berries weren’t that sweet or tasty, the flavor won’t come through. Blueberries have a very delicate flavor when left to stand alone. I’ve had best results when I’ve used berries from local farms. I know for a fact that the reason my husband loved it so much the first time I made it was because the berries were so flavorful. Out of season blueberries won’t lend as good of a flavor.
You may use frozen blueberries as fruits are often frozen at high season. In this case the roasting may take a little longer given the lower temperature of the berries when they go into the oven. Depending on the type of blueberries used, and if you kept the skins in, as well as the addition of lemon the color of your final ice cream will vary from a grayer purple to a fuchsia.
Blueberry ice cream add-ins and flavorings
- For a fresh mint variation: pulse 1/3 cup fresh mint with the 1/2 cup sugar.
- In place of 1 cup of the blueberries you could use rhubarb or strawberries.
Blueberry Ice Cream
Eggless blueberry ice cream made intensely flavorful by roasting the berries.
- 3 cups fresh blueberries
- 1/8 cup, plus 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- pinch salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, optional
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 400, toss blueberries with 1/8 cup sugar on a sheet pan and roast for 30 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes, until berries are totally broken down.
- Step 2 In a saucepan, heat milk, salt and cream and 1/2 cup sugar until sugar melts.
- Step 3 Whisk in blueberry mixture, vanilla and lemon if using. Process in a food processor until well blended. Sieve to remove skins, if desired.
- Step 4 Cover and set in the fridge for 8-10 hours.
- Step 5 Freeze according to your ice cream machine’s instructions.
- Step 6 Store in an air-tight container in the freezer.