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Blackberry Ice Cream

A person holding an ice cream cone with 2 scoops of blackberry ice cream.
The inclusion of creme or crème fraîche offers a lovely tang and the lack of an overbearing vanilla presence means there's nothing to distract you or compete with the dairy or the blackberries for your attention.
Fany Gerson

Prep 30 mins
Churn 25 mins
Total 10 hrs
Dessert
American
8 servings
289 kcal

Ingredients 

For the blackberry swirl

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • Salt

For the blackberry ice cream

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 1 cup Mexican crema* or crème fraîche
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • Salt
  • Store-bought or homemade waffle cones (optional)

Directions 

Make the blackberry swirl

  • Combine the blackberries, confectioners’ sugar, and corn syrup in a small saucepan and stir to mix. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and slowly simmer, stirring occasionally, until the berries have a thick, jam-like consistency, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  • Strain the mixture, pressing the solids with the back of a spoon. Discard the seeds. Cover and refrigerate the blackberry swirl until chilled through.

Make the blackberry ice cream

  • Whisk the granulated sugar and egg yolks in a medium bowl until smooth. Bring the heavy cream to a gentle simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat. Slowly whisk about half the hot cream into the yolks until smooth, then pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Place over medium-low heat and stir continuously, being careful not to let the mixture come to a simmer, just until the custard mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, 5 to 10 minutes. If you have an instant-read thermometer, the custard is done when it reaches 175 to 180°F (79 to 82°C). Remove from the heat.
  • Strain the custard into a bowl, preferably stainless steel, and whisk in the crema, vanilla, lime juice, and salt to taste. Cover with plastic wrap, placing it directly against the surface of the custard so a skin doesn’t form as it cools. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill completely, about 5 hours.
  • Pour the chilled custard into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions until it's churned and thickened, about 25 minutes. Pour the soft ice cream to a bowl and swirl in the blackberry mixture with a spoon or spatula. Pack the ice cream into an airtight container. You should have about 1 quart. Cover and freeze until set, at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Remove the blackberry ice cream from the freezer about 10 minutes prior to serving. Scoop it onto ice cream cones or into bowls and, if desired, top with lightly crushed fresh blackberries. (Ice cream does not last forever: Fresher is better. If by some happy circumstance you have leftover ice cream, return it to the freezer in its container with plastic wrap or parchment paper pressed directly against the surface of the ice cream. Consume within a few days.)

Notes

*What is crema?

The Mexican crema called for in this homemade blackberry ice cream recipe is essentially the same thing as French crème fraîche—which you can definitely substitute here. Less tart and tangy than standard American sour cream, they both have a thinner texture. And, unlike sour cream,  they won't break down when heated, which is essential when making the ice cream custard. Take a look at the ingredients in your crema though, sometimes it has salt added. In that case, you won't need to add any to your ice cream.