The secret to making the best berry ice cream is to start with the juiciest, ripest and most flavorful fruits. When added to a rich custard base during the last few minutes of churning, the berries retain their texture and intensely fruity flavor. Choose your favorite berry or use a combination.
Berry Ice Cream
- 2 cups (8 oz./250 g) halved fresh raspberries or blackberries, or stemmed and coarsely chopped fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) plus 2 Tbs. sugar
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) whole milk
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy cream
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
1. In a food processor, combine half of the berries and the 2 Tbs. sugar. Puree until smooth. Set aside the pureed berries and the remaining 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) berries in separate small bowls.
2. In a saucepan, combine the milk, 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) of the cream and the 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) sugar. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) cream until well blended.
3. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until bubbles form around the edges and the sugar dissolves, 4 to 5 minutes. Do not allow to come to a boil. Remove from the heat. Whisk the egg yolk mixture while slowly pouring in the hot milk mixture. When almost all of the hot liquid has been added, slowly pour the warmed yolk mixture back into the saucepan, still whisking. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 4 to 5 minutes. Do not boil.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the pureed berries and vanilla. Pour the hot custard through a sieve into a clean bowl, gently pressing the liquid through the sieve and leaving any grainy solids in the sieve.
5. Prepare an ice bath by partially filling a large bowl with ice water. Nestle the bowl with the custard in the ice bath and let cool for 30 to 45 minutes. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard and on top of the bowl. Refrigerate for 3 to 24 hours.
6. Prepare an ice cream maker with at least a 1-qt (1-l) capacity according to the manufacturer’s directions. Pour the custard into the ice cream maker and churn until the custard reaches the consistency of thick whipped cream. During the last 1 to 2 minutes of churning, add the reserved berries and continue to churn just until incorporated. Transfer to a plastic freezer container, cover tightly and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days. Makes about 1 quart (1 l).
For more than 60 recipes and ideas for scoops, shakes, slushes, sundaes, sandwiches and special-occasion treats check out our cookbook Frozen Desserts.