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Roasted Blueberry Ice Cream

September 26, 2012

I realize the flavor sounds odd, but roasting the blueberries brings out their flavor in addition to making them softer during the freezing process.  This all came about because I have been using Jenni Britton Bauer's "Jenni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home" book to make different flavors of ice cream.  In the book Jenni has a recipe for Roasted Strawberry ice cream.  I didn't have strawberries on hand but plenty of blueberries, so I thought, why not? 

I opted not to follow the strawberry recipe because I wasn't enthused about buttermilk so, instead, I followed the vanilla recipe and added blueberries and cinnamon.  The result?  Yum!  The color is a very light purplish-blue and the flavor is a lovely combination of the vanilla, blueberry and cinnamon.  Although the recipe calls for 1 pint of blueberries, you only use 1/2 c of the berries and their juice in the ice cream.  Why? Because you want the pan to be full so they don't scorch or dry out.  The leftover berries are good swirled in yogurt, as an ice cream topper or even on an english muffin.

Next time I may try a coconut ice cream base with roasted blueberries {minus the cinnamon}.  I think that would be out of this world!

Roasted Blueberry Ice Cream
Source: adapted from a recipe in Jenni's Splendid Ice Creams At Home
Makes 1 Quart

1 pint blueberries, washed and stems removed
1/3 c. sugar
2 T. fresh lemon juice {optional}
1/8 t. cinnamon {optional}
1 3/4 c. whole milk
1 T. plus 1 t. cornstarch
3 T. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/8 t. salt
1 1/4 c. heavy cream
2/3 c. granulated sugar {or granulated vanilla sugar}
2 T. light corn syrup
1 vanilla bean split, seeds scraped out {omit if using the vanilla sugar; if using the vanilla bean save the pod to make vanilla sugar for the next time}

Freeze the canister of your ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Combine the blueberries and the sugar in an 8" square glass or ceramic baking dish, stirring to coat them all with the sugar.  Roast for 8 minutes, or until just softened.  Let cool slightly.  Mix in the lemon juice and cinnamon, if using, stirring and smashing the berries up a bit to extract the juice.  Measure 1/2 c. of the berries and juice and set aside.  Refrigerate the remaining berries for another use.

Ice Cream:
Mix 2 Tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl until well blended.  In a separate medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese and salt with a wooden spoon.  Fill a large bowl with ice and water and set aside.

Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup and vanilla seeds {if using} in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat.  Bring to a rolling boil, whisking often, and boil for 4 minutes.  Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture.  Put back on the heat and bring to a boil again, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, for 1 minute.  Remove from the heat.

Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese, whisking until smooth.  Stir in the reserved berries and juice.  Chill {see below}.

*Fast chill method*:  Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon plastic freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath prepared earlier.  Let stand, adding ice as needed, until cold, about 30 minutes.

*Regular chill method*:  Place the bowl of ice cream mixture into the ice bath prepared earlier, and let cool, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.  Remove the bowl of ice cream mixture, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely chilled, 2-3 hours.  Stir well before moving on to the next step.

Pour the ice cream mixture into the the frozen canister, according to manufacturer's directions, and spin until thick and creamy and the mixture pulls away from the sides of the container.  If there's a thin layer against the sides it's not quite finished.  This can take 15 - 35 minutes.

Pack the ice cream into an airtight container, press a piece of parchment paper directly against the surface, seal and place in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, about 4 hours.

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