Blackberries, it seems, would prefer you not pick them. That must be why in addition to hundreds of tiny sharp thorns ready to embed themselves in your skin, blackberry bushes arm themselves with an array of other nasty surprises. Poison ivy, snakes, spiders, hornets and wasps are only some of the things your fingers may brush while reaching for that plump purple berry. One taste of this ice cream, however, and you’ll be championing the return of Br’er Rabbit. (Hopefully this time without the racism.)
Between strawberries, cherries, black raspberries and blackberries, we have jammed so much jam into our freezer Michelle fears its shelves are becoming dangerously overloaded. (Steve reminds Michelle that it is still peach season, and as yet there are no jars of peach jam about.) However, Steve shows no sign of slacking off his pursuit of more berries, since he claims there are still some to be found (plus he’d like to see if he can once again scare up the mother turkey and poults he saw the other day). So we decided to look for other avenues, and decided to try making a blackberry ice cream we got from (of course!) Alice Waters. Then we decided to add in Alice Medrich’s idea for chocolate chips. Our new iced obsession was born. Creamy, tangy, brilliantly purple ice cream tangled up with chewy, fudgy chunks of bittersweet chocolate. Where is Br’er Fox when you need him?
BLACKBERRY CHOCOLATE CHIP ICE CREAM
- 3 cups blackberries (preferably wild)
- Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 c. + 1/2 c. sugar, divided
- 3 egg yolks
- 3/4 c. half and half
- 3/4 c. heavy cream
- 1/2 t. vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 2 TB water
Warm berries in a saucepan until they begin to release their juices. Add a squeeze of lemon juice. Purée in a food processor and strain through a fine-meshed strainer to remove the seeds. You should have about 1 cup of juice. Stir in 1/4 cup sugar.
Set a fine-meshed strainer over a heatproof bowl.
Whisk egg yolks together in a small bowl.
Heat half and half and 1/2 cup sugar over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. When hot, whisk a bit of the hot mixture into the egg yolks. Then, mix the warmed yolks into the hot mixture in the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon. Do not let it come to a boil. Strain.
When custard has cooled slightly, add heavy cream, strained berry purée, vanilla and salt. Cover and chill overnight.
Melt chocolate and water in a double boiler, stirring frequently. Pour mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper. Slide paper onto a small plate or baking sheet and freeze. When chocolate is firm, chop into chunks. Return to freezer until needed.
Freeze ice cream according to ice cream maker’s instructions. Add the chocolate chunks at the end.