Only in the US would we be celebrating something called National Ice-Cream day and blueberry ice-cream was the order of today! We look forward to handfuls of fresh blueberries every year served with a good dose of antioxidants, together with spoonful of fresh air and a spot of the phonomonim witnessed today which was water falling from the sky (rain) that we don’t see year to year. My little chefling spotted a picture of ‘purple ice cream’ on pinterest the other day which she has been badgering me to make, so today we got to it. Doesn’t eating ice-cream just make you feel like a kid again?!?
We had an excess of Half-and-Half (half milk, half cream) in the fridge this week so coupled with trays and trays of blueberries on hand, and more ripening on our wild bushes by the shore any day now, it seemed like a no brainer. The recipe we found was for an obsurd amount of ice cream, so we halved it and changed up the sugar measurements to suit all ages. There was enough for afternoon ice-creams for the kids on the front porch plus more than enough for a scoop or two after dinner for 6 people…and seconds for those who weren’t done with one serving (not mentioning any names)!
We are trying to cut back on refined sugar in our house, so I came across date sugar by The Date Lady (www.ilovedatelady.com). Date sugar is made from dehydrated ground up dates, so like the natural fruit it is high in potassium and antioxidant content. The texture is kind of crumbly somewhere between brown sugar and fine bread crumbs. It is great for baking, but doesn’t disolve well as it still contains the fibre and minerals of the dates.
To combat the lack of disolving quality of the date sugar, once the blueberries started popping from the heat, I used a stick blender to puree the blueberry mix to a fine jam like consistency. I also used a little agave to add extra sweetness as the date sugar isn’t super sweet like sugar, but I wanted to appreciate the natural sweetness of the fruit.
Once it was all pureed, I added the half-and-half and then refrigerated for a few hours to cool down. It was pretty smooth, but you could tell there were ‘bits’ in it. If you don’t want any texture of the blueberry skins, seeds or date fibres then you can strain all this out, but I kept it in for roughage and no one complained!
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
- 3 heaped tablespoons date sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons agave
- 2 tablespoon water
- 2 cups half-and-half cream
In a saucepan combine the blueberries, date sugar, agave and water. Heat until the blueberries start to pop and use the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher to smash the berries until they are a pulp and the sugar has mixed in. I used a hand stick blender to puree the berries until smooth as I wanted to keep the skins and seeds in. At this point you can strain the mix and take out the blueberry skins and seeds if you choose to.
Stir in the half-and-half cream and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight until the mixture is very cold.
Process in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Firm up in the regular freezer for 2-4 hours before serving.
From our blueberry laden kitchen to yours 🙂