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Blueberry Ice Cream

This blueberry ice cream is custard-based meaning it is made with eggs that are cooked with cream on a stovetop. It is a little more trouble than some of my non-custard ice cream recipes, but it has such a delicious flavor that it is worth the extra time.

The basic steps for making this custard ice cream are listed below.

  1. Heat the half and half, which is a mixture of whole milk and whipping cream.
  2. Temper egg yolks by whisking warm half and half into them.
  3. Cook the eggs and half and half until they thicken into a custard.
  4. Cool the custard in an ice bath.
  5. Add any add-ins such as fruit.
  6. Churn in an ice cream freezer.

Now I will show you how easy it is to execute all these steps!

Preparing the Blueberries

You can use fresh or frozen blueberries for this recipe, but I prefer frozen because they chop easily in a food processor and they also help cool the ice cream after making the custard. This recipe uses finely chopped blueberries that give the ice cream a lavender color.

Setting Up an Ice Bath

  • To get started, place some ice and water (about halfway full) into a large mixing bowl.
  • Then in a medium-sized mixing bowl add the whipping cream. Sit the medium-sized bowl into the ice water in the larger bowl. Add more ice if necessary to stabilize the whipping cream bowl. Place a fine-mesh strainer over the bowl with the cream as shown below.
This is how you set up the ice water in a large bowl and the cream in a smaller bowl that sits on the ice. The fine-mesh strainer sits on top of the bowl with cream for straining the cooked custard.

Heating the Half and Half

  • Now that the ice water is set up, add the half and half, salt, and sugar to a medium-sized saucepan. On medium-low heat, warm the half and half until the sugar melts, stirring occasionally. Heat only until small bubbles form around the edge of the pan, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Heat the half and half until small bubbles form around the perimeter of the pan. Do not boil!

Tempering the Eggs

  • The next step is to temper the eggs by whisking in half of the warm cream. The purpose of tempering is to make sure your eggs don’t cook into small pieces and ruin the custard.
  • First, place the egg yolks in a medium-sized bowl and whisk until smooth. I like to get the egg yolks very smooth so I put them in a small chopper and blend them for a few seconds.
  • Slowly, and while whisking constantly, pour 1/2 of the heated half and half into the bowl with the egg yolks. Whisk constantly until well blended.
Warm cream whisked into the eggs. Be sure to whisk well as you add the warm cream in a small stream because this will ensure that the eggs do not get cooked.

Cooking the Custard

  • Pour the egg/half and half mixture into the saucepan that still has some half and half, whisking as you pour.
  • Insert a food thermometer and heat the mixture on low heat until it thickens and reaches 175-180 degrees F. This will take about 4-6 minutes.
  • Be sure to stir constantly and scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir. Do not boil. I switch from a whisk to a heat-safe spatula for cooking the custard. This will make it easier to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan as the custard cooks.
  • When the custard reaches temperature, remove it from the heat and pour it through the strainer into the cold cream that is sitting on the ice bath.
  • Push the custard through the strainer. Discard any solid pieces. Stir the mixture well and then add the chopped blueberries.
Blueberry ice cream mix that has been cooled over ice water.
  • The chopped blueberries will turn the mixture a pretty lavender color! Insert the thermometer and let the custard cool to 70 degrees F. The mixture will cool quickly over the ice water.
  • Then chill the ice cream mixture in a freezer for 2 hours or a refrigerator for 4 hours. The purpose of chilling the ice cream mixture is to make it cold enough to freeze in an ice cream freezer. Once it is cold, place the mixture in an ice cream freezer and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make the ice cream.
  • When the ice cream maker finishes or turns off, spoon the ice cream into a container with a lid and freeze it for at least 4 hours. Enjoy!

Other Ice Cream Recipes

Click on each name to go to the recipes.

Print Recipe
Blueberry Ice Cream
Blueberry custard ice cream
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Rate this recipe!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 6 hours
Servings
Ingredients
Blueberries
Custard
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 6 hours
Servings
Ingredients
Blueberries
Custard
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Blueberries
  1. Place the blueberries in a food processor (or another chopper) and chop until fine. Pour into a bowl and stir in 1/4 cup of sugar. Set aside.
Custard
  1. Place ice and water about halfway full into a large mixing bowl. Place a medium-sized bowl into the ice bath. Add additional ice if necessary to stabilize the smaller bowl. Add the cup of whipping cream to the medium-sized bowl. Place a fine-mesh strainer over the bowl with cream.
  2. In a medium saucepan, add the half and half, salt, and sugar. On low to medium heat, warm the half and half until the sugar melts, stirring occasionally. Heat only until small bubbles form around the edge of the pan, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Place the egg yolks in a medium-sized bowl and whisk until smooth. Slowly, and while whisking, pour 1/2 of the warm half and half into the egg yolks. Whisk constantly until well blended.
  4. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining half and half, whisking as you pour. Insert a food thermometer and heat the mixture on low heat until it thickens and reaches 175-180 degrees F. This will take about 4-6 minutes. Be sure to stir constantly and scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir. Do not boil. When the custard reaches temperature, remove it from the heat and pour it through the strainer into the cold cream.
  5. Stir the mixture and add the chopped blueberries. Stir again. Insert the thermometer and let the custard cool to 70 degrees F. Then chill the ice cream mixture in a freezer for 2 hours or a refrigerator for 4 hours.
  6. Then add the cold mixture to an ice cream freezer and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  7. When the ice cream finishes freezing, place it in a container with a lid and into a freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Recipe Notes
  • Makes (8) 1/2 cup servings.
  • Half and half is half cream and half whole milk.  You can buy it ready-made or make your own by mixing equal amounts of whipping cream and whole milk together.  This recipe calls for 2 cups of half and half which equals 1 cup of whipping cream and one cup of whole milk.
  • Measure the blueberries after chopping them.

Variations

After the ice cream thickens in the ice cream maker, but before it is done, you can add in small sugar cookie pieces or pound cake.  Then continue churning the ice cream until it is done.

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