Blueberry ice cream

Will you read more about blueberries? What if I promise not to talk about deer? How about if I just remind you how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker? This blueberry ice cream is as easy as the old-fashioned just-cream-and-sugar-and-fruit types of ice cream but with the rich mouth-feel of fancier cooked custard ice creams. How is that possible? I’ll tell you: sweetened evaporated milk.

Not only does this canned wonder make iced Vietnamese coffee all that it can be, but it also sweetens and gives body to this super easy fruit ice cream. I used blueberries for this batch, but it works with all berries as well as peeled and chopped ultra-ripe peaches. Go forth! Freeze!

Blueberry ice cream

Use any fruit you like here – or add chocolate chips or crushed cookies or just leave it vanilla – just give it a try, with or without an ice cream maker. The best results I’ve had were with the dairy listed below. Feel free to try some other combination (2 cups cream and 1 cup milk, for example) that equals 3 cups of liquid dairy. Be warned: if you choose to make it without any cream the texture will necessarily be more icy than creamy.

2 cups half-and-half

1 can (14-ounce) sweetened condensed or evaporated milk

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 – 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (less vanilla will make it more singularly blueberry flavored, more adds more complex flavor to the final ice cream)

2 cups picked over perfectly ripe and lovely blueberries

In a large bowl combine the half-and-half, condensed milk, cream, and vanilla. Freeze in an ice cream maker or use the no ice cream maker method.

Meanwhile, rinse the blueberries. Mash them with a fork or whirl in a blender or food processor.  I like to leave the berries just a bit chunky so there are bits of fruit in the ice cream, but you can puree them as much as you like.

When ice cream mixture is at that lovely soft-serve texture, add the mashed or pureed blueberries. This will un-freeze the mixture slightly, so you’ll need to continue whatever freezing method you’re using. Why add the blueberries towards the end? It keeps any bits and chunks of fruit from just floating to and staying on the bottom.

When the mixture is re-frozen to soft-serve texture or firmer, transfer to a container you can keep in the freezer, cover or seal, and freeze until firm.