I’m not a big plain homemade vanilla ice cream fan; I like coffee ice cream.  But add some beautiful hot fudge or sliced fresh peaches and I’ll eat vanilla.  I’ll even make it.   And it does fill the bill for a crowd.   It pleases nearly everyone.

When it’s northwest blueberry time (warm days/cool nights make the best berries), I’m likely to make some fresh, quick blueberry jam for toast.  For years, I’ve filled freezer bags or containers full of these berries and kept them until blueberry season (not the Chilean season) begins again. (Store frozen and unwashed; rinse just before using them.)  I’m able to make great muffins, pancakes, or top my yogurt all year long without resorting to Fed Ex fruit.  Regular readers know my drill.  This year, I went for a beautiful blueberry topping (similar to the jam or conserve of other years) for that ice cream, but paired it with a bit of lemon to offset the sweetness of the blueberries.

A bloom bursting on beautiful blueberries!

This recipe is for a crowd; it makes a gallon and could be increased by 1/2 to make 1 1/2 gallons or the 6 qts in the White Mountain ice cream maker.  Bring it to a picnic and people will be if not swooning, at least very happy.  We took this sweet, cold dessert down to a neighbor’s the other night to serve after an al fresco supper on their back deck.  A hot day, it was also a fairly warm evening.  We were all glad of something frozen for dessert.  What else for summer?

Here’s how:

Make the custard.  Eggs must cook, of course.

Cool hot custard mixture in an ice water bath and chill in frig for a few hours or overnight.

 Place ice cream maker with custard mixture in tub to keep ice from flying around garage.

Add ice and freeze!  (This machine comes in a hand-crank version, too.)   In the meantime, make the sauce.

 

 vanilla ice cream and blueberry lemon sauce

Ice Cream :  makes 1 gallon approximately or 16  1/2-cup servings

Ice cream must chill for several hours before freezing; start early in the day needed (or night before)

*3 cups whole milk
*3 cups heavy cream
*2 cups 1/2 and 1/2
*1/4 t table salt
*1T vanilla extract (Use the best real vanilla extract you can find; I like Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla)
*1 1/2 cups sugar

*10 egg yolks, beaten in another bowl

1. In a 6-8 qt stockpot, heat  milk – sugar until steaming; do not boil.  Lower heat a bit.
2.  Starting with 1-2 T, whisk some of the hot milk mixture into the beaten egg yolks.  Add another 6-8 T, 2 T at a time, until eggs are tempered or warmed up enough so that they won’t cook when added to milk mixture.  Slowly pour the egg mixture, whisking all the while, into the milk mixture.
3. Cook over low heat until mixture barely thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir for a few minutes; the custard will continue to cook.
4.   Strain through a fine sieve into another pot sitting in a bowl of ice water.  When cool, place in refrigerator for several hours or overnight.  Chill your freezer’s ice cream container before pouring the custard into it immediately before time to make the ice cream.
5.  Freeze in gallon ( 6qt ) ice cream freezer according to freezer directions.

Note:  I like fresh, made-that-day ice cream, but if you need to store it or want harder, firmer ice cream, store in a container without a lot of extra space.  Pack the ice cream in tightly and seal very closely before freezing.  According to David Lebovitz (The Perfect Scoop and davidlebovitz.com ), ice cream should be stored 2-4 months with the exception of custard, which does not keep long.  As this is custard (has eggs), invite the neighborhood and make sure it’s all eaten so there’s no worry.

Blueberry-Lemon Sauce
 Watch out!  Blueberries don’t just stain, they dye!

*2#  blueberries, cleaned and picked over, stems removed
*3/4 cup white  sugar                                             
*1/4 cup water
*1t grated lemon zest

Place all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.    Reduce heat and simmer until berries are popping and mixture has thickened somewhat. Stir regularly.  Remove from the heat and let cool; mixture will continue to thicken.  Cover and refrigerate if not using within an hour or so.  You’ll have more than you need for the gallon of ice cream.  Use the remainder for pancakes or spread on toast with peanut butter.  Use within 3-4 days.

Sing a new song,
Alyce
~~~~~
right now on my Dinner Place Blog–a one-dish side or vegetarian lunch:

Green Beans, Mushrooms and Jasmine Rice with Tarragon and Mustard Vinaigrette