Oddly enough, we can get to have a fine display of character as the result of the merger of two major weaknesses; to put it in other way, that old saying that “the whole is more than the sum of the parts” or that “two negatives make a positive” (oh no, I’m just rambling and I’ve only just begun!). In brief, that is exactly what has happened here this time: fruit of the meeting of my dearly beloved blueberries (weakness #1) and an always irresistible cheesecake (weakness #2) —and a mandatory detour via your freezer—, this decadently delicious blueberry cheesecake ice cream began to come into being.
I know. That was a safe bet from the very beginning. But believe me when I tell you that the outcome is beyond all belief. And please note that I still have no ice cream maker, so if I have been able to enjoy such a dainty morsel, any mortal can face my very own same fate.
Most people generally couple ice cream with summer time. I totally disagree (and for the record, I might be one of the most cold-sensitive people on earth). Some good, traditionally made ice cram is always welcome, no matter what the season. And if on top of that the said ice cream is home made, what’s it all add up to? There can hardly be a better prospect than being able to choose each and every ingredient of your dream ice cream. Every time! I’m already planning the next one… And now that temperatures start to rise, there’s no even need for a further marketing campaign.
Well, I leave you here with the recipe —the only remaining evidence, together with the pictures, that we actually have come to enjoy this absolutely luscious ice cream for a few days—, and with some little teardrop or another, which surreptitiously rolls down my cheek in its memory…
- 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup (240 ml) whipping or double cream
- Peel of ½ a fresh lemon (avoid the white pith)
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (125 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (8 oz - 225 g) cream cheese
- 2 cups (10 oz - 280 g) fresh blueberries
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (35 ml) fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 heaping cup (80 g aprox) cookies (Graham Crackers type), roughly crumbled
- Fill a large mixing bowl with ice cubes for later ice bath and set aside.
- In a separate medium size bowl, dissolve cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the milk and set aside too.
- Whisk together the remaining milk, whipping cream, lemon peel and sugar in a large heavy saucepan and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly until a few bubbles appear around the edges.
- Then, add the milk and cornstarch mixture (point 2) and cook the mixture for a further minute, whisking constantly until it thickens slightly.
- Remove from heat, dispose of the lemon peel and whisk in the cream cheese until cheese is melted.
- Immediately, plunge the pan into the ice bath, stirring constantly so that the it chills evenly. WARNING: be careful not to let any water drops to come into contact with the mixture.
- Once completely chilled, pour the mixture into an airtight container, cover with some plastic wrap directly on the surface (to prevent a film from forming) and let it sit in the fridge about 8 hours or overnight. Please note that the ice cream mixture will double in size while churning, so you'll need a container large enough to accommodate the whole lot.
- Remove from the fridge and churn as follows:
- If using an ice cream machine, pour mixture into freezer container of a 1½-qt. electric ice-cream maker, and churn according to manufacturer's instructions. (Instructions and times may vary).
- If churning by hand, place the airtight container into the freezer and whip it out every 30 minutes for 2-3 hours as it freezes using with a spatula or a whisk (either by hand or using an electric hand-held mixer). You really need to beat it up and break up any frozen sections.
Meanwhile, prepare the blueberry sauce (see below).
- Finally, once the sauce has reached room temperature and the ice cream in done churning, quickly spoon the ice cream into a freezer safe container (metal, glass or plastic will work), alternating with blueberry sauce and crumbled graham crackers layers (swirl to combine if desired).
- Cover tightly and allow ice cream to rest in the freezer for at least 8 hours or overnight before serving.
- In a small saucepan stir together blueberries, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, and salt over medium-low heat and bring to a boil stirring gently and constantly with a rubber spatula.
- Simmer for about 5-6 minutes while stirring with the spatula until the berries burst and the juices have thickened.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature before adding to the ice cream.
Keep ice cream in the freezer at -0.5/-4 degrees F (-18/-20ºC). Before scooping, allow to soften a bit on the counter for about 10 minutes.
- European 'artisan' ice cream day: March 24th
- US national ice cream day: July 20th
- US national blueberry cheesecake day: May 26th
Recipe adapted from previous Cherry Crumble Ice Cream (in Spanish)