There was a blitz of ice cream this past weekend for several reasons, the first being that July is National Ice Cream Month, then because the temperature is set to break one hundred degrees all stinkin' week, and lastly [and perhaps most importantly] - my ice cream maker has been sitting the back of a rarely opened cabinet since I bought it two years ago.
Well technically, my Mom bought it for me because my punk sister was getting the royal treatment all summer because she was in a beauty pageant [sorry, "scholarship program"] and I finally pouted and said, "If you buy me an ice cream maker, we'll call it square." I got the better end of that deal, and with the cost of evening wear these days, so did my Mom.
I only made two batches of anything in it - a vanilla bean that nearly broke my bank because I insisted on using real vanilla beans and organic cream and a strawberry sorbet that was so cloyingly sweet I got a cavity just looking at it. I think I convinced myself I was cursed when it came to making ice cream and tucked it away into the cabinet, never to be heard from again.
Sidenote: These salt and pepper shakers have absolutely nothing to do with this ice cream. I bought them on a recent trip to Lancaster, PA at a hardware/kitchen supply store that had every knick-knack you could ever want. I was bouncing with excitement over the cheese slicers and rainbow wood bowls, but it was the vintage S&P shakers that I couldn't let go of. They had these blue beauties and another made of green milk glass, and I immediately pictured them on a sunny kitchen table in my make-believe future home somewhere with Justin reaching for the salt over breakfast and then I had to have them. Unfortunately, I didn't have my wallet, but I what I did have was much better. My Dad. Thanks, Dad, for your contribution to my future happiness.
Anywho, the scorching heat and onslaught of fellow bloggers gabbing on and on about ice cream forced me to rescue the ol' Cuisinart from the cabinet and make it happen. I was equal parts ambitious and stubborn - cranking out four batches of ice cream, chucking one in the garbage, turning my nose up at another, breaking my wrist trying to scoop the third, and finally settling into this one: black raspberry. The last few summers have been filled with the juicy black raspberries from the McClanathan farm and our freezer was bursting with these black beauties and, heck, I'm running short on berry ideas these days.
I made the Pioneer Woman's black raspberry ice cream recipe to start and it was a royal disaster. It turned out incredibly icy, never set up in the ice cream maker, and left everyone unimpressed. I reread the recipe and realized it didn't specify how much liquid from the raspberries you should use, I thought that two pints was too much to start with, and it just said to use "as much as possible from the berries." Pretty dayum vague, if you ask me. So I checked in the master of ice cream, David Lebovitz, and tried again. Success! It was creamy and speckled with blackberries and scooped easily, even straight from the freezer. Unlike the dark chocolate ice cream from Baked that, while delicious, was hard as a rock thanks to the half-pound of melted chocolate mixed in. Ouch, wrist, ouch.
Black Raspberry Ice Cream
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz
1½ cups half-and-half
1 cup sugar
1½ cups heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
1½ cups smashed raspberries and juices*
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Warm the half-and-half and sugar in a medium saucepan. Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly drizzle the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula, this should happen rather quickly - just a few minutes. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Mix in the raspberry puree and lemon juice, then stir until cool over an ice bath.
Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator or in the ice bath until the custard is very cold then freeze in your ice cream machine according to your manufacturer's directions. To preserve the fresh raspberry taste, churn the ice cream within 4 hours after making the mixture.
* The original recipe didn't say to cook the raspberries, but mine were frozen so I warmed them a little in a pan and then used my potato masher to soften them up. If yours are already defrosted, you could probably get away with smashing them without cooking first.