I heard somewhere that July is supposed to be officially ‘Ice Cream Month’. I don’t know who decides which foods need to be celebrated and when but July is certainly a great time (in the Northern Hemisphere) to make home made Ice Cream. I had been wanting an ice cream maker for quite some time when I finally broke down and bought one. After I discovered what went in to Ice Cream it sat unused for quite a while. Finally I saw an irresistible photo of ‘Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream’ and I just had to try it out for myself. It may or may not have been beginners luck when that Ice Cream turned out so well. It was so delicious I’ve been dreaming of making Ice Cream ever since.
Sometimes I find recipes based on pictures, whether in magazines, on the internet or in cookbooks. Sometimes there are specific ingredients that are calling my name and begging to be used. Other times I have ingredients on hand that need to be used up. In this case I had an excess of blueberries left over from jam making AND some really nice Greek sour cream with its due date nearing. I checked the internet and found a beautiful blog post from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures. The recipe she used had come from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. Well, that settled it! I am keen to try any recipe from Mr. Lebovitz and I have never been disappointed. I’ve actually avoided buying The Perfect Scoop because I’m pretty sure I would not be able to stop myself from trying all the recipes in the book!
I swear to God that I am eating a bowl of this now as I type. It is so good. It really does taste like Blueberry Cheesecake. It is so good that kid number two who claims she doesn’t like blueberries heard my camera clicking for the ‘photo shoot’ and automatically came down stairs to see what I was shooting (Pavlov’s dog anyone?). She didn’t argue when I invited her to try it and subsequently went back up to her room with a bowl full of it.
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons amaretto
8 oz cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup half-and-half
2/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup crushed graham crackers
To make the sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the blueberries and sugar. Set over medium heat and cook until the blueberries begin to release their juices. Meanwhile, in a small bowl stir the cornstarch together with the cold water and lemon juice until well combined and smooth. Once the blueberries have started to release their juices, stir in the cornstarch mixture. Bring the blueberries to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat under the pan and stir in the amaretto.
To make the ice cream: In the bowl of your food processor, combine the cream cheese, lemon zest, sour cream, half-and-half, sugar, and salt. Process until smooth. Transfer to an airtight container and chill in the refrigerator for several hours (or a couple of days, which is what I did).
Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice cream reaches soft serve consistency, add the crushed graham crackers and continue churning until incorporated, another minute or two. Transfer about half of the ice cream to an airtight container then dollop about 4 tablespoons of the blueberry sauce (you can use more or less, it’s entirely up to you) on top. Use a thin knife to swirl the ice cream and sauce together. Top with the remaining ice cream and then another 4 tablespoons of blueberry sauce, and again use the knife to swirl together. Store in an airtight container in your freezer. (This ice cream freezes pretty hard, you’ll probably want to let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before scooping.)
Makes about 3 cups of ice cream (not enough!!)