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Cool and Creamy

July 12, 2010

photo courtesy of Smitten Kitchen

By Brianne Harrison

Last week, as we faced both a heat wave and a long weekend, I was the happy recipient of a very useful gift—an ice cream maker. This, naturally, set my imagination into overdrive and I started going through my cupboards and fridge, looking for ingredients for my first batch. It was in the fridge (of course) that I found something that sparked my interest—a carton of buttermilk, purchased for cornbread I’d made a week ago. Buttermilk’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love it for its tangy flavor, and it doesn’t hurt that it tends to have little (or no) fat. The trouble is, most recipes using buttermilk only call for a cup or less, and it’s hard to find in any size smaller than a quart, which means you’re left with quite a lot of leftover. Could I, I wondered, make ice cream with buttermilk?

Yes, apparently, I could. I took to the internet, dug up a recipe on Smitten Kitchen that was adapted from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course, and decided to give it a try. I had some blueberries in the fridge that definitely needed to be used soon, so I tossed those in as well. The result was creamy, tangy, delicious, and very refreshing on a hot summer day.

Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream

2 c. heavy cream

1 ¼ c. sugar

12 large egg yolks*

2 c. buttermilk

2 tsp. vanilla or half a vanilla bean, scraped and simmered with the cream

pinch of salt

1 c. blueberries

¼ c. candied ginger, chopped (optional)

In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the heavy cream and one cup of sugar and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining ¼ cup of sugar

Remove the cream mixture from the heat and drizzle a small amount into the yolks, whisking constantly to keep the yolks from curdling. Do this a few more time to warm up the yolks, then pour the yolk mixture into the cream, whisking constantly.

Cook the cream/egg yolk mixture over low heat, stirring so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain the mixture and whisk in the buttermilk, vanilla, and salt. Cool completely.

Set up ice cream machine and start freezing the ice cream according to manufacturer’s instructions. In the last two minutes of freezing, add the blueberries and ginger. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the freezer.

*You don’t actually need to use this many egg yolks. The amount of yolks you use is directly proportional to the ice cream’s richness, so if you want (or don’t mind) a less rich ice cream, use fewer yolks.

Cook’s Tips:

This recipe would be just as delicious with fresh peaches, which happen to be in season now!

I was worried about the blueberries getting smashed by the churning paddle in my ice cream maker, so I tossed them in the freezer for five minutes before adding them to the ice cream. I’m not sure if that helped, but they did keep their shape.

Healthy Roundup:

I’m not going to pretend ice cream is healthy, but the addition of buttermilk does help, as it’s lower in fat than regular milk, high in potassium, vitamin B12, calcium, and riboflavin, and is a good source of phosphorus.

As I’ve previously mentioned, blueberries are high in antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. Certain studies have also suggested that regularly eating blueberries may slow aging (specifically, age-related loss of mental capacity), and researchers at Rutgers University have identified compounds in blueberries that promote urinary tract health and reduce the risk of infection. There’s also some speculation that blueberries may raise your metabolism.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 13, 2010 12:22 am

    This really looks yummy! Will surely try making this at home. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

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