Here’s the Scoop

July 7, 2008 at 3:59 pm 20 comments

Blueberries on the bush

I’m a very lucky lady. 

L.U.C.K.Y.  

Pail of blueberries

You see, I have access to some of the best and most productive blueberry bushes imaginable.  These bushes have been around since my grandfather plunked them down beside the summer kitchen/wood shop on my family farm.  And there they have prospered, with a little help from my mom and me.  A year or two ago, I cut them back almost to the ground as they are rather old and needed to rejuvenate.  Since then, they’ve grown like weeds, towering almost seven feet in the air, branches heavy with sapphire orbs. 

Blueberry sauce

These blueberries aren’t like the ones you get in the store.  And, in my opinion after having done a taste comparison, they far surpass anything they’ve got in Maine.  I don’t know if it’s the variety (this information is long since lost) or the soil they grow in, but these berries are plump and extremely juicy with a complex balance of sweet and tart from berry to berry.  I know the idea of sweet and tart at the same time sounds contradictory, but it’s the way they are.  And it makes them great for pies (stay-tuned for that recipe).

A scoop or two or maybe three

As I mentioned earlier, I spent the holiday weekend visiting friends and family in my small hometown in central Pennsylvania, during which time I ate more homemade ice cream in one 24 hour period than should be legally allowed.  First I had a couple huge scoops of peanut butter, then vanilla, then chocolate, and lastly strawberry.  Hey, before you judge me to harshly, consider how hard it is to make up your mind when presented with so many delicious choices of ice cream churned just the day before from fresh (i.e., not homogenized so it’s ridiculously creamy) milk gotten no more than ten miles away from the spot on which you are weighing the merits of each flavor.  Ah yes, now I see the light of understanding dawning in all your eyes…

All mixed together

Back in Philadelphia later in the weekend, D and I invited some friends over and I thought they  too deserved the joy of homemade ice cream.  With more than a gallon of fresh blueberries in my fridge, it seemed obvious what flavor to make.   I loosely adapted the recipe I used for the Lavender Vanilla Ice Cream and went with my gut on how to prepare the blueberries.  The color alone was worth the effort. 

I almost licked the bowl and it wasn't even mixed yet

Licking at a scoop was rewarding as well… creamy, smooth, just sweet enough… I would have liked the blueberry flavor to be a bit more pronounced though so I adjusted the amount in the recipe below.  Another change I may make in the future is to add some miniature chocolate chips.  I had a few on my last dish and wished I’d thought of it sooner.   I adore chocolate almost as much as I adore these blueberries!   Fortunately (?) I’ve never been presented with an array of freshly and locally made chocolates to choose from… that might very well be the end of me! 

Dreamy Creamy Blueberry Ice Cream

Dreamy Creamy Blueberry Ice Cream
A Straight from the Farm Original

3 C. fresh blueberries
1/2 C. sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1 1/4 C. half and half
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/4 C. vanilla sugar (regular granulated sugar is fine too)
1/4 C. Splenda or other sugar substitute
pinch of salt
2 C. heavy cream

In a large saucepan, gently heat the blueberries, 1/2 cup sugar and lemon juice until it bubbles and the berries break down, about 5-7 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.

In another smaller saucepan, gently heat the half and half and the vanilla bean until warm, but not boiling.  Fish out the vanilla pod halves and stir in the salt, vanilla sugar and Splenda while still warm. 

In a bowl that can go in the freezer, combine the blueberry, vanilla mixture and cream, stirring to evenly combine.  Chill mixture in the freezer until cold, about an hour.

Churn chilled mixture in an ice cream maker, following the manufacturer’s directions (usually about 20-30 minutes). 

(makes about 1 quart)

One more shot of those amazing berries

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Entry filed under: Recipes, Sweet Treats. Tags: , , , , .

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20 Comments Add your own

  • 1. gintoino  |  July 7, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    No, its just not fair! First you mention home made chocolate ice cream, then you show what looks like a delicious blueberry ice cream. How is a guy that should be dieting to resist the urge of rushing into the nearest ice cream shop and order a huge scoop of chocolate fudge ice cream (yeah, I don’t think they will have blueberry unfortunately)?

    Reply
  • 2. fallenangel65  |  July 7, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    The blueberry looks amazing! My favorite homemade ice cream when I was growing up was always plain old vanilla. We made it with milk and half and half rather than cream so it was more of an ice milk than an ice cream and my grandmother used lemom in the mix so it had the best balance of lemon and vanilla. Yum!

    Reply
  • 3. Christine  |  July 7, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    I love blueberry ice cream, and your photos of the highbushes are beautiful! (I still think you need to give Maine blueberries another shot, though; they are wonderful, but the ones you tried sound terrible.) But the most burning question is…when am *I* going to be invited over for ice cream?!?

    Reply
  • 4. eurofoodie  |  July 7, 2008 at 10:31 pm

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  • 5. antioxexpress  |  July 7, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    I had the best blueberry milk shake last week made with only real blueberries and no artificial flavoring…and terrific little pieces of blueberries suspended in the velvety cream.

    We used to make our homemade ice cream with fresh peaches and that, too, was a fabulous burst of great peach flavor. Very refreshing! Very yummy.

    I love having lots of choices on how to eat my veggies and fruits.

    “Mac”

    http://antioxexpress.wordpress.com

    Reply
  • 6. helenphillips  |  July 8, 2008 at 9:11 am

    That ice-cream looks amazing, what a fantastic colour.
    I bought a blueberry plant last year, but it’s not doing too well….

    Reply
  • 7. gkbloodsugar  |  July 8, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Wow! How lucky are you?
    Good to see you making the absolute most of them. Fantastic job.

    Reply
  • 8. Mary  |  July 8, 2008 at 10:19 am

    You are indeed lucky! Your blueberry plant looks marvelous and I wish I could have some of that delicious ice cream!

    Reply
  • 9. SteamyKitchen  |  July 8, 2008 at 10:46 am

    gorgeous color!

    Reply
  • 10. diembe  |  July 8, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    A native Mainer here, compelled to chime in: you got a bum batch of Maine berries.

    That’s not to knock the beautiful and no doubt tasty fruit that you have access to–congrats!–but the Maine wild blueberry, on the whole, is as good as the fruit gets. I currently live in California, which is an absolute embarassment of fresh produce riches, but the blueberries that grow out West are larger and less flavorful than what I grew up eating.

    Nice post, excellent shots–food photography is not easy, but you sure make it look that way.

    Reply
  • 11. GirlCanBake  |  July 8, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    My head is swirling! So many delicious ice cream flavors…. I’m so jealous! The color of this blueberry ice cream is just to die for. It looks perfect for summer.

    Reply
  • 12. Kate  |  July 8, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    This recipe looks amazing. I’m going to try it this weekend!

    Your photos are also beautiful. I’ve never seen a blueberry bush before.

    You might be interested in my website. There are some incredible recipes.

    Thanks for the idea!

    Kate

    http://www.JustOnePlate.com

    Reply
  • 13. Kevin  |  July 8, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    That blueberry ice cream looks great! What an amazing colour!

    Reply
  • 14. brilynn  |  July 8, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    You should dry some of your blueberries to use in granola or cookies or cakes later on!

    Reply
  • 15. Pann  |  July 10, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Can I just tell you I am salivating uncontrollably?!? YUM!!!!

    Reply
  • 16. S for KC  |  July 16, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    Makes a great and unusual color for an ice cream. Looks yummy!

    Reply
  • 17. Sophie  |  July 17, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    Very awesome ice cream. Wow — talk about healthy too!

    Reply
  • 18. Blueberry Banana Bread « Straight from the Farm  |  August 18, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    [...] I’ve told you all about my blueberry memories before here on SFTF; hinting at how these little blue orbs are such an important part of my summertime vigil over seasonal produce each year.  In short, I adore them.  [...]

    Reply
  • 19. fallenangel65  |  August 24, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    I had to come back and look at this again – I was telling a friend of the photo with the berries in colors from green to pink, to blue. I bought a clam shell of berries this weekend and I dare say the clam shell and the berries had exactly the same taste. I heated them up to see if that would get a rise in the flavor and got a whisper of blueberry – so I smashed them up with honey to add to my plain greek yogurt. If we get my garden together next spring – I am going to put in a blue berry bush.

    You wrote about the bushes on your family farm being there thru generations and that is why with rhubarb for me. The rhubarb my mom, grandmother, and I have all came from my great grandmother – my grandmother took a start and has kept it growing 60 some years. Everywhere I have lived as a child and now as I own my own home – another start is taken and transplanted. There is such a strange nostalgia connected to that for me – the places I have lived may be temporary – but in having the start of something going back generations makes it seem less transient.

    Reply
  • 20. julia has acne  |  April 13, 2013 at 6:17 am

    julia has acne…

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    Reply

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