July 17, 2012

Recipe: Homemade Blackberry Ice Cream

Last year this time we were so excited to find and use our very own hand-crank ice cream maker — you may recall we whipped up a batch of natural peach ice cream the first time we used it. Well over the 4th of July, we pulled the ice cream maker out from hiding in our cellar and whipped up a fresh batch of natural blackberry ice cream.

Being able to combine a few natural ingredients with fresh fruit to make this delicious summer treat is beyond cool. Who am I kidding — Mary could eat this ice cream anytime of year. Maybe I could too, but I'm not as big of a sweets person and it is still "bathing suit season."

Ice Cream Base Ingredients:
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 pod vanilla bean, beans reserved
As we've said before, this ice cream base could be used to make a simple vanilla ice cream alone or incorporated with any other natural ingredients you like — it's that simple and versatile. For this batch, we went with a healthy handful of fresh blackberries we picked up from Agriberry Farm at our local market.

Combine cream, milk, sugar and vanilla beans in bowl.


You can find whole vanilla beans in your grocer's spice aisle. To get the beans out, simply make a slit down one side of the bean lengthwise on a cutting board, open up flaps and scrape beans from inside the pod into your milk mixture.

Pulse blackberries in a blender or food processor and pour puree into milk mixture to combine:

Should you come across any berries that are oddly shaped like this one, it's probably best practice to pop it in your mouth and act like nothing happened...

Pour ice cream mixture into metal barrel of ice cream maker, leaving enough room for the ice cream to expand once cooled, then insert dasher component into barrel and place into wooden base of ice cream maker.

Fit the top and handle over the bucket and start pouring ice cubes into the free space all around the metal barrel.

Layer rock salt over the ice and alternate between layers of ice and rock salt until you've filled the wooden base. We just poured it straight from a convenience store bag of ice — nothing pretty about it (except my orange crocs), but it gets the job done!

This is where that 5 pound bag of rock salt we bought on the internet last summer came in handy — we had just stored it sealed up in the ice cream maker over the winter and were all set when we needed it again this year. For those that might not remember, we had a hard time finding any rock salt last year, so we ended up buying a 5 pound bag via mail order delivery, ha. We still have plenty left for any batches we might make this summer and probably next summer too.

Now you're all set to get your ice cream maker cranking!

*Side Note: Somebody enjoyed sniffing down and crunching on all the ice bits that didn't make it into the bucket:

Does your dog like to eat ice too? Basil thinks it's some sort of amazing treat every time we get ice from the freezer...

Now — get back cranking! That ice cream isn't going to make itself!

The three of us (myself, Mary and Stephanie) alternated turning the handle and after 15 solid minutes of churning, our ice cream had reached a thick, creamy texture we were happy with.

We removed the barrel from the wooden base, pulled out the dasher and scraped the ice cream into a plastic bin to put in the freezer in order to let it set up even further.

You can eat the ice cream at this stage and it will be very soft but heavenly:

You can also freeze in a freezer-safe container and save for later, which we did after a few spoonfuls of it straight from the canister.

We enjoyed blackberry ice cream later that evening and again the next day — it was incredible. So fresh, and such a cool summer treat. 

What cool treats have you been been enjoying this summer? Have any favorite ice cream recipes we should try out next go round?


  1. YUM! I can't even believe how amazing that looks... We had an ice cream maker when I was a little girl, maaaybe I'll see if I can snag it from my parent's house! I would love to try out this recipe, looks great!

    1. Lauren let us know how it goes. It is funny how things of old can become new again. You can typically find these through Craigs List, yard sales, or Etsy! Good luck

  2. I made cherry chocolate chip ice cream recently. I usually go with a cooked custard recipe. although last time I used heavy cream and milk and it was a little too rich. I'm thinking of hitting the half n' half. I really want to make mint ice cream (you steep mint leaves in heated milk) but my mint is looking so bad right now. Gonna need to transplant it.

    1. Whoa! Cherry chocolate chip - we might have to add that to our list of must tries!

  3. Hi, Excellent recipe. I really enjoyed it, haven't made ice cream at home in over 5 years. Such an easy recipe to jump back into. THanks

  4. In Girl Scouts as a kid, we made our own ice cream machine with too different sized metal coffee cans. It was nice because it had a lid--you could roll it back and forth or shake it until it was done!


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