It turns out that California and Texas have something in common other than historically belonging to Mexico. The residents of these two states have good taste… maybe not in fashion or political candidates, but at least when it comes to summertime dessert.
Or maybe they just have more cows than anyone else.
California and Texas produce more ice cream than any other states in the nation. This summer, I have been contributing significantly to California’s economy by purchasing (and yes, eating) a lot of this product. But last weekend, we decided to save our pennies and try to capture the summer flavor of blueberries (which seem to be coming from Canada right now, by the way) with our own frozen concoction.
I love ice cream. It is especially drool-worthy when chock-full of fruit, crunchy cookies or nuts. Swathed in hot fudge. Dripping onto warm pie. Solo in a cone or in a cup. Dipped in Jimmies. Layered and frozen with cake.
Not surprisingly, something this good goes way back in history. However, after doing a little (superficial) research into the origins of ice cream, I was more confused than enlightened. Who came up with this treat of rich, creamy, frozen goodness? Was it the Chinese? Italians? French? British?
Shrouded in darkness. Cloaked in mystery. Maybe it’s that recipes were so carefully guarded over the centuries that the story has become “the myth.”
Anyways, through trial and error, I’ve found it’s important to cook the milk and cream, even if you make an ice cream without eggs – otherwise you get an ice cream that tastes greasy on the tongue. For this recipe, to intensify the blueberry flavor, I cheated a bit and added some wild blueberry preserves – which gives the finished product a good color, too.
Blueberry Ginger Snap Ice Cream
1 pint heavy cream
1 c. milk
2/3 c. sugar
1t vanilla extract
2 c. blueberries
3T wild blueberry preserves (like Bonne Maman)
12 ginger snaps
Freeze ice cream “freezer bowl” at least overnight, or according to your machine’s directions. The machine I used holds up to 1½ quarts.
Pulse blueberries in a food processor, set aside. Scald milk, cream and sugar (heat over medium heat in a saucepan until just before boiling). Stir to make sure sugar dissolves. Turn off the heat. Add half of the chunky blueberry puree to the hot cream mixture. To the other half, stir in the blueberry preserves.
When cream mixture has cooled to room temperature, stir in the reserved blueberry mixture and chill further in the refrigerator until cold. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and make according to your machine’s directions.
While the ice cream churns, break ginger snaps by hand into small pieces or smash in a plastic bag with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin. Just before turning off the ice cream maker, add in cookie pieces and mix until incorporated. Transfer the ice cream to a plastic container and freeze for at least a few hours, or until firm.