Blueberry Ice Cream



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Blueberry ice cream is not one of my favorites, if we are being honest. I just find that blueberries are so mild that it doesn't impart a lot of flavor to the ice cream. I decided to try and up the blueberry flavor by adding in a swirl of reduced blueberries. 
It worked!
Not only does it add a textural element, it definitely boosts the blueberry-iness of it. Blueberry ice cream has now moved up the list of favorite flavors for me. The beautiful color helped push it into the top 10. If you are one of those people that only eats ice cream in the summer (weeeeeeird) then you still have lots of time to whip some up!


Blueberry Ice Cream

Ingredients
Swirl
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 Tbsp sugar

Ice Cream
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cups whipping cream, divided
1 cup half and half cream (or whole milk)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 egg yolks
1 Tbsp blueberry vodka (optional)

Directions
Prepare swirl - on a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together blueberries and sugar.


 Keep stirring while blueberries come to a boil and start to breakdown and thicken - about 10 minutes (you want it to be jam-like). Remove from heat and let cool completely. 
Prepare ice cream - Place blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium pan. Cook and stir until mixture breaks down (much like the swirl, above). Remove from heat. Place a strainer over a bowl and strain the blueberry mixture through. Discard the bits left in the strainer. Set the bowl with the blueberry puree aside. 
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together 1 cup of the whipping cream, the half and half, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Keep stirring constantly until mixture starts to steam. Remove from heat.
In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks. Very slowly whisk in a little of the hot cream mixture - about 1/4 cup at a time. (Do this slowly so you don't curdle the eggs). Stir the the yolk mixture back into the cream and place back on heat. Continue to stir until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. When thickened remove from heat.
Place remaining 1 cup of cream in a bowl with a strainer on top. Pour the hot mixture through the strainer into the cream. Stir in the blueberry vodka, if using. 
Stir in the blueberry puree.
Chill mixture at least 4 hours.
When chilled: place in ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions.
When the ice cream is done processing, scrape half of it into a container. Place half of the swirl mixture on top and swirl with a butter knife. Scrape the remaining ice cream on top, then swirl on the last of the swirl mixture.


Freeze until firm. 


I use a bit of blueberry vodka to help prevent the ice cream from freezing too hard. It's not necessary though. You can use plain vodka or just leave it out. If your ice cream freezes really hard just be sure to take it out about 10 minutes before you want to serve it. 

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