Wondering what to to do with summer’s bounty of huckleberries or blueberries? This huckleberry swirl lemon ice cream recipe works wonderfully well with any type of huckleberry or blueberry. (However, that does not include the poorly named “garden huckleberry”, a member of the nightshade family that’s unrelated to true huckleberries, such as black huckleberry, or to blueberries. “Garden huckleberries” are much less sweet and have a very different flavor.)
The berries are used to make a lightly sweetened sauce which becomes the “swirl”. If blueberries are used, the sauce is smooth. If huckleberries are used, the seeds give the sauce a slight crunch. If you are using huckleberries and don’t want the crunch, you can puree the sauce and strain out the seeds. But I think the crunch is a nice contrast to the smooth and creamy lemon ice cream, so I don’t strain.
The ice cream, flavored with lemon zest, is scrumptious enough to stand on its own, but it really does contrast nicely with the berry sauce. The choice is yours! Note that the ice cream is flavored just with the lemon zest and not the lemon juice. The acidic juice can curdle the milk if added directly to it. And, to my taste buds, lemon juice doesn’t mix as well with ice cream. The zest, on the other hand, contains aromatic oils that impart a strong lemony, but not acidic, flavor to the ice cream. Those oils don’t curdle the milk, and, if anything, give the ice cream an even smoother texture.
This recipe makes a little more than 1 quart of ice cream.
Huckleberry Sauce (or Blueberry Sauce)
- 1 cup berries
- 1 tsp water (yes, just 1 tsp is enough because the berries soon burst as you cook making the mixture watery)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Pick the berries over and remove any little pieces of leaf or stem.
- Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it simmers and berries begin to burst.
- Reduce the heat and continue to summer, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens a little. Total cooking time will be 10-15 minutes. If you are using huckleberries and want to remove the seeds, puree the sauce, and then strain.
- Refrigerate until ready to use. Allow it to fully cool before using it in the ice cream. You can use all of it as swirl for 1 quart of ice cream.
Lemon Ice Cream Base
- Grated zest of 3 large lemons
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 tbsp corn syrup
- Pinch of salt
- 3 large eggs
- Add all ingredients except the eggs to a 4 quart saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for about 1 hour to steep.
- In a medium bowl, whisk eggs to break up yolks and blend them well with the whites. Set aside.
- Return the steeping cream mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
- Temper the eggs by drizzling about 1 and 1/2 cup of the hot mixture into the eggs, while whisking the eggs vigorously.
- Carefully pour the tempered eggs mixture into the 4 qt saucepan with the remaining hot cream mixture, while whisking the contents of the saucepan. Since the eggs are already tempered, you do not need to drizzle it, but do not dump it into the pot all at once, because you might scramble the eggs.
- Return the saucepan to the heating element and cook, stirring constantly (preferably with a heat proof spatula, but a spoon will do), over medium-low heat, until mixture thickens and reaches a temperature of about 170-175 degrees F (use a candy thermometer). It should take 7-14 minutes (usually takes me 8-10 minutes) to thicken and reach that temperature range, depending on your heating element, and your pan. The mixture should be noticeably thicker than the raw milk/cream mixture. Do not be tempted to crank up the heat to hasten the process, because you might scramble the eggs.
- Remove from heat and immediately pour the hot custard through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl.
- Put it straight into the fridge, or pre-cool in a cold water bath for about a half hour before refrigerating. Stir occasionally during the first half hour of cooling.
- Cool completely in refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Combining Sauce and Base to make Huckleberry Swirl Lemon Ice Cream
- Churn the lemon ice cream base in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.
- Spoon the ice cream into the your freezer storage container, alternating with layers of huckleberry or blueberry sauce. End with a spoonful or two of the sauce. Do not stir.
- Store in the freezer until ready to eat.
Shared on: Heritage Homesteaders Hop #11, Homestead Barn Hop #159, Homemade Mondays #80, Backyard Farming Connection #80, Tuesday’s Table, Homeacre Hop #70, From the Farm blog hop, Weekend ReTreat #67, Simply Natural Saturdays, Tuesdays with a Twist #59