This blackberry swirl ice cream is a combination of my adoration of fresh, seasonal fruit, sweet, creamy desserts, and two little girls who are obsessed with all things purple. And ice cream. I mean, of course, ice cream.
I have beautiful memories of making homemade vanilla ice cream each summer at my grandparents’ home in Idaho when we would go visit them. My grandma would mix the ice cream base and pour it into the tall metal canister that my grandpa would carry out to the back porch and pack in ice and rock salt. Then he would churn it by hand in an old, saltwater stained ice cream maker. I loved helping with the churning and sitting there on the warm concrete steps on a hot summer evening talking with my grandparents while we accomplished the other tasks of preparing a summer meal like shelling peas or shucking the corn from their garden. It’s one of those memories that I look back on now and see as part of the real magic of my childhood and something I want to share with my girls. Although I have to say that it is SO much easier and nicer to be able to freeze ice cream using my KitchenAid ice cream mixer attachment that I just keep stored in my freezer so that it is ready whenever I want to mix up a batch for a special treat.
Maybe I will see if I can get my hands on that old-fashioned hand churn, just to give my girls the chance to make ice cream the way I grew up making it. But in the meantime, they definitely loved helping make this blackberry swirl ice cream by first picking the blackberries from a local fruit orchard that had bushes that were completely loaded in the dark, luscious berries.
I actually tried making blackberry ice cream a few different ways, including a completely purple version where the blackberry puree was stirred into the ice cream base like strawberry ice cream. But it wasn’t until I tried layering the most perfect homemade vanilla custard base with a fresh blackberry puree to create a swirled ice cream that I knew I had found the ice cream of my dreams. Every bite has ribbons of sweet purple blackberry puree in it and the ice cream base has the creamiest, most wonderful mouthfeel. And yes, that’s a real word and totally not something I made up. It means “the tactile sensation a food gives to the mouth.” I have tried too many homemade ice cream recipes that are either too gritty or end up leaving a yucky coating in your mouth, but this one has none of those problems. It is sweet, but not too sweet, and it freezes without getting all icy. And every scoop is gorgeous, with those vivid purple swirls tucked into dreamy white clouds of vanilla.
Also, you should know that this ice cream takes a warm piece of already scrumptious blackberry nectarine cobbler to a whole other level of goosebump inducing deliciousness. Just saying.
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