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.

If you love churning your own homemade ice cream as well, be sure to try some of other other popular flavors like Graham Canyon Ice CreamOld-Fashioned Fresh Peach Ice Cream, Huckleberry Ice Cream, and Coconut Macadamia Nut Ice Cream.

A scoop of homemade blackberry swirl ice cream in a bowl.

Blackberry Swirl Ice Cream

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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.

A child carrying a flat of fresh picked blackberries.

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 of this blackberry swirl ice cream 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.

Scoops of vanilla ice cream with blackberry swirls in a small bowl.

Also, you should know that this blackberry swirl 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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Blackberry Swirl Ice Cream

4.91 from 20 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
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.

Ingredients
  

Blackberry Swirl

  • 6 ounces blackberries fresh or frozen
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ Tablespoon cornstarch

Ice cream base

  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream divided
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 egg yolks

Instructions
 

  • Combine blackberries and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring and mashing the berries while cooking to help them release their juices. Once the berries have broken down, add the cornstarch, stirring well to combine and so that no chunks remain, and remove from heat. Strain mixture through a mesh strainer into a clean bowl, pressing the berries against the sides of the strainer to get as much juice out as possible. Discard the solid blackberry seeds that remain. Cover the blackberry puree and chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
  • Combine the whole milk, ½ cup of the heavy cream, sugar, salt and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins steaming and bubbling around the edges. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a separate bowl and set aside. When milk mixture is steaming and bubbling around the edges, remove 1 cup of it and slowly drizzle the hot milk mixture into the beaten yolks while whisking continuously, to temper the eggs. Make sure not to scramble the eggs by adding all the hot liquid too fast. Add remaining milk mixture and stir to combine into a thin custard. Pour the custard mixture back into the saucepan and continue cooking until it starts to coats the back of a wooden spoon (between 170 and 175 on a candy thermometer) - typically only 1-2 minutes.
  • Pour the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream into a medium bowl, then add the warm custard by first pouring through a clean mesh strainer into remaining heavy cream and stirring to combine. Cover and cool completely in the refrigerator (4-6 hours or overnight) before churning.
  • Once the custard base is thoroughly chilled, pour into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. My ice cream maker only takes about 20 minutes to reach a soft serve stage. Remove the churn paddle and, using a freezer safe container, layer a few scoops of ice cream with drizzles of the cold blackberry puree (there's no right or wrong way to do this, but I would recommend not stirring the puree in or your white vanilla base will turn purple!), and repeat until all the ice cream base and puree are combined. Cover and place in a freezer to cure for at least 4-6 hours so the ice cream can harden all the way through.

Notes

  • Storage: Keep your ice cream covered with plastic wrap or a lid in a freezer-safe container for 2-3 weeks in the freezer to prevent ice crystals from forming.
  • Frozen blackberries: There is no need to thaw frozen blackberries before using them in this recipe. However, you might want to add 1-2 tablespoons of water to help start them cooking down a bit.

Nutrition

Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 42mg | Potassium: 139mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 905IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Even though it's like 25 degrees outside I could eat ice cream year round. Love that this is swirled with fruit!

  2. 5 stars
    This ice cream looks so delicious! You have some gorgeous looking blackberries, as well! I love the memories you hold of your Grandparents too! Priceless!

  3. 5 stars
    I love fruity ice cream, and this recipe sounds and looks just delicious and I swear I could eat a whole lot of it right away ♥ Perfect for Valentine's day too!

  4. 5 stars
    Made this last night and it was excellent! The tart blackberries were a perfect counterpoint to the rich custard. Thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    Loved loved loved this the first time I made it - so much so that I doubled the recipe. Upon doubling, the custard split. Is this common? Will DEFINITELY make again, but stick to the original.

    1. I've never had the custard split, but I've also never tried doubling the recipe so I'm not sure if that's a common problem or not! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  6. Don't you think it's a little disengenuous to have a total time of 20 minutes at the beginning of the recipe when it takes 4-6 hours for the custard to chill and another 4-6 hours for the ice cream to harden?

    1. Thank you so much for commenting. I wrote this recipe a few years ago when my recipe formatter didn't include the option of allowing me to write in extra time like that. I didn't think to edit this post when I switched over, but once you brought this to my attention I added that information above. I appreciate you taking the time to let me know it was missing those details!

  7. Tried this recipe recently and my wife and I love it! I've been making homemade icecream for 25 years now and this is by far the best homemade icecream we've ever had. Thanks for the recipe. Don s.

  8. How much ice cream does this recipe make? Sorry if it’s on here already - I couldn’t find it! 

  9. I got the kids involved in picking the blackberries and making the ice cream at each step.  Needless to say this did not last long at our house!!!  It was delicious!  Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  10. This ice cream is so good! My husband and I were looking for a date night idea, and decided to make ice cream. We didn’t realize all the cooling that was needed, so it turned into a 2 day project, but WOW it was worth the wait. It’s rich and creamy and the texture is perfect. Will be making this again soon. 

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Erika! It's still one of my favorite flavors! This was one of the first recipes I ever posted on this site!

  11. This is worthy of 5 stars and worth the extra work. It was so creamy and delicious. Hands down, the best ice cream I've ever made. I think I will use this vanilla custard base for any of my ice creams from now on.