Friday, 27 May 2011

Pomegranate Blackberry Ice Cream

I have an ice cream tooth. Not a sweet tooth, per se. I can easily live without cakes or cookies or, gasp, chocolate - but I must have ice cream on hand at all times. The funny thing is, I only seem to make homemade ice cream in the summer. Why is that? Definitely a situation that needs remedying.

Ice cream is not that difficult to make. You need to master French custard, not too difficult - your only challenge is to go slow enough so as not to make scrambled eggs. Even then, you do get to strain out any small sins.

And figure out how you want to flavour your ice cream. I saw that my local grocer had both pomegranate juice and blackberries on sale - I thought ice cream. Well, wouldn't you?

As both the juice and berries are a little astringent - my good friend Sandy of Eat Real and At the Baker's Bench suggested keeping the fruit and custard components apart until churning, and macerating the berries in the simmering juice for a bit. Wise woman, she. It is good to be friends with a pastry chef. I just wish she lived closer.

If you are new to making ice cream - I suggest David Lebovitz's book The Perfect Scoop for great instruction and flavour ideas. Once you get going, I am sure you will come up with all sorts of interesting combinations.
And, as so many people ask - I use a Cuisinart ice cream maker, mine has a second bowl which I find very handy indeed.

Now, who wants some Pomegranate Blackberry Ice Cream?

Pomegranate Blackberry Ice Cream
KitchenPuppy kitchen

2 cups whipping cream (35%)
4 egg yolks
½ cup sugar, divided
¾ tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup pure 100% pomegranate juice
1 heaping cup blackberries
½ cup granulated sugar

For the custard:
Heat up the cream in a heavy bottom pot on medium. Add in most of the ½ cup sugar, keeping approximately 2 Tbsp back for the yolks. Stir gently now and then, heating until you see little bubbles start to form around the sides of the pot. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, whisk yolks with the 2 Tbsp sugar and vanilla, with a fork. While whisking, add some of the heated cream, little by little, to your eggs. Going very slowly and whisking gently all the while keeps you from making scrambled eggs. When you have slowly added about a ladle-full, your eggs are tempered and you can add them to the rest of the cream in the pot.
Put the pot back on the element, on medium, and - while slowly whisking, heat on medium for about 5 minutes. Your custard should get nice and thick and creamy.
Remove from heat and strain into a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap - right on the custard so as not to form a skin - and refrigerate overnight.

For the fruit: 
In a small pot, heat up pomegranate juice, blackberries, and sugar. Let cook on medium for a few minutes, mashing the berries lightly. Remove from heat and let cool in the fridge overnight.

The next day, combine the custard and fruit right before churning - churn for 20-25 minutes in your ice cream maker or according your your manufacturer's instructions. Empty into a plastic container and freeze for several hours before serving.
I used this awesome scoop here for presentation.