Blueberry buttermilk ice-cream.

Blueberries.
A splash of gin.
No fussy custard to toil over.
And yet it’s still so very creamy (and purple).

Blueberry ice-cream

For when you’ve got far too many blueberries, and it’s far too hot to bake a cake.

{ Based on an old Epicurious recipe }

Gather:
3 cups of blueberries¹
1/4 cup white/caster sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup buttermilk powder²
3 tbsp gin³

Then:

  1. Before you start, you’ll need to have the bowl of your ice-cream maker frozen solid — at least a 24-hour freeze.
  2. While you’re measuring out the blueberries, chuck out any yucky ones or bits of leaf/stem.
  3. Put the blueberries, sugars and salt in a medium saucepan and bring the whole lot to a simmer. You’ll want to stir constantly in the beginning, and squash some of the blueberries to get the sugar melting and the juices releasing.
    Blueberries
  4. Once all the sugar is dissolved and the berries are soft (about 10 minutes later), remove the saucepan from the heat and using a stick blender, carefully blend so as not to get purple everywhere. You’ll end up with a juice/syrup, rather than a purée.
  5. At this point you could strain the blueberry liquid to get rid of the bits of skin, but it’s not essential (I didn’t bother).
  6. Pour the milk and cream (straight from the fridge, ideally) into a large bowl.
  7. Add the blueberry liquid, buttermilk powder and gin, and attack it again with the stick blender.
    Blueberry ice-cream base
  8. Put the bowl of ice-cream mixture in the freezer for half an hour to an hour — at this point you just want to chill it, so it’s not warm when it’s time to churn.
  9. Set up your ice-cream machine, pour in the ice-cream mixture, and churn until it’s the consistency of soft-serve — anywhere between 20 and 40 minutes, depending on your machine.
  10. Scoop the ice-cream into a container and freeze it for a couple of hours. (Or eat it straight away, as soft-serve.)
  11. Serve with fresh chilled blueberries, or add vanilla soda for a lusciously mauve summer spider.
    Blueberry ice-cream

Notes:
¹About 2 pint-sized tubs, or maybe 4 small (Aussie-sized) punnets.
²If you can’t get your hands on buttermilk powder, any milk powder will do just fine.
³This, along with the fat from the cream, and the sugar from the sugar, helps your ice-cream set at a firm yet scoopable texture without being icy. But you can omit the booze if you wish/must.

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