Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Homemade Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake Ice Cream

During a long weekend at the beach with my family earlier this year we visited an Amish creamery with an awesome selection of homemade ice cream. We all ordered different flavors to try, and while they were all delicious one in particular stood out: blueberry cheesecake.

I don't generally buy into the "strange" combinations (I love classic flavors, and I usually dislike cheesecake) but I was immediately drawn to the colorful, summery goodness. One taste and I was hooked; I wanted to visit the creamery again the next day, and months later I was still dreaming about this satisfying treat.

Naturally, I decided to make my own.

Graham Cracker Crust
1/3 c graham crumbs
1T sugar
1.5T butter

Press the mixture into a spring-form pan (I used these cute minis- thank you for the Christmas present 'Tanette!) and pre-bake at 325 for 7 minutes.

Cheesecake Filling
8oz whipped cream cheese
1/4c sugar
1/2tsp lemon juice
few drops vanilla
1 egg

Combine until smooth and spoon evenly into the pre-baked crusts. Continue to bake at 325 for roughly 25 minutes and allow to cool.

My favorite vanilla ice cream recipe is 2c heavy cream, 1c whole milk, 3/4c white sugar and 1T good vanilla extract. It requires no cooking, so it is very easy in a time crunch and tastes great; I love to make it when I have company for dessert because it is scoop-able directly from the freezer due to the high fat content. However, this staple recipe does not hold up as well as traditional custards when faced with mix-ins.

Custard Recipe
3 egg yolks
3/4c white sugar
1c whole milk
2c heavy cream
1T vanilla extract

Keep the heat very low while the custard thickens! If the mixture boils the egg will cook and separate... yuck. Patience :)

I tried to snap a photo of the thickened custard, but lighting wasn't quite right... It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and maintain form. Cool the custard and freeze according to your ice cream machine's instructions.

Blueberry Swirl
1c fresh blueberries
2T water
1T sugar

Cover and slowly cook the blueberries down into a thick syrup. Mash!

Roughly break up the cooled cheesecakes. Gently fold the pieces and cooled blueberry syrup into the frozen custard; freeze and enjoy!