Blueberry-Lavender Ice Cream

It’s been a long time coming, but it is oh-so-good. Floral and tart, this ice cream highlights summer’s harvest in the most refreshing way. I got lucky with some raw heavy cream and so decided to make this ice cream in the Philadelphia style as opposed to my standard custard-base. This was the first time I had made eggless ice cream, and while I will most likely not make it as often as I do the traditional kind (I’m not a big fan of cornstarch), I think it turned out well. It wasn’t as grainy as I thought it would be, and it really does let the flavor of the cream shine through. If you’ve never attempted ice cream at home, this method is a good place to start since you needn’t worry about egg-tempering and fussing with exact temperatures.

I had wanted to serve this as the finish to a dinner party I had Monday night, but my ice cream maker is on the fritz and it didn’t set up until about 10am the following morning. I know this because I may have eaten for breakfast. So to all my party guests who didn’t get dessert, I’m awfully sorry. Feel free to drop by and cash in your rain check at your earliest convenience. But, hurry, because I’m alone in the house with this stuff and I can’t make any promises to its longevity. The rest of the food at the party went off without a hitch, thankfully, and so I’ll be posting the menu and recipes sometime this week.

Blueberry-Lavender Ice Cream
makes 1 quart

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup lavender simple syrup
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1  cup whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 4-oz jar of blueberry-lavender jam (optional)

Combine blueberries and syrup in a bowl cover, and let macerate for about an hour. Meanwhile, make a slurry with the cornstarch and two tablespoons of the whole milk, set aside. Over moderate heat, bring the cream and remaining whole milk to a boil. Add the sugar and stir to combine. Lower heat and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved and cream is slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cornstarch mixture. Transfer to a large bowl and place in an ice bath.

Puree half of the blueberry mixture, add back to remaining berries, and mash slightly. You don’t want any whole berries, but you do want some texture. Add berries to cooling cream and mix well. Cover and place in refrigerator until completely cold. Freeze in ice cream maker to manufacturers instructions. To make jam swirls within the ice cream, place 1/4 of ice cream when you first remove it from the maker in a 1-quart Tupperware container. Place dollops of jam on top and swirl using a paring knife. Continue layering ice cream and jam to the top of the container. Place parchment or plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ice cream, cover with lid and freeze until solid.