Blueberry Season

Yesterday I knew summer was here.

icecream-blueberry-005

How did I know it? No, not because the temperature was – again! – over 90 (over 32 C) in the shade; 116 (47 C!!!) in the sun insisted the thermometer (wish I misread that). Not because the creek is drying up – although it is and we need rain badly. Not because it’s muggy, because it surely is and it has been feeling like August for too many days (somebody actually installed a small fan in the new chicklets’ pen – that’s how hot and stifling it is).

No, it’s  because the day before yesterday the first empty cicada shell was spotted, still hanging onto the smoke tree trunk, split open in the back -  the cicada who lived in it for many years under the earth now gone to live in the sun for a few months, singing. Yesterday I heard the first cicada sing. The sure sign of summer. Cicadas do not make mistakes.

Yesterday morning I also picked blueberries at a small pick-your-own bramble farm, a few miles from me. I suppose that’s another sign of summer. Despite the sweltering heat, I picked precisely 11.52 pounds of sun-gorged blueberries – about  9 1/4 quarts.  6.5 pounds went into the freezer; quite a few just disappeared seemingly in thin air…; more were made into a fresh blueberry and blueberry jam tart (really yummy and so much easier to eat than cream tart in this hot weather); some were turned into sauce; and more are awaiting their fate: what will it be be? blueberry pancakes? blueberry buttermilk sherbet? blueberry cake? blueberry jam? blueberry syrup? more blueberry tarts (I’ve got tart shells in the freezer after all).

Meanwhile, while we ponder the possibilities, there is always reliable ice-cream. Those who’ve been reading this blog for a while know I love to make ice-creams and sorbets (see here, here, here and here for a few favorites). Blueberry Ice-Cream is simple to make, and the pectin in the blueberry reacts with the cream to create a very dense texture – gelato-like with, of course, a delightful color. The sweetened blueberry purée – left to its own device in the fridge – will actually gel, turning into a pudding-like blobby thingy.

You make the blueberry purée, measure and everything else is proportional to 1 cup of purée. If you have extra purée, add sugar to taste: you then have a great sauce for ice-creams (yep, more ice-cream) or yogurt,  in fools, parfaits and other layered desserts, as the base for a mousse, to make jelly etc etc. You get the drift.

Blueberry Ice Cream

  • Blueberries (about 1 heaping pint)
  • water
  • sugar (about 3/4 cup)
  • lemon juice (about 1 Tablespoon)
  • heavy cream (about 2 cups)
  1. In a non-reactive sauce pan, heat blueberries with a little water (just enough to prevent the berries from sticking) and cook until they start to release their juice and are soft – about 10 minutes. Puree in the blender.
  2. Measure the purée.
  3. To each cup of warm blueberry purée, add 3/4 cup sugar and 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, and stir until sugar is melted. (or whirl in the blender)
  4. Add 2 cups heavy cream, mix well. Chill.
  5. Process in ice-cream maker.

Update:

It’s way too hot to bake anything! and I felt too lazy to make jam. So Blueberry Sherbet it was. Using buttermilk which I had on hand. Surprisingly good – closer in texture to ice-cream than to frozen yogurt – a very good mouth feel indeed, due I suppose to all that pectin! SO for those of you wtaching their fat intake, or for those who want a lighter dessert try the Blueberry Sherbet.

Blueberry Sherbet

  • Blueberries (about 1 heaping pint)
  • water
  • sugar (about 3/4 cup)
  • lemon juice (about 1 Tablespoon)
  • buttermilk (about 2 cups)
  1. In a non-reactive sauce pan, heat blueberries with a little water (just enough to prevent the berries from sticking) and cook until they start to release their juice and are soft – about 10 minutes. Purée in the blender.
  2. Measure the purée.
  3. To each cup of warm blueberry purée, add 3/4 cup sugar and 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, and stir until sugar is melted. (or whirl in the blender)
  4. Chill thoroughly. Do not add the buttermilk to the warm blueberries as this may curdle the buttermilk. Not pretty. We are trying to make sherbet here, not blueberry cheese!!!
  5. Once the puree is cold, it will gel. Put back in blender, add 2 cups buttermilk, whirl until thoroughly mixed.
  6. Process in ice-cream maker.

Locavore Log: Blueberry from Road’s End Bramble Farm, cream and buttermilk from Trickling Spring Creamery.

11 comments

  1. Julia says:

    I have a blueberry bush in my yard, but I’ll be lucky if I harvest a dozen! Your ice cream looks wonderful, though… Perhaps I just need to head to the farmers’ market to supplement my stash ;)

  2. Ed Bruske says:

    Oh, yeah. That looks good. We picked 14 pounds of blueberries at Butler’s Orchard the other day. All of it’s frozen now for future cobblers, smoothies, etc. But Lane also made a blackberry ice cream that was quite good. I can’t eat much of it because of the sugar. But Lane says there isn’t that much sugar in it. Great stuff.

  3. Vanille says:

    mmm… Je me rapproche dangeureusement de l’écran !
    Cette glace a l’air excellente !

  4. Sylvie, how perfect is your timing. I’m using up last year’s freezer bounty and raspberries are thawing now as cane ripe are a week away. I will subsitute them in the sherbert recipe and thank you profusely a coast away when I likely eat the whole quart in one sitting. Merci! TC

  5. Update! Sylvie, I made this sherbet substituting raspberries–amazing! I will be using this recipe all summer long for any and all berries.

  6. sabine says:

    miam miam tu me fais envie….

  7. Sylvie says:

    so glad it worked for you. I like the slight tanginess of the buttermilk against the sweetness of the berries. I can’t wait for my raspberries to ripen

  8. Rob says:

    Greetings, I arrived here via Trout Caviar and am a foodie. Your blueberry sherbet sounds and looks delicious. Being an amateur, what is the purpose of the lemon juice?

    I’ve been making sorbet in my ice cream maker, simple and easy. So far I’ve made blackberry, raspberry, blackberry/Sangiovese wine, and kiwi.
    1-1/2 pound of fruit puree’d and seeded (except Kiwi)
    1/2 cup water
    3/4 cup sugar
    I leave out the lemon juice and egg white fearing they cloud the intense fruit flavor.

  9. sylvie says:

    Hi Rob – thanks for stopping by (and apologies for the lateness in responding).
    I find the taste of blueberry to be a little flat sometimes, sweet but “flat”, so I add lemon for taste, to balance things out, or bring the flavor forward. Tarter fruit like raspberries don’t call for lemon to me. But it’s all a matter of taste!

  10. [...] like to mix them with other berries for berry salads (recipe at the bottom of the post). They make excellent ice-creams and sherbets – try it with a Reine De Saba (almond and chocolate [...]

  11. [...] This version came by accident: I wanted to make sherbet with buttermilk (something similar to this blueberry sherbet) but there was none in the fridge. There was however sour cream, so that is what I used. Instead of [...]

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