Last weekend, my husband, daughter and I went black raspberry picking. Now, there are a few things you should know about black raspberries. First of all, they are delicious. I do not like the taste of red raspberries much, but black raspberries? Wonderful! Second, they are only in season for a short amount of time. Look for local fruit farms to see who has them in season. We have picked them in northern Ohio later in the summer, so I believe it just depends on what part of the country you are in as to when they are ripe.
Lastly, know that they are hard to find for sale other than picking them yourself. I have never seen them in a grocery store or farmer’s market before. My guess is because of their short harvest season. Picking them ourselves was so much fun. It will be a summer family tradition in our house for sure. We had a pretty cute helper who picked a lot of her own black raspberries!
The best part of picking so many delicious berries was the homemade recipes I got to try! I made ice cream, crisp bars and a pie and there were even leftovers for a yogurt mix-in and plenty to eat on their own!
However, the main reason we picked the black raspberries was to use them to make homemade ice cream. Ice cream is my favorite dessert, and making our own is so much fun! This brought back many childhood memories of making homemade ice cream with my dad. My parents used to have an old, wooden hand-crank ice cream maker and some of my fondest early childhood memories are using this to make the best tasting ice cream!
The following recipe for homemade ice cream was adapted from http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/blackberry-ice-cream-part-1/ .
The link contains a recipe for blackberry ice cream. All I did was keep the same ingredients and changed the fruit to black raspberries. This summer, I think I will try making this recipe with other fruits, such as blueberries, strawberries or even peaches.
Start by rinsing two pints (this is approximately 20-24 oz) of black raspberries in a colander.
Next, put black raspberries in a large pot with half of a squeezed lemon and 1/4 cup of sugar. Cook on low to medium heat for about 20 minutes.
While the black raspberries are warming, occasionally smash them down with a spoon to get all of the juice out of them. When they are finished, pour into a strainer with a bowl underneath to get all of the liquid out. Again, smash down berries with a spoon to make sure you get it all. You’ll want every last drop you can get!
Once all liquid is out, thoroughly wash the strainer as you will need it again. Set aside bowl of strained liquid. You can discard the seeds from the top of the strainer if you want. However, I save them to mix into plain yogurt. They also make a nice topping to toast! Next, in a separate medium sized pan, combine 1 1/2 cups of Half and Half and 1 cup of sugar. Whisk together then cook over low heat.
While the Half and Half and sugar mixture is warming up, put 5 egg yolks* in a separate bowl and either whisk by hand or use an electric mixer to beat until light yellow in color.
When the sugar is dissolved into the Half and Half mixture, it is time to temper the eggs. Using a large spoon or small measuring cup, place a little of the warm Half and Half mixture into the egg yolks and whisk together. Repeat this with a bit more of the warm mixture and continually whisk into the egg yolks.
Next add the egg yolk mixture slowly to the Half and Half mix. Continually stir or whisk over low-medium heat. You do not want the egg yolks to cook.
Continue stirring until the mixture reaches a custard consistency. Next, put 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream into a different, large mixing bowl. Using the strainer, strain the custard mixture into the bowl with the heavy whipping cream. This will be faster than when you strained the black raspberries, and you should be left with a small amount of waste in the strainer. Gently stir the custard mixture with the heavy whipping cream and discard waste.
Now you can mix the black raspberry liquid into the custard and whipping cream mixture.
Stir until completely combined.
Now it is time to refrigerate the mixture overnight. You can speed up the process using ice in a larger bowl around your other bowl or refrigerating for only 2 or so hours, but I have found overnight works best.
When you’re ready the next day, pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and follow the instructions for your machine.
While the ice cream maker is working, put your chocolate (I love dark, but you can use whatever you prefer) into a double broiler and melt the chocolate. If you do not have a double broiler, use a microwave safe bowl and slowly melt the chocolate in the microwave. Since you are going to the trouble of making homemade ice cream, buy a quality chocolate! Hint: Graeter’s sells their chocolate in their stores, and it tastes pretty amazing!
Once melted, you can drizzle the chocolate into the ice cream as it is still mixing. Make sure your ice cream maker is capable of this. If not, you can drizzle the melted chocolate into the ice cream and mix it after you take it out of the ice cream maker.
Once the ice cream maker is finished, scoop out the ice cream. You can eat it right away and it’ll be like soft serve (YUM!), or you can freeze it in a freezer safe container and scoop it out for later. If you freeze for later, the ice cream may be harder, like the consistency you would buy at the grocery store, but this recipe tends to stay pretty soft even after freezing.
What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
*A word about eggs. Per FDA guidelines, making a custard base for ice cream is safe as long as you follow safe handling and cooking guidelines. These can be found at https://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/homemadeicecream.html. In addition to what is stated above in the recipe, the FDA guidelines do suggest cooking the custard mixture to an internal temperature of 160F and refrigerating your custard base before adding other ingredients to it. You can also find pasteurized egg yolks at Whole Foods if you prefer to use those.