Fruit in ice cream is a conundrum. Because of the generally high water content of fruit, it tends to turn into frozen rocks when added to ice cream. There are a couple of things you can do to mitigate this problem.
The first is to mix the fruit with a little lemon juice and sugar and let it sit for a couple of hours before adding it to the ice cream. This process is employed in my Strawberry White Chocolate Swirl Ice Cream. The sugar is an anti-freezing agent and will help the fruit not to become so hard that it breaks a crown, probably while you are out of town, on a weekend, when no dentist is available.
The second way is to make a fruit syrup, which you can either pour on top of your ice cream, or incorporate into it right after it comes out of your ice cream maker and before you put it into your freezer. This is the method I most often use.
The beauty of this recipe is that it can be used with all manner of berries. In the picture above, I have used exclusively blueberries. But you can also use blackberries or raspberries, or all three. My Triple Berry Cheesecake Ice Cream uses all three berries. If it did not, it would be called “Single Berry Cheesecake Ice Cream,” or “Double Berry Cheesecake Ice Cream.” You get the idea. With this recipe, you can either puree the berries (as I did with the blueberries in the blueberry topping you see above) or just mash them up with a potato masher, leaving some of the fruit intact. You can also strain the mixture if you want to remove the seeds and/or skins.
- 1/4 c. granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. corn starch
- 1/4 c. water
- 2/3 c. blueberries blackberries, or raspberries (or a combination of all three), fresh or frozen
- 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
Combine sugar and corn starch in a pan on the stove over medium heat. Gradually stir in the water until smooth.
Add berries and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened.
Slightly mash the berries with a potato masher, or pour the whole mixture into a blender and puree. Strain if desired.
Let mixture cool before adding to ice cream.