I hope you’ll begrudge me at least one more homemade ice cream recipe this summer— this one made with huckleberries fresh from the mountains of Idaho.
We’re just back from a week spent at my family cabin in McCall, a small lakeside town north of Boise. It’s a longstanding summer tradition I look forward to all year long. We swam, built sandcastles, lounged in the sun, roasted marshmallows, enjoyed sunsets over the lake, and played card games long into the night.
I took a whole week off from the internet and my blogging life, ignoring email, twitter and the like. It was fabulous. But now I’m back! And refreshed and excited to share a recipe I created in our tiny and primitive cabin kitchen.
We’ve lucked out two years in a row to have our time in McCall overlap with the short huckleberry season (check out last year’s huckleberry buckle recipe). We don’t have to venture far to find them, and with the help of everyone in my family, it wasn’t long before we’d picked more than we could possibly use up in the few days we had left of vacation.
Not that we didn’t try.
I brought my ice cream maker along with us to Idaho specifically with huckleberry ice cream in mind, knowing it would be a perfect sweet accompaniment to our mountain adventures. I hadn’t planned on sharing the recipe, but it was just so beautiful and perfect, I couldn’t help myself. It just doesn’t get much better than homemade ice cream made with berries picked fresh that morning. It’s smooth, creamy, and the fresh huckleberry flavor is like a summer dream.
Huckleberries are a smaller, more tart, and less common cousin of the blueberry and if they are hard to find near you (which is the case for almost everyone outside of the Northwest), blueberries will make a fine substitute.
baking tip:How to use an ice bath
Making homemade ice cream can be a somewhat long and tedious process— heat it up, cool it down, churn it, freeze it. The delicious payoff makes all the work worth it, but that still doesn’t make the waiting any easier.
Using an ice bath to cool things down quickly can do a lot to speed the process up. Once you’ve finished cooking your ice cream base, remove the pan from heat and place it inside a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and water. Make sure that the water comes a little up the sides of the pan, but is not so deep that it could overflow into the pan. Stir the base to release heat for about 5-10 minutes, until it is cold to the touch.
Huckleberry Ice Cream
- 2 cups (340 grams) huckleberries, fresh or frozen
- 1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 cups (475 ml) heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup (237 ml) whole milk
- 2/3 cup (132 grams) granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (170 grams) fresh huckleberries
- To make the huckleberry compote, combine the huckleberries and sugar together in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar as the berries burst and release their juices. Simmer until mixture is reduced and thickened, about 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. Let cool completely.
- To make the ice cream base, heat 1 cup of the heavy cream, milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan set over medium heat until steaming. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs in a large bowl. Add the heated milk mixture in a small steady stream into the eggs while whisking continuously until it is all incorporated.
- Return mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1 cup heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract. Chill mixture completely in the fridge, then stir in the huckleberry compote.
- Freeze ice cream in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions, adding 1 cup fresh huckleberries during the last 5 minutes of churning. Transfer ice cream to a large bowl or plastic container and freeze until hard, about 2-3 hours.