Huckleberry Ice Cream
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 huckleberries , fresh or frozen (340 grams)
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar (66 grams)
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream (475 ml)
- 1 cup whole milk (237 ml)
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar (132 grams)
- Pinch of salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh huckleberries (170 grams)
- 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.
27 Comments on “Huckleberry Ice Cream”
I’m a little ashamed to say I hadn’t heard about huckleberries before! I guess it will be hard to find some where I live but I’ll try, because this ice cream looks too good not to give it a go. So fingers crossed for me!
Oh and by the way, it looks like you had a lovely vacation, I love every single photo!
Sounds like a wonderful vacation! I wish I was able to get huckleberries! This sounds great!
What a gorgeous color! Makes me want to track down some huckleberries.
Thanks Barbara! I wish they were easier to find here in Salt Lake.
Fantastic recipe! Picked my huckleberries in the morning made pie and huckleberry ice cream in the afternoon. Great day!
Sounds like a wonderful day. Thanks Heidi!
I Live in Northern Idaho and every year I can and freeze about 5-6 gallons of fresh picked huckleberries! I am Blessed! Anyway I have never made Ice cream with eggs and am going to try this recipe in the morning to make for a dear friend with cancer and he so needs to gain weight so I am hoping with him eating this daily it will help him to gain…My question is once this is frozen is it stoppable or hard as a rock?
Hi Donna! So jealous of all of those huckleberries! This ice cream will freeze fairly solid, though that will also depend some on the temp of your freezer. Simply leave it on the counter for 10-15 minutes before scooping. 🙂
Where do you go pick huckleberries?
You referenced using sugar in steps one and two. What is the measurement for step two? I added the 1/3 cup sugar to the compote. Thank you!
oops! sorry! bad vision!
So does this recipe require 3 cups total of huckleberrirs? 2 for compote and another 1 cup at last of churning?
Best huckleberry ice cream recipe I’ve ever tried! Excellent job! We used most of our huckleberries for jam this year and had precious few left so I didn’t put the whole berries in at the end. It was still awesome!
We don’t have fresh huckleberries so I was wondering if you could substitute preserves for the compote?
Sure, that’d work!
What size of ice cream maker did you use? I have a 6 quart one and I want to know if I need to double my recipe to fit my size.
Hi Brenda! I have a 1.5 quart ice cream machine I believe. Not sure if you’ll need to double this recipe so it will work with your machine or not, perhaps the user manual has a minimum quantity required. Hope this helps!
I made the ice cream this weekend after picking huckleberry in my neighbor’s backyard. It was my first time having and using huckleberries. The taste of the ice cream was phenomenal! However the seeds in the ice cream were something I did not like at all! Are the seeds normal? Should the compost be sieved to remove the seeds first?
My first Huckleberry ice cream and it was wonderful and easy to follow recipe. I am printing this one to keep!! Thank you!!🥰
Absolutely wonderful. Two cups of wild hucks are precious,but this is absolutely the way to spend them :).
This is really nice!
I grew up in Washington State eating wild huckleberries while playing in the Northwest Woods. This recipe promises to revive old memories.
huckleberries I remember from the Northwest woods of Washington were red and it seemed that only I could find them. They were a coveted pride for my mother and I. And I was highly valued for always finding the best berries!
I remember those. The only place I have ever found them was Lake Roesiger. I used to spend summers there as a kid. Haven’t found them since…
I live in Idaho and ended up with about 6 cups of huckleberries recently. I’ve been craving berry ice cream, so here I am.
I made this exactly as described and it’s the smoothest, creamiest ice cream I’ve ever made. I was skeptical of making the custard with whole eggs (normally use yolks only) but it turned out great!