Blackberry ice cream

WELCOME to Cooking with Linnie

Come right in.

Have some coffee…


We were just outside picking some nice ripe blackberries fresh off the vine.
I guess you missed that berry picking part. (Next time tune in earlier.)

bowl of blackberries

Now, here at Cooking with Linnie we are not fond of big electric machines that we don’t really have space for (no microwave oven here), but we make exception for the electric ice-cream maker.

ice cream makerIce cream maker but without the bowl & with the paddle upside down.

In the old days, a few years back, I used to make ice-cream in a bucket with cracked ice and salt and a hand-crank and lots of time and then what do you do with all that salty water?

ice cream maker bowl

Here’s the ice cream maker’s special bowl. (It’s the part that spins when the machine is working.)  I don’t want to know what miraculous likely carcinogenic liquid matter is locked inside the walls of the bowl, but it stays crazy cold. It takes a few hours to freeze the bowl so I just store it in the freezer between ice-creamings.

You can mix up a fabulous recipe and, after freezing for about 30 minutes, you have approximately a quart of ice-cream– and you know exactly what is in it.

Today we will be making blackberry gelato.  (It is made with milk instead of cream, so it will have a gelato-type lower fat content.) You can always make this recipe with a bucket-&-ice freezer if you like…

To begin, I will take these lovely freshly harvested blackberries and smack them into submission. I mean I will puree them. You can use a mixer or a blender or a whisk or a hammer or whatever violent berry-smashing technique you prefer. (It can be therapeutic.)

strain out the blackberry seeds

Next I squish them through a screen sieve to get out most of the seeds. (If this all seems like berry abuse well you should have felt the thorns on those bushes.)

It takes about 4 cups of berries to end up with 2 cups of seedless blackberry puree or, as we like to call it, Elemental Blackberry Ingredient. (We don’t really call it that.)

So you leave the strained blackberry-whatever in a bowl and make the rest of the cream mix.

Put four egg yolks in a bowl with a cup of sugar. (Save the egg whites for adding to some fluffy thing you will think of later.) Stir this vigorously until it is a vigorously stirred mix of egg yolks and sugar.


Leave that bowl sitting around maybe beside the bowl of blackberry-whatever.

Put two cups of milk (I use 1% milk) in a saucepan. Heat it up, stirring some, till it’s about to simmer (don’t burn it!) then take it off the stove.

Mix the egg/sugar mixture into the hot milk.

stovePut the pan of milk/eggs/sugar BACK on the stove on medium (I never do anything on medium so maybe medium HIGH) and stick a thermometer in there and stir and cook to about 170 degrees F. (some other number Centigrade — I have no idea what) to kill whatever deadly diseases inhabit raw eggs.

Take the kettle off the heat (and turn off the stove– how many times do I have to tell you?) and let it cool to room temperature. Then add the blackberry-whatever, a teaspoon of vanilla and also, A SECRET INGREDIENT.

SECRET INGREDIENT: 1/4 cup of brandy

Make certain no one is looking, then stir in the Secret Ingredient.

(The Secret Ingredient adds of course a wonderful flavor but it also makes the ice cream easier to scoop since it inhibits freezing just a little bit. And that is the excuse you use if someone happens to catch you adding it.)

ice cream mix

Pour this purple cream (must find a different color lid) into a bowl, cover the top and refrigerate it all day or overnight. The colder the better. Ok go home now.

*    *    *    *   time passes  *   *    *    *

Well good morning– Welcome back to Cooking with Linnie!

We continue our instructions.

First you go to the basement and bring up the ice-cream machine’s frozen bowl from out of the freezer. (If there is someone else around try to get them to do it, it’s dark down there and who wants to climb stairs.)

Take the chilled blackberry cream mix out of the refrigerator and put it in some kind of pitcher because if you pour it from the bowl you will wish you were dead, what a mess, trust me on this.


Turn on the assembled machine, pour in the cream mix, lick the spatula and wait. Set the stove timer for thirty minutes, just so you have a rough idea about timing.

So now we have 30 minutes until ice cream … tick tick tick… but wait! there is a rift in the kitchen space-time continuum–and the timer rings! (Mr. Spock would love this.)

It is still soft ice cream at first. Just scoop it into its storage bowl.  The soft cream hardens quickly in the freezer. In the meantime there is usually a fight about who gets to lick which spoons, bowls etc.; it can be rough.

homemade blackberry ice creamThere now, very Martha-esque, with mint leaves.

This ice cream tastes like summer.  The flavor of the berries is vivid, the texture is dense, the brandy is very subtle in the background… You will love it.

(Hmm, should I be doing wine reviews?)

Someday I will make this recipe with strawberries, or peaches, or raspberries…


About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
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38 Responses to Blackberry ice cream

  1. Alberto says:

    I would have bet that that secret on ‘secret ingredient’ meant alcoholic!
    And you even tagged it! ‘brandy in ice cream’… What will family mothers think of you? But you don’t care huh? You look forward dreaming we all tell you ”yeah, what a great idea! why don’t you start a wine review?”.
    Did you know someone could take your Max away from you?
    God, I think that Tillie has had a stronger influence on you lately.

    PS: please come and visit my blog for the ‘croccantino al rhum’ gelato…

    • linniew says:

      I am guessing that “al rhum” indicates a rum additive in whatever it is is you are making Alberto. Which puts your concerns about my tiny bit of brandy in a very weak light indeed. I will be watching for the recipe at your blog. Also, Tillie doesn’t cook, and I would like to see anyone try to take Max (I do have a cannon as you know). So everything is fine here and I will be over for croccantino al rhum.

      • Alberto says:

        Really it was a joke you won’t find any croccantino al rhum gelato recipe on my blog. But I’m a good ice-cream consumer if you need maybe a tester. My italian name should add some credibility too…

        • linniew says:

          I know you can walk to great ice cream. Here in the wilds we must create our own. I would certainly ship you some if I had an iceberg to float it on but I am afraid that is one of the things (like a standing stone, ocean, & cemetery) that I don’t have. Besides we already ate all the blackberry. Sorry. But I do want to mention your new gravatar image, great photo, and now I can picture you out there working in your garden!

  2. Sheila says:

    licking the spatula is the most important step … now I am having a craving. Would you believe I have only had ice cream ONCE this summer?

  3. Roberta says:

    I soooooo wish we were neighbors. We could trade eggs for…berries or ice cream. Or coffee? That bowl of berries is beautiful. Hmmm….sorry for the alliteration. Just couldn’t put it any other way.

    • linniew says:

      Yeah and I could live on another edge of the cemetery! (I would maybe even prefer a cemetery to an ocean, I don’t know I go back and forth about it.) But the eggs! We used to have chickens and I REMEMBER the quiche and the eggnog and the dinner tarts and omelets. They are such BETTER eggs than from the market.– Nice alliteration Roberta

  4. b-a-g says:

    Looks purpley delicious. Would be perfect with more blackberry-whatever dribbled on top

  5. Fay says:

    Hey, that’s a brilliant few days, a fair then ice cream!

    We share a thermometer in common and an ice cream machine

    Blackberries here well, yuk, green and hard!

    Loved the coffee 🙂

    Ace instructions 🙂

    • linniew says:

      Do you think anyone has noticed that I am avoiding the gardens in my blog postings? The plants are looking a little worn out to put it kindly.

      Not surprised that you make ice cream Fay. It takes these kinds of options to get us through the more difficult challenges like where am I going to put chickens in that I have put garden tools in the old chicken house? I calculate that I have until next early spring to work this out, since that’s when the chicks become available around here. Look what you and Roberta have done to me!

  6. Lyn says:

    Aaaaaah! (Scream of tortured reader who lives where blackberries are Noxious Weeds and not allowed to be grown in case they topple the government and cause all our brains to implode.) Also, I don’t have an icecream maker. You are a cruel woman.

    • linniew says:

      Hi Lyn– oh have no doubts, I fight these blackberry vines like a noble warrior! But they are winning on a few battlefields, so I figure I might as well take advantage of that and steal their berries. I read a story once where the cities in the Pacific Northwest were somehow abandoned, and soon the blackberry vines came and grew over cars and houses and streets. I think of that sometimes…

      • Lyn says:

        The Blackerry that Ate Seattle – sounds like a movie idea! And eating them back only seems fair. Besides, the more berries you eat, the fewer seeds to spread the blackberries, right? So blackberry icecream is really a control measure. Mmmm, wonder if that would fly with my State Government…….

  7. Yum, yum, the Blackberries are just ripening here. Hopefully there will be dry weather for pickin.

  8. Oh my Hat, that Ice-cream looks berry-licious!! LOVE the last photo of the dish with the mint leaves – looks straight out of a recipe book!

  9. GirlSprout says:

    Mmm, I love gelato. It looks heavenly. I wish you could send samples via email, too.

  10. Carolyn♥ says:

    All I can say is …YUM!

  11. Dear Linnie, My mouth is watering! And I am so.o.o impressed. Martha couldn’t have done better. P. x

  12. kininvie says:

    Hi Linnie, I wrote you a long and luscious comment, but your site insisted I logged in and deleted all my fine words when I told it it was being ridiculous. You would have enjoyed it too, since it concerned Tillie and the aphrodisiac effect of brambles…..

    • linniew says:

      Oh Kininvie I am so sorry that WordPress was being stupid!
      So, um, could you POSSIBLY reconstruct the comment somewhat more expansively– or are you being Evil Kininvie? (Aphrodisiac brambles?!)

      • kininvie says:

        Me? Evil? Not a bit of it. I refer you to that well known Croatian website where you may read:

        “Aphrodisiac effect of blackberry fruit is known in the Arab nation where the blackberries respected leaders, and have a tradition of chewing blackberry leaves for strengthening sexual nadraaja.”

        I wouldn’t dream of translating ‘nadraaja’ on a public website – but be careful how you use that ice cream!

        • linniew says:

          I heartily thank you for recommending that Croatian website which is certain to be terribly well-known. The English translation is one of the funniest things I have read in ages. My favorite has to be “Blackberry fruit gladly eat children and have to be this will lead to picking blackberries.”

          How many children do you suppose they have lost to child-eating blackberries? Why would this promote blackberry picking? How could a blackberry eat a child anyway? (It is just wonderful how the Internet makes one think about things. Like ‘nadraaja’ for example– we will all be thinking about that for a while.)

          So sorry to have suspected your intentions Kininvie.

  13. Grace says:

    That’s it. I’m getting me one of those ice cream maker-thingies. This looks wonderful! Thanks for inviting me to your class.

  14. Cathy says:

    OMG Linnie, you are a hoot!!! But I love your directions. I’m going to try this with our dogwood berries! Hugs to you for a great chuckle this AM.

  15. Am calculating how many Lactaid I will have to consume to eat some of this gelato…. I WANT GELATO!!!!

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