Blueberry Pie Ice Cream

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There’s still a little bit of summer left, which means there’s still time for more ice cream.

A couple of years ago, I tried blueberry pie ice cream at a local shop in Lexington. It was flat-out fantastic. Chunks of still-flaky pie crust surrounded by creamy blueberry goodness… Where can you go wrong?

Blueberry 5

When my mom loaned me her ice cream maker last summer, one of the first things I tried to make was blueberry pie ice cream.  It took me a couple of tries, but I came up with a pretty tasty version.  The loan on the ice cream maker lasted until right before I moved, so it was only fitting to make one last batch of the blueberry pie ice cream before returning it.  And someday, when I get my own ice cream maker, you can bet this is one of the first things I’ll make!

I know, I know, this is a time-consuming recipe.  If you do the entire thing at once, it’ll take you a couple of hours as well as some additional freezing time.  But never fear!  There are some simple shortcuts.  You can make the pie crust up to a couple of weeks in advance and freeze it.  If you don’t want to make the crust from scratch, you could also buy a premade roll-out crust from the store and bake it.  You can also make the custard base the night before, then run it through the ice cream maker the next morning.

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Blueberry Pie Ice Cream

Adapted from Thomas Keller’s pie crust and Ice Creams & Sorbets

For the pie crust
1 1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 tsp. sugar, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cold
1/4 cup ice water
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

For the ice cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup half-and-half or milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup + 2 tbs. sugar, divided
1/4 cup blueberry preserves, slightly heated
2 cups blueberries
1 tbs. lemon juice

1. The day before making the ice cream, make the pie crust.  Whisk together the flour, 2 tsp. sugar, and salt.  Cut in the butter with a pastry blender, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add the ice water, stirring until just combined.  Gather the dough into a flattened disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Take a three-foot length of wax paper, and fold it in half.  Put the chilled dough in the middle of the folded paper, and roll it out between the wax paper.  The shape of the dough doesn’t matter; just roll the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch.

3. Turn out the dough onto a cookie sheet, and sprinkle with cinnamon and the remaining 1/2 tsp. sugar.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, until slightly browned at the edges.  Let the crust cool.  Break it into bite-sized pieces, and freeze the pieces overnight.

4. For the ice cream: In the top of a double boiler, heat the cream and the half-and-half over simmering water until it begins to steam and little bubbles form around the edges.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar until the mixture is light yellow.

5. Slowly drizzle about 1/4 cup of the hot cream mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking all the while.  You don’t want the yolks to cook and curdle the mixture, so be sure to add the cream slowly and keep whisking.  Whisk in another 1/4 cup of the cream.  Add the yolk mixture back to the rest of the hot cream.  Cook over the simmering water, stirring frequently, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.  This can take up to 10 minutes.

6. Remove the top of the double boiler and place it in the refrigerator.  Stir every fifteen minutes for the first hour.

7. Meanwhile, mash the berries with the 2 tbs of sugar.  Add the lemon juice and stir.  Stir this into the custard.  Heat the blueberry preserves slightly and stir to break them up.  Add the preserves to the custard mixture,  and continue to refrigerate for at least four hours, until thoroughly chilled.

8. Add the custard mixture to the ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  In the last couple minutes of the cycle, add the frozen pie crust bits.  Freeze the ice cream for three or four hours before serving.