It’s ICE CREAM and BERRY Season!!!! I’m not sure if I could be any more excited! I have a great love of both so this is by far my favorite flavor time of year. It’s time to whip up a batch of Mixed Berry Swirl Ice Cream.
+ This post is brought to you by Ball® Fresh Preserving Products by Newell Brands +
Mixed Berry Jam Recipe
Last year, I was super honored to be invited to Newell Brands’ Ball® Fresh Preserving test kitchens to learn how to make Mixed Berry Jam, and the rest my friends, has been history. I’ve been a canning fool ever since. Jams, peaches, pickles, pickled jalapeños… Let’s just say that 2017 was the year of preserving in the WhipperBerry household much to the joy of my family. We’ve all fallen in love and are so excited for this year’s preserving season to kick-off.
This last weekend I whipped up a small batch of the Ball® Mixed Berry Jam recipe so that I could then use it as a scrumptious addition to some homemade ice cream I was planning on making. This jam recipe really couldn’t be any easier. It’s a great recipe to start with and I love that you can make it in small batches AND have total control over how much sugar you add. You don’t have that opportunity with commercially prepared jams. I had the opportunity to learn from Newell Brands’ Ball® canning experts just how easy this jam is to make.
Mixed Berry Swirl Ice Cream Recipe
Here my friends… Is the star of the show, my mixed berry swirl ice cream recipe. Let’s just say, it’s divine.
It’s creamy with that sweet and tart flavor of the berries. Being that it’s homemade, it has a totally different luscious texture that your taste buds are going to fall head over heels for. Commercial ice cream makers whip a lot of air into their ice cream which is a process that the home cook doesn’t have the equipment to do. Therefore, homemade ice cream has the taste and texture more like premium ice cream or gelato… WHICH I LOVE!
Another thing that makes this ice cream a little different is that it is made without eggs. I KNOW! I was shocked when I found this recipe as well. I grew up in a family that liked to make homemade ice cream every once in a while and the ice cream base recipe always called for egg yolks. In my mind, that’s what made it so decadent. In reality, the egg yolks not only made it dreamy but, it also helps to stop the formation of ice crystals which is very important in ice cream making. Without the eggs, what is going to stop the formation of ice crystals then?
Mark Bittman, the award-winning author of the How to Cook Everything Series, sings the praises of this type of ice cream base in his New York Times article where I originally found the recipe for a simple vanilla ice cream. This recipe calls for a cornstarch slurry and cream cheese to help with the formation of ice crystals. Becuase this isn’t a traditional custard base, it makes this recipe a lot easier to make and also very forgiving. Therefore, if this is your first rodeo with the ice cream maker, this recipe is perfect!
Ice Cream Making Supplies
When it comes to ice cream making, you need to be prepared with a few supplies that make the process a whole lot easier.
- Ice cream maker – I’m a traditional girl and I love the classic wooden bucket ice cream maker. When I was a girl, I think my parents used the old hand crank ice cream maker to keep us kiddos under control during the summer. We had to sit there and crank the machine for 40 minutes or longer, which kept us kiddos occupied for a while. Luckily, we also have the charm of those classic wooden bucket ice cream makers with an electric crank so no more tired arms!
- Ice cream base storage – this ice cream base recipe makes exactly a quart of the base. Naturally, a Ball® Quart Wide-Mouth Jar is the perfect way to store your ice cream base. However, to avoid thermal shock, you’ll want to make sure you invert the jars and then warm them by running under hot water before you ladle the hot ice cream base into the jar. Make sure to dry the inside of the jar before adding the the ice cream base.
- Ice cream storage container– Glass jars ARE NOT the best option when it comes to storing your ice cream due to the nature of freezing. However, Ball® Plastic Freezer Jars with special snap-on lids work great!
Before you can start your ice cream, you’ll need to make up a small batch of the mixed berry jam. You can find that recipe at the top of this post. Make sure to allow for the jam to fully cool and jell before you add it to your ice cream.
This is one of those recipes that the kiddos can help with from start to finish and they will love making real ice cream.
Mixed Berry Swirl Ice Cream
Yield 4-5 servings
This ice cream is so fantastic and super easy to make. All you need are a few ingredients and you'll be whisked back to your childhood!
- 2 1/4 cups whole milk, divided
- 5 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 ounces cream cheese, very soft
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 vanilla bean, optional
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons of mixed berry jam
- Make the cornstarch slurry- Place a 1/4 cup of the milk and cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk until the cornstarch is fully dissolved.
Smooth out the cream cheese - Place the cream cheese and 1/4 cup of the milk in another small bowl and whisk until smooth then, whisk in the salt.
Simmer the milk - Place the remaining 1 3/4 cups milk, sugar, cream along with the honey in a medium saucepan and whisk to combine. (If you are using a vanilla bean) Lay the vanilla bean flat on a cutting board and slit it open lengthwise. Use the tip of the knife to scrape all the vanilla beans into the saucepan, then toss in the whole vanilla bean pod. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking frequently. Reduce the heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Thicken the ice cream base - Whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into the cornstarch slurry. Slowly pour this back into the hot milk, whisking constantly. Return to the medium heat and cook, whisking frequently, until it comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from the heat. Whisk in the cream cheese mixture. Remove the vanilla bean husk. Whisk in the vanilla extract.
Chill the ice cream base - Chill this ice cream base for at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. If you are in a hurry, you can also pour your ice cream mix into a quart jar and submerge it in an ice water bath. (Remove the lid of the jar being careful to not get any water into the jar.) Stir every few minutes until the ice cream base is nice and chilled. This will cool your base very fast and very thoroughly.
Churn the ice cream base - The goal of churning the ice cream is to freeze the base while stirring the ice cream constantly so that large ice crystals don't form in the ice cream. You will need to follow the instructions for your ice cream maker for this step.
10. Stir in mixed berry jam - No matter what kind of ice cream maker you use, the freshly churned ice cream will still be very soft and even runny after it has been churned.
Adding the jam is best done AFTER you have finished with the ice cream maker. I actually borrowed a trick from Starbucks and swirled the jam onto the inside of the plastic jar before I even put the ice cream in the jar. Then, I filled the plastic jar half way and put a spoonful of jam on the top. I filled the plastic jar the rest of the way, leaving about 3/4 of an inch at the top of the jar to allow for expansion. Then I added another spoonful of jam. Then I took a knife and gently stirred the ice cream in ONE figure eight pattern. You want this ice cream to be swirled not totally stirred in.
Harden the ice cream in the freezer - In order to get that scoopable texture, and to let the flavors bloom, it's best to freeze the ice cream for at least a few hours before eating.
Storage - The ice cream can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. Keep the plastic wrap or waxed paper pressed against the surface at all times to keep ice crystals from forming.
Serving - This ice cream is best served after it has been out of the freezer for a few minutes and had some time to thaw a little bit. I like to serve it in the NEW Ball® Stars and Stripes Keepsake Jars. I layer the ice cream with fresh berries and then top it all off with some fun cookies.
You can even send them home with your friends or give as a quick gift for a neighbor in these great jars.
Disclosure + I am a paid partner for Newell Brands, makers of Ball® Fresh Preserving Products. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.