Berries are definitely my favorites when it comes to summer fruits. And blackberries -- well, they pretty much take the cake as far as I'm concerned.
Because they don't ship well, you'll seldom find blackberries in the market . And the sheer rarity of them probably fuels my seemingly insatiable desire for them. However, if (like me) you're lucky enough to find a local source for them, you may be able to get your fill during the latter days of summer.
If you've ever been fortunate enough to pick your own, the flavor of blackberries -- tart, yet sweeter then their distant cousin the raspberry -- is likely to conjure nothing less than images & memories of sweltering summer days, brambly thorn-ridden bushes, and the inevitable purpled fingers.
This year, I happened to have sourced my berries at Outpost, our local food co-op. There weren't many, but I bought up everything that I could, knowing that I'd find a use for them before they turned bad. I didn't quite have enough berries to make Megan's Blackberry Basil Jam (though I'm still haunted by the thought of it). And, as much as eating pints of berries out of hand sounded like a great plan, I really wanted to stretch it out as far as I could -- to prolong the joy, so to speak.
To be honest, there wasn't much conversation at all before we decided on making a batch of ice cream. No surprise there, right?
The recipe for the ice cream is basic -- just a rich vanilla base with a blackberry swirl. That said, I want to share a couple of pieces of information with you while I'm writing all of this down.
We mashed 1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries with a fork and about 3-4 tablespoons of sugar and a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. We took David Lebovitz's advice and added a bit of vodka to the berries to keep them from freezing solid, and then we layered the blackberries in with the churned ice cream. The trick didn't work quite as well as I'd hoped (the berries froze a bit more solid than I would have liked) -- not sure exactly why. But, I plan to play around with the proportions of berries to alcohol next time to see what I can come up with.
©BURP! Where Food Happens