Can you believe that it’s almost August? Soon the days will get shorter and shorter, and cool winds will start blowing in.
I’m definitely not ready for summer to be over yet, so I wanted to celebrate the season by making an ice cream that uses some of the things that I closely associate with summer: fresh herbs, berries, and pie.
My ice cream version of a summer pie is made with rosemary, blueberries, and a creme fraiche base. It’s sweet, tangy, and creamy, with just a hint of rosemary to balance out the sweetness. It also features chunks of pie crust for texture.
How to Make Creamy Ice Cream at Home
Making creamy ice cream at home comes down to two factors: how much fat you add and how you freeze it.
The fat in ice cream mostly comes from dairy and eggs; that’s why most recipes you will find out there feature heavy cream and egg yolks. In my opinion, you can’t beat the creaminess that comes from making a custard-based ice cream. This, however, involves tempering eggs with cream, and sometimes I just can’t be bothered to go through all that trouble.
That’s why, for this recipe, I chose to adapt this genius recipe from Food52. They suggest using creme fraiche in your ice cream base, which adds a ton of fat and creaminess without all the effort. For those of you who are not familiar with creme fraiche, I would describe it as a cross between cream cheese and sour cream. You can buy it at the supermarket or make your own. Just keep in mind that it will add a tang to your ice cream, thus the comparison to sour cream.
The second important thing when it comes to making ice cream is how you freeze it. I’ve had the best results when I use a larger container that exposes more of the ice cream’s surface area, like a loaf pan or a medium-sized, shallow Tupperware container with a tight-fitting lid. I don’t know the scientific explanation for this but, when I’ve frozen ice cream in this way, it seems to develop less ice crystals and stay more creamy.
Sadly, I have a tiny freezer, so this is not how I store most of my ice cream. I wouldn’t have room to fit anything else in my freezer if I always used flat containers that don’t really stack. After a lot of research, I settled on these wonderful Tovolo Sweet Treats Tubs. They come in a range of fun colors, are dishwasher safe, and have a tight-fitting silicone lid. The best part is that they only cost $9. I started out with one, and now I own three.
Finally, I’m not a huge fan of no-churn ice cream. I know that the internet loves it but, in my experience, it always comes out icy and weird. If you are in the market for an affordable and easy-to-clean ice cream maker, I recommend this Cuisinart one. I’ve had it for two years, and I absolutely love it. It’s also a great bargain at around $50.
Having said all of this, please keep in mind that homemade ice cream will never be as creamy as the store-bought varieties. I still recommend taking your homemade ice cream out of the fridge about 15-25 mins before you intend to consume it to make sure that it’s scoopable.
About the Flavors in This Ice Cream (and a Bonus Recipe for a Cherry Berry Pie)
The idea from this ice cream initially came to me after tasting Goose House Bakery’s unbelievably delicious thyme and blackberry tart at the very start of the summer. Molly, the mastermind behind the bakery, just has a knack for combining unusual flavors in ways that never cease to surprise and delight me. I will also be forever thankful to her for creating a gorgeous (and delicious) wedding cake for my wedding with only a week’s notice.
Before tasting Molly’s tart, I had never thought about combining herbs and berries together in a dessert, so I took her idea and applied it to ice cream hoping that it would come out as tasty as her tart. I have to say that I’m pretty pleased with the results.
Unlike the original Food52 recipe, mine requires a extra step: infusing the cream with the rosemary. It’s easier than it sounds, so I really hope that you give it a try. Also, after you’ve made your first batch of herb-infused ice cream, you’ll find it hard to stop. You can pretty much infuse it with anything, but some of my favorite infusions have featured orange zest, fennel, and mint.
Now, when it comes to adding the actual pie crust, I would recommend that you bake it the day before so that it is completely cooled before putting it in the ice cream. I stored mine in a plastic bag, and it was perfectly fine the next day. When your ice cream reaches soft serve consistency, remove the paddles that come with your ice cream maker (if applicable) and carefully fold chunks of the pie crust into the ice cream. If you continue to churn the ice cream while adding the crust, some of it will pulverize and make your ice cream sandy. If you are using a Tupperware container or a loaf pan, another fun thing to do is to put half your ice cream in the container, top it with some of the pie crust, add the other half of the ice cream mixture, and then top the whole thing with the rest of the crust pieces.
For the photographs in this post, I chose to bake a simple cherry berry pie, primarily because I had an excess of cherries and berries lying around. It came out so tasty that I wanted to share the recipe with you, even though it’s not my own. I used this recipe from Food & Wine but with blackberries instead of raspberries. I ended up with more filling than I needed because I used a 9 inch crust, so I added some water to the leftover fruit and brought it to a boil. I then simmered it until I got all thick and delicious and spooned it over the ice cream. Boom! Easy-peasy berry syrup.
Rosemary-Blueberry Pie Ice Cream (Naturally Sweetened)
This delicious ice cream is made with rosemary, blueberries, and a creme fraiche base. It's sweet, tangy, and creamy, with just a hint of rosemary to balance out the sweetness.
- 1 cup of creme fraiche (store-bought or homemade)
- 1½ cups of heavy cream
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 2 cups of blueberries
- 1 whole sprig of rosemary
- One store-bought pie crust, cooked according to directions on package and cooled to room temperature (homemade pie crust will also work)
- Step 1 The day before you are going to make the ice cream, bake the pie crust and let it cool. Break half of it into small chunks and store it in a plastic bag.
- Step 2 Put the cream and rosemary in a 2-quart saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Do not boil. Once the mixture comes to a simmer, turn the stove off, cover the saucepan, and let it steep for 30 mins. Remove the sprig of rosemary and discard. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before using. You can also make this the day before and store the cream in the fridge until you are ready to make the ice cream.
- Step 3 To make the ice cream: put the rosemary-infused cream, creme fraiche, blueberries, and maple syrup in a blender and blend until well combined. Pour this mixture into your ice cream maker and churn following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Step 4 You have two options to incorporate the pie crust. 1) When your ice cream reaches the consistency of soft serve, stop the machine and take the mixing paddle out. Add the pie crust chunks and gently fold them into the ice cream. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream tub or another container. 2) If you are using a Tupperware container or loaf pan to store your ice cream, stop your machine when the ice cream reaches soft serve consistency and transfer half of the mixture into your container. Top with some of the pie crust chunks and add the rest of your ice cream on top. Sprinkle with the remaining pie crust and cover.
- Step 5 Freeze your ice cream for at least 4 hours, up to to overnight.
- Step 6 Take the ice cream out of the freezer at least 15 mins before you intend to serve it.
- This recipe is adapted from Food52’s Strawberry Creme Fraiche Soft Serve.
- Homemade ice cream is best when enjoyed within 2 months of making it.
Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. I only recommend products that I have tried myself and love.