my mother-in-law is a really amazing lady. in the years since i have become part of her family, she has approached my birthday with the knowledge of the best of friends — somehow presenting me with the perfect gifts, things i would have picked out for myself.
it’s really humbling and cool.
one year, when my birthday fell again during an unpleasantly-warm heatwave, she brought a large box wrapped in birthday paper to dinner at one of our favorite local pizzerias. it was an ice cream maker! it was such an amazing surprise and spoiled me so much! obviously i read recipes like it’s my job, and had passed over ice cream recipes for years… because i didn’t have the machine to make it happen. so, so sad. homemade ice cream is heaven. it tastes like the epic 4th of July cookouts my grandparents held every year on their farm, where creamy vanilla ice cream from the rattling, cranking ice cream machine was the highlight of the feast (my opinion — and obviously the correct opinion). it tastes like chills from the ice cream and from cool Oregon summer nights, teeth chattering, watching fireworks spout their colorful sparks into the air.
well. my ice cream maker is fabulous, and i am a lucky girl! but if you don’t have one — you should really be able to make your own creamy, delicious homemade ice cream, too! this method couldn’t be easier, no special equipment required. i’ve made no-churn ice cream before and it can tend to get a little icy, but this is nothing but creamy, dreamy and rich ice cream. the brown sugar and cream cheese lend a wonderful cheesecake-like flavor, and the blueberry syrup shines in every bite. you can work with summer’s blueberries, if it’s that time of year, or you can work from frozen, which means you can make this any time!
and you should.
blueberry cheesecake ice creammakes about 1 quart adapted from thepastryaffair
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
6 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
2 tsp vanilla
combine blueberries and sugar in a small saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-high until berries burst. this could take around 10 minutes. add cornstarch and cook for 1 – 2 minutes until thickened. remove from heat and cool (a trip to the fridge or freezer and occasional stirrings speed up this process, or make-ahead, cover and chill).
in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. add 1/2 cup heavy cream and whip to incorporate, scraping sides of bowl if needed. add the remainder of the cream and vanilla and whip until stiff peaks form. (then, stop the mixer and take a taste! ohhh man)
spread half the whipped cream mixture into a 1-quart-or-so airtight container.. top with half the blueberry mixture.. the rest of the whipped cream, then remaining blueberries. swirl the ice cream to partially mix, using the blade of a knife. cover and freeze at least 6 hours, or overnight. you’ve made ice cream!