Maine blueberries are in season people! Wahoo! I always look forward to August when the local blueberries start trickling into the stores. You seriously can’t beat our blueberries. The big, high bush blueberries you find in the stores don’t even hold a candle in comparison to the Maine wild blueberries. They are so juicy and sweet. Eating many large handfuls of those little gems is totally acceptable this time of the year. A quart can be finished off in a matter of minutes. For those who don’t know the difference in the store- the big blueberries are high bush and generally aren’t as sweet. The little tiny blueberries are from Maine’s abundant wild blueberry fields (“low bush”), they are much sweeter and overall better in taste. And they are wild. You can drive just about anywhere in Maine and see fields of blueberries that are just left to their on devices. Every few years they burn the fields, but otherwise, that is just about it. It’s dreamy. And delicious.
Anyway, since I’ve been on one heck of an ice cream roll this summer, I decided that blueberry ice cream was in order. A lot of the time you will see blueberries paired with another flavor in ice cream. But, I wanted something that was blueberry through and through. Originally I made the ice cream with honey to omit any refined sugar, but it disappointingly didn’t work out. The honey completely took over, and the blueberry flavor I so desired, was lost. So, granulated sugar had to step in and the honey was left in the jar for other things. Second time around, the ice cream was everything I had hoped for and more.
It’s creamy. It’s addictive. It’s like eating handfuls of blueberries directly from the field. In other words, it is perfect. I will be so bold to say, make this right now. You need it. Even if you are a blueberry skeptic, go find Maine’s summer treasure at a farmer’s market or an excellent grocery store if you live far away from me, and make this ice cream ASAP. Yep, I’ve resorted to telling you what to do. But seriously, I think you’ll love it as much as I do.
Recipe for the ice cream base adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home
- 2 cups fresh wild blueberries
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
- Place the blueberries in a small saucepan over medium heat. Crush the berries with a potato masher. Stirring often, cook the blueberries until their juices have released and begin to bubble. Set aside while you make the ice cream.
- Whisk 2 tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to create a slurry. In a separate, medium mixing bowl, whisk the cream cheese and salt together until smooth.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining milk, heavy cream, sugar, and corn syrup. Bring to a rolling boil, and let boil for 4 minutes. Gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil and stir with a rubber spatula until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
- Carefully pour the hot milk mixture into the bowl with the cream cheese, whisking while you pour. Stir in the cooked blueberries. Whisk until completely incorporated. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight, or place the bowl in an ice bath to speed the chilling process.
- Once completely chilled, freeze the ice cream in your ice cream maker according to your manufacturer's directions. Store the ice cream in an airtight container in the freezer.