Friday, February 21, 2014

Blackberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

I have to admit that I have never made a cheesecake before. Don't get me wrong, I love me some cheesecake, but I just never had the opportunity or desire to make one myself. I have on the other hand made cheesecake ice cream!

The first one I made was a strawberry cheesecake ice cream. It was sooo good with the little graham cracker pieces and delicious cream cheese ice cream base. I just had to make it again! This time I decided to do a blackberry cheesecake ice cream since blackberries are in season right now, but you can use any berry you like interchangeably as the recipe will stay the same. 

This process is very time consuming and may take a day or two, but the outcome is well worth the wait. 

Here is what you will need:

For the berry puree:
- 2 pints fresh blackberries or approximately 2-3 cups of any berry you like (fresh or frozen)
- 1/3 cup sugar or less depending on how sweet the berries are

For the graham cracker crust:
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 1 package, chopped into pieces)
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/4 cup melted butter

For the ice cream base:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup milk ( I use 2%)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 package cream cheese (8oz.)
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

Start by making your ice cream base. Place the heavy cream, milk and half of the sugar ( 6 Tablespoons) into a saucepan over medium high heat. 

Next you will want to separate the egg yolks from the whites and place the 5 egg yolks and remaining sugar (6 Tablespoons) into a heat proof bowl and whisk the eggs and sugar together.   In a separate heat proof bowl add the cream cheese and place a strainer over the top. Return to the milk and cream and see if the mixture is steaming yet. Once the cream and milk start to steam then a slow simmer is not too far behind it. This is how you know the cream is ready to be added into the eggs. 

Slowly add 1/3 cup at a time of the cream mixture into the eggs and whisk quickly to ensure the eggs do not cook. Keep whisking and adding cream to the eggs 1/3 cup at a time until more then half of the cream has been added. Then return everything to the saucepan over medium low heat and continue to stir until the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon. Once the custard mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, take off the stove and strain the mixture into the bowl with the cream cheese. Stir the custard and the cream cheese together until smooth. You may have a few teeny tiny pieces of cream cheese that do not melt, but it will be ok. Place the mixture into a bowl of ice water and let cool. Once the mixture has cooled to room temperature then you can cover the bowl and place in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight. 

Next, you can begin to prep the berries and the graham cracker crust. Start by combining the berries and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the berries and sugar to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium low, and let it simmer on the stove top for about 30 minutes. Then set it off to the side to cool. Once the berries are cool enough, place them into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. 

Next, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place the graham crackers, sugar and melted butter into a food processor and processes for about a minute or until everything is combined. Place the mixture on a cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Once done, take the graham cracker mixture out of the oven and set off to the side.

Once the custard mixture is completely chilled, take out of the fridge and add the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Stir to combine and then freeze per the manufacturers directions for your ice cream machine. Once you have the cheesecake ice cream, then you can start adding the extra ingredients.

To get the swirl effect, I took a large separate bowl and layered the ice cream, graham cracker crumbs and berry puree, and then I layered it again with ice cream, graham cracker and berry puree. Then take a spoon and fold the ice cream together two or three times until it is all slightly mixed together. 

Place the large bowl back into the freezer and freeze for a few more hours or overnight, unless you just cannot wait and must take a big spoonful of the soft serve ice cream like I did. :)

This is one of my favorite ice creams to make and eat. It takes awhile, but it's the best cheesecake ice cream I have ever had. I hope you guys think so too!! Enjoy!


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