Huckleberry Ice Cream: Berry Lover's Most Wanted
Updated: Jan 23
Huckleberries are highly sought after towards the end of summer in the Northwest. In Montana, so many huckleberry creations, like syrup, jam, baked goods, candies, etc., make their way into gas stations, gift shops, chain stores and markets, and even creameries. The huckleberry ice cream found in creameries is by far the best of all the creations. That smooth, custard-like ice cream with hidden pieces of berries dotted throughout is something you're not likely to forget, ever.
The Virginia City Creamery in Virginia City, Montana, was the first place I experienced this delicatessen as a kid. My family were ordering things like chocolate sundaes and root beer floats, but I took my time looking over the menu to find just the right treat. I settled on a huckleberry malt. MY GOODNESS! It was the best ice cream I ever had....until about ten years later when I finally got myself my own ice cream maker. Now, I make a huckleberry ice cream that's even better than the Creamer's (at least in my opinion!). And if you live in Montana, Idaho, or Washington where huckleberries grow wild, or near a store that sells frozen huckleberries, this is a treat you can't miss out on this summer!
I started my ice cream making using a Cuisinart ice cream maker and the companion recipe book. I chose this particular appliance partly because it does not use rock salt and partly because it seemed extremely easy to use and clean. It definitely meets the second part quite well. The Cuisinart easy-to-use design is perfect for any level of ice cream-making skill. This recipe is tailored to use the Cuisinart ice cream maker, but if you have a different ice cream maker, feel free to adjust the appliance directions listed here to those of your machine.
The easy use of the Cuisinart maker is part of my appeal to it. The user simply pours the ice cream mixture into the bucket. Very little handling or mess!
The arm inside the bucket churns the ice cream. Though it's a little noisy, I enjoy being able to see the ice cream take form.
For storage, I love to use the Balci premium ice cream containers. They are BPA free and very sturdy, helping keep the ice cream from getting freezer burned. Each container holds one quart of ice cream, which is perfect since the Cuisinart makes approximately 2 quarts of ice cream per recipe. Before I make my ice cream, I put the containers in the freezer to get them extremely cold. That way, when I'm scooping the freshly made ice cream out of the Cuisinart into the containers, the ice cream won't start to soften up. A good rule of thumb when making ice cream, is that everything the ice cream is in needs to be cold or frozen so that the ice cream can solidify up properly.
2 cups of huckleberries, fresh or frozen
You can find frozen huckleberries in some stores, but if you live in a state
where huckleberries grow wild, I encourage you to get out and pick some yourself. It's extremely rewarding to pick them and then create something delicious.
1 cup of sugar, divided into a 1/4 cup and a 3/4 cup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk, or kefir if you have any
Since we make our own kefir, I always substitute the whole milk in an ice cream recipe with kefir.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
1) Prepare your ice cream maker according to it's manual. If using the Cuisinart maker, freeze the bucket at least 24 hours prior to making the ice cream.
2) In a saucepan, combine the huckleberries, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once it is brought to a boil, mash the berries till mostly smooth. (Some berry chunks will remain.) Remove from heat and set aside.
3) Use a mixing bowl and a hand mixer or whisk to beat the egg yolks until they are completely smooth.
4) In another, larger, saucepan, bring the 3/4 cup sugar, the heavy cream, the milk/kefir, and salt to a simmer over medium heat. Stir continuously so the cream and milk/kefir won't scald. Once sugar is fully dissolved, remove from heat.
5) Pour the beaten egg yolks into the saucepan from step 4 and thoroughly stir together. Take the berry mix from step 2 and add to the step 4 saucepan as well and mix in well. Put back on the heat.
6) With heat on medium, stir the mixture continuously until it reaches custard-like consistency. Once reached, add the vanilla extract and blend in.
7) Set mixture aside to cool to room temperature. Then chill for at least an hour.
8) After mixture has chilled, take out your ice cream maker and finish according to the instructions of your machine, and enjoy!
I am not a doctor, nor do I diagnose or treat people. While I do seek scientific confirmation of the safety and effectiveness of the herbs and natural remedies that I use, remember that using herbs and natural remedies are a personal choice. The information that I share on my blogs are not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent disease. All things on these blogs are my opinions and shared knowledge, based on my research or the research of others. Also, if you have a medical condition, are taking pharmaceutical drugs, or are pregnant, please consult with your physician prior to taking herbs or attempting natural remedies.
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