Blueberry Maple Ice Cream w/Brazil Nuts

I decided that I’m going to stop trying to make excuses and witty comments about making ice cream in the winter. My wife and I love ice cream, and I get the impression that I’m going to be doing this quite often. I really enjoy making it, have more flavor ideas than I can expect to actually do during the entire coming year, and its such a fun and easy dessert to make. So what’s new to the Mulligan freezer this week? A delicious maple blueberry ice cream with brazil nuts.

Blueberry Maple Ice Cream w/Brazil Nuts

Ice cream had sort of become a staple in our freezer without any conscious realization of it happening. It just sort of shows up, goes away, and what do you know, there’s some more again. There’s the desserts I make/bake every week and there’s the backup: a carton of ice cream from the grocery store so that if you needed variety in dessert during the week (or ran out before the next dessert making session, heaven forbid!), it was there for you. But now that I’ve seen the light on home-made ice cream, it kills me to buy a pre-made carton–hell, look at the ingredients in there. I mean, really, skim milk? Ice cream needs whole milk and heavy cream. Corn syrup? No thank you.

So anyways, now that you’re in the know on my ice cream philosophy, back to this week’s ice cream. Blueberries have been beckoning me, but I always turned the other cheek–sorry blueberries, but $5 for a tiny container just seems…wrong. Well, it just so happened they were on sale, so I figured even though its not quite blueberry season just yet how could I turn them down? I wasn’t quite certain how I wanted to flavor the ice cream with them. Blueberry and white chocolate? Blueberry cheesecake? Straight-up blueberry? I decided to go with a more breakfast-y kind of feel: a maple ice cream custard (yum!) with a blueberry syrup with crushed brazil nuts added in at the end (never had them? I’d say think of a combination of walnuts and macadamia–kind of astringent, high in fat, and meaty).

Blueberries, maple syrup, and brazil nuts, oh my!

The result is a rich, soft, creamy ice cream with a very sexy purple color with some nice speckling of nuts and small blueberry chunks for texture and looks. This was delicious, even for berries not quite at their peak, so I’d be delighted to taste the results at the height of the season. The only change I would make: I used grade A maple syrup (the common stuff you’d pour on pancakes at breakfast) as I already had some handy, but for a more intense and distinct maple flavor, I’d splurge for a higher grade next time.

  • Maple Ice Cream
    • 2 cups whole milk
    • 1.5 cups heavy cream
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 7 egg yolks
    • 3/4 cup maple syrup
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Blueberry nut mix
    • 2 cups blueberries
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup
    • 1/2 cup Brazil nuts

Preparing the custard base for this ice cream is simple and pretty straightforward. In a saucepan, scald (don’t boil) the milk and in a large bowl, set up an ice bath with a smaller bowl sitting inside. Pour the cream into the smaller bowl.

Mix maple into the custard

In another bowl (or that of a stand mixer), beat the egg yolks and sugar until well mixed and the color changes a bit. Once mixed and once the milk is properly warmed, add a bit of the warm milk to the yolk mixture to temper the eggs, mixing all the while. Then, pour the yolk mixture into the hot milk pan, stirring constantly over medium heat.

Within a few minutes (I would say 3 minutes or so), this should have some bubbles forming around the edges and should coat the back of a spoon. Get this off of the heat and pour it through a strainer into the cream bowl (which is currently on ice) to ensure no scrambled egg (if any exists) gets through and to stop the cooking of the egg right away.

Mix the custard well

Now, in this bowl, add the salt, vanilla, and most importantly: maple syrup. Stir this well.

At this point, that’s all there is to do for the custard, so put a sheet of plastic wrap over it and press it right against the surface of the custard (to prevent a skin from forming). Set this in the fridge for 6-8 hours while you go do something else to take your mind of wanting to eat ice cream right now.

Heat the blueberries in sugar

So on to the blueberry part of this dessert. Add the blueberries and sugar to a saucepan and crank the heat up to medium high. Within about 10 minutes or so, the berries should begin to burst and break down, oozing sweet purple syrup (kind of like making cranberry sauce). At this point, drop the heat down to medium, stirring gently. I’m all about adding some extra texture to my ice cream, so I don’t bother fully crushing/straining the berries, allowing some whole/large chunks to remain, but if you’re more of a silky-smooth-with-nothing-else-present-in-the-ice-cream kind of person, you might want to strain this mixture or put it through the food processor (being wary of staining everything around you blue 😮 ).

Eventually, the blueberries will start to burst and form a sweet syrup

For some extra maple flavor, add some maple syrup to this mixture (or, if the berries are already really sweet, you can skip this) and let the mixture warm up and get bubbly again (it shouldn’t take very long). While you wait for that, smash the brazil nuts to bite-sized chunks (hammer them in a plastic bag), and then, once bubbly, add in the crushed nuts. Stir this together for about 2 minutes or so and then take it off of the heat, giving it some time to cool down. Once cool enough, transfer to an airtight container in the fridge.

Churn the custard in the ice cream maker

Finally, many hours later, to the ice cream maker! Per whatever instructions came with your machine (freeze the bowl for 24 hours, have it spinning before you put anything in, etc), add in the custard and let it churn for about 20 minutes. At the end of that time, pour in the blueberry nut mixture and let it churn for an additional minute or two, watching as your pristine ice cream custard changes color before your eyes.

Transfer this to an airtight container and let it sit in the freezer overnight before you dig in. This also makes a fantastic complement to a nice warm plate of nectarine cobbler–contrasting colors, temperatures, flavors, and textures, but all together in your mouth: a beautiful thing.

Enjoy!

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24 Responses to “Blueberry Maple Ice Cream w/Brazil Nuts”

  1. Peter Says:

    Mike, I love that soft, lilac colour you got out of the ice cream.

    This is another nudge for me to get that ice cream maker…finally.

  2. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) Says:

    I read somewhere that New Englanders eat more ice cream per capita than any other region of the US, so it doesn’t seem the least bit odd to be making ice cream in winter.

  3. RecipeGirl Says:

    Hi Mike- I love my ice cream maker too. We don’t make it too often because, as you mentioned… good ice cream need whole milk and heavy cream, which doesn’t fit into my diet plan!! Funny… I have Maple Blueberry Muffins on my list to bake this week!

  4. Pixie Says:

    Great combination of ingredients and I’m with you on enjoying ice cream any day of the year!

  5. Meeta Says:

    I am not a huge Brazil nuts fan – I know me who loves nuts. But I do love this ice-cream. I love my ice-cream maker too and I have been playing around with several flavors. This will be perfect too!

  6. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy Says:

    I love everything about this ice cream. Maple syrup! Blueberries! Brazil nuts! Just wonderful!

    I am also a huge homemade ice cream fan. We’re lucky to live in a place where we can enjoy it all year long.

  7. pam Says:

    Oh Mike, that sounds good! I also love ice cream, anytime! We’ve sat around the dining room table, shivering, eating ice cream, on a frosty day.

  8. Kevin Says:

    That blueberry ice cream sounds good!

  9. Anali Says:

    I really like the blueberry maple combination. I’ve never tried brazil nuts, but I bought some recently and have been deciding how to use them. I still can’t do ice cream yet though. I’m too cold and am boiling water for tea as I type!

  10. brilynn Says:

    There’s no such thing as ‘ice cream season’, it’s all year round as far as I’m concerned. This looks wonderful! I recently made some raspberry ice cream that could have benefited from some maple syrup, (but really, what can’t?)

  11. Mansi Says:

    omg Mike! your icecreams are just way too tempting!:)

    and you moved to your own domain!! that’s great:)

  12. amy purple Says:

    Mmmm, looks tempting! The texture on it looks perfect!

  13. mike Says:

    Peter — thanks! I was pleasantly surprised with the color myself–it came out much better than I had hoped for. Also, I agree, you should go for the ice cream maker. Maybe its my ice cream addiction speaking, but I get a lot of use out of it, its easy to use, and the results are always a delight!

    Lydia — haha, very glad to hear it! Now I have an excuse…I guess my New England roots are showing. 😉

    RecipeGirl — yea, that’s the downside of making it yourself…it makes you painfully aware of how much unhealthiness goes in there. I just close my eyes and eat it 😉 And I’m looking forward to the muffins!

    Pixie — thanks! Glad to hear I’m not the only one!

    Meeta — I actually had never had Brazil nuts prior to this, but bought a bag out of curiosity. They tasted like would go nicely with blueberries, but I can understand why they’re not super popular. I would think walnuts or hazelnuts would pair quite nicely as well. I hope to see some of your ice creams in the future!

    Susan — thanks! Like breakfast in a dessert bowl! 😉 Florida definitely lends itself to year-round ice cream…or at least gives me a plausible excuse. 😉 Its amazing how much better home-made tastes…I found that reviewing the ingredients on the store-bought stuff is really telling: skim milk, corn syrup, etc. Definitely explains the lack of richness!

    Pam — thanks! :-) Now that sounds like my kind of dessert dedication! lol

    Kevin — thanks! 😀

    Anali — something about blueberry and maple just works so well. Maybe its the imprinting of blueberry pancakes, or maybe there’s magic in there, but it definitely works! As for Brazil nuts, they were new to me, too. I would suggest starting with a recipe that might normally call for walnuts if you’re stuck on ideas–they seemed kind of similar in flavor and texture to me. And sorry about the cold! Its never too cold for ice cream. 😉

    brilynn — I’m glad to get the support on this one! :-) Raspberry definitely sounds like it would be a good one, and maple sounds like a sweet addition there as well…its like the all-grown-up sugar.

    Mansi — thanks! lol, I try. And thanks about the domain–I thought it was about time to upgrade from something better than the computer next to my feet 😉

    amy — welcome! And thanks–I aim to please! It was really rich, smooth, and creamy

  14. Flanboyant Eats Says:

    OMG! there is nothing Latin about this, but how cares! I LOVE IT! and since it’s staring to get warm down here in the A, it’s perfect….
    thanks thanks thanks!

  15. mike Says:

    Flanboyant — true and true. Glad you enjoy it. Plus, blueberry season ought to be rolling around sooner than later, so that’s two good reasons. 😉 Thanks!

  16. Blueberry Muffins w/Hazelnut Streusel from Mike's Table Says:

    […] Blueberry Maple Ice Cream w/Brazil Nuts […]

  17. Bird's eye view Says:

    This looks and sounds delicious. You and some other food bloggers have finally convinced me that I need to try my hand at home-made icecream, and I’m going to start next month, when the summer fruit start hitting the market!

  18. mike Says:

    Bird — thanks! :-) I can’t advocate for home-made ice cream enough–the result is just so much richer and you can go to town with whatever odd ball flavor. I hope to see some on your site!

  19. Blueberry (or Cranberry) Muffins w/Hazelnut Streusel | iforgetmenot Says:

    […] the berries with too much force, they’ll burst and color your muffins bright purple/blue, which, while some times intentional and quite appealing, this is not what you want in your muffins. Just fold them into the batter enough to distribute […]

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