Homemade Blueberry Pie Ice Cream

Living in an agricultural state, we have this trend of finding entertainment in paying other people to let us preform the work of picking produce. I know some of my Yankee friends like to poke fun of the concept, but there’s an odd satisfaction in enjoying fresh fruits I’ve picked myself. It’s also a wonderful educational experience for kids, and helps build an appreciation for where our food comes from. I enjoy the tranquility, and kids somehow find it fun and exciting. It’s totally worth it to me.

Since reading Blueberries for Sal as part of our Before Five In A Row curriculum last year, blueberry picking has been a tradition we’ve recently started to pursue every summer. We go to a small family owned farm in our area and fill a bucket with as many blueberries as we can possibly gather. Once we bring our fresh fruit home we immediately can them and add to our ever-growing-never-ending collection of homemade jam.

This year I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had a lot of blueberries left over after the canning process. Considering that I’ve been in love with making homemade ice cream lately, the next idea I had for the blueberries was, of course, blueberry ice cream!

When I got around to actually making the ice cream, I decided to play around with texture and taste a little more than I intended. The result was incredibly delicious, and now a new favorite of mine. It’s rich in flavor, has a great texture, and I cannot stop eating it!

Also, if the blueberries are replaced with bananas this would make an excellent “banana pudding” ice cream!

Blueberry Pie Ice Cream

Ingredients

1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
2 tbs vanilla
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 11oz box of Nilla Waffers

Directions

Combine milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk for about two minutes, until the sugar is well dissolved.

Mix in blueberries.

Fill a zip lock bag with Nilla Waffers (I used about 3/4 of the box). Using a meat cleaver or hammer (or whatever tool you have on hand), smash the cookies to a powdery consistency.

Mix the cookie powder in with the ice cream mix.

Prepare ice cream according to the manufacturing instructions of your ice cream maker. I have a niffty Cuisinart ice cream maker that has a freezable bowl I prepared a head of time. Your ice cream maker might require ice to be added. Read up on the instructions and become familiar with your maker.

Once the ice cream is finished, pour the rest of the Nilla Waffers into the zip lock bag. Once again crush the cookies, however, this time keep them a little more chunky and textured.

Pour the rest of the Nilla Waffers into the ice cream and mix well. Put the ice cream in a storage container and pop in the freezer to continue forming.

 

Rose Jelly

I have been working with some unique flavors lately.  First it was the lavender cupcakes with honey frosting, and then it was the lavender cookies with rosewater icing. Both recipes gave me an opportunity to work with interesting ingredients, and they turned out to be quite delicious.

Since my husband and I conducted a few experiments with pectin in the kitchen one night, I have been wanting to try my hand at making my own jams. There was one jelly in particular I was looking to try, but I was missing one of the core ingredients.

Today, however, as I stepped outside on my way to the store I noticed that my rose bush was starting to bloom. How is that related to our jelly experiments in the kitchen? Well, it’s the ingredient I have been missing for this new recipe I wanted to try.

I love adventures, and that includes the kind I experience standing over a stove, so the idea of using flower petals in cooking was something I was more than willing to try.

And the great thing is that it turned out to be pretty delicious! My toddler and I shared some on a piece of toast, and he declared it to be “so yummy” and his “favorite” (along with the millions of other things that are currently his “favorite”, but hey, he’s still learning what that word means).

Ingredients
2 cups rose petals (fresh, and not treated with chemicals)
2 cups water
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
6 oz liquid pectin (2 pouches)
2 tbs rosewater

Directions

Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Tale pan off heat, and pour in petals. Cover and let steep for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, strain the water into a medium sized sauce pan. Discard the petals. Add sugar and lemon juice to the water. This is a good time to put a spoon in the freezer, which will be explained later.

Bring the water to a boil, and let boil for two minutes. Add in the pectin.

This is where the spoon will come in handy. Let the water boil for about 5 minutes. Take the spoon out of the freezer for the “chilled spoon test”. Give the pan a quick stir with the spoon. If the mixture runs off of the spoon, it isn’t done. If some of the mixture sticks to the spoon, but is still runny, it needs a little more time. If it completely sticks to the spoon like jelly, it’s done.

Give the mix as long as it needs on the stove, conducting the spoon test every 2 minutes or so.

When the jelly is finally done, take the pan off of the heat and stir in the rosewater. Pour jelly into prepared mason jars and allow the mixture time to harden into jelly.

Enjoy!