blackberry swirl ice cream

i know, i know. i really should have saved this one for this year's blackberry week, but i just couldn't wait that long. last week, i just happened to have some blackberry juice leftover from making this cake for my sister's bridal shower - which i filled with blackberry curd (more on that later). and since the weather has finally decided that it's summer, skipping right past the 70s and 80s and hitting record-breaking 90s, i already had ice cream on the brain.

not only is the vanilla base of this absolutely perfect, as far as french vanillas go, but the sweet-tart blackberry is the icing on the cake. now i can't wait to see what other fruits i can swirl - raspberries, strawberries, peaches. i can't wait until this batch is gone and i need to make another!

blackberry swirl ice cream
ice cream base adapted from david lebovitz
makes 1/2 quart

i halved this recipe, mainly because there's only two of us in this house, but also because i scrambled the eggs the first time i tried to make it and didn't have enough eggs left to make a whole batch. turns out the the halved recipe is the perfect amount of ice cream for the two of us. i also used skim milk instead of whole, again because i used up the rest of my whole milk in the scrambled eggs. i was skeptical at first, but it works.

1/2 cup milk - whole, 2%, or skim (yes, i've used skim and it works fine)
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split
1 cup heavy cream
3 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup blackberry juice (from about 3 cups blackberries)
1/2 cup sugar
  1. heat the milk in a sauce pan just until it simmers. split the vanilla bean and scrap the seeds into the milk. remove from heat, cover, and steep 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. pour the heavy cream into a bowl (preferably a bowl with a pour spout). set a fine mesh strainer over the bowl and set aside.
  3. remove the vanilla bean from the milk and reheat the milk just until it simmers.
  4. in a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. while whisking the eggs, slowly add a few tablespoons of the hot milk mixture. continue to add the hot milk to the eggs, whisking continuously, until at least half of the milk has been added. pour the egg milk mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk.
  5. cook the mixture over low heat and stir continuously with a rubber spatula until it coats the back of the spatula. (when you feel the mixture start to thicken, it's done. my first attempt at this resulted in scrambled eggs, so be sure to watch them carefully. it took about 5 minutes for the mixture to thicken.) remove from heat and pour through the strainer into the heavy cream. stir, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
  6. while the ice cream base is cooling, make the blackberry syrup. heat the blackberry juice and sugar in a small saucepan. simmer about 5 minutes, or until reduced to half a cup. set aside and chill.
  7. when the ice cream base is chilled, process according to the directions of your ice cream maker.
  8. once the ice cream is churned, add about 1/4 to the bottom of your container and roughly smooth out the top. drizzle with about 1/3 of the blackberry syrup. continue layering the ice cream and syrup, ending with ice cream.
  9. cover and freeze until firm.
check out more sweet treats at sweet tooth friday and sweets for a saturday!

this recipe was selected by Alli as one of her top five favorites for sweet tooth friday! check out all the other great sweets!


  1. This looks so yummy. I've been thinking of buying an ice cream maker. Do you mind telling me what brand you use?

  2. Hi Joyceetta - I use a Cuisinart ice cream maker (model ICE -20, according to Amazon, ICE-21 is the newer model). I've had it about 2 years, made ice cream and sorbet with it, and have been really happy.

    My mom also has the kitchenaid ice cream maker attachment for her stand mixer and she likes it.

  3. Hi there, just made your ice cream yesterday. I made a full batch but used 5 eggs and mixed berries. Oh my godness, it was soooo yummmmm. Thanks you. Will be making another soon.

  4. You have some gorgeous ice cream on your hands! David's ice cream recipes are always amazing; so I trust this tastes as good as it looks.

  5. Thanks Kate...I don't have a Kitchenaid mixer...so might look into buying a Cuisinart. I've been wanting an ice cream maker for several years now.

  6. Hey I host a blog hop and I'd LOVE if you came over and shared a recipe! Here's the link :) http://thesweetdetail.blogspot.com/search/label/Savory%20Sunday

    you should link up this!

  7. I have to buy an ice cream maker soon or I'm going to go crazy. This recipe looks absolutely divine. My favorite ice cream is blueberry and this reminds me of that. I know it's got to be good. I'd like to invite you to share your recipe on A Well-Seasoned Life's Sweet Indulgences Sunday.


  8. mmmmmmmmmmmm. This looks amazing. Brandy's Baking did blackberry bars this week-- you guys should get the two desserts together! :) I'd love for you to link up to my sweet treats party today! Hope to see you there :)

  9. Which do you prefer.... The blackberry swirl OR the Blackberry ice cream featured August 2010.

    Organic Blackberries getting juiced up eagerly waiting their destiny....

    N Line

  10. oooh beth, that's a hard one!!

    i think the edge goes to the blackberry ice cream. it packs more berry punch than the swirl. but it's pretty close.

  11. Oh how I love homemade ice cream. It's so much better than store bought ice cream.

    Thank you so much for linking up with Sweet Tooth Friday! I hope to see you again this week.

  12. Hi, just wanted to let you know it's curning in my ice cream maker right now. I subsituted raspberries for blackberries because they were on sale! My taste tests already tell me it's going to be yummm!

  13. I'm your newest follower! :)

    I love me some blackberries... and this looks amazing! Thanks for sharing all these recipes. You also take great photos!


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