Summer Corn & Blackberry Ice Cream is part of the “FAIRIES IN THE FOREST TWILIGHT SOIREE” THEME PARTY.
You can read the party master post by clicking this link: Fairies in the Forest Twilight Soiree Theme Party (more details are at the end of this post!)
My all time favorite summer vegetable, is a fresh cob of corn slathered with butter and a generous dousing of salt and pepper. I will occasionally do something more creative, maybe my home version of Mexican street-corn, but usually I’m a purist.
But when it comes to Summer, I frequently have a craving for an ice cream dessert. My recipe for Summer Corn & Blackberry Ice Cream certainly kills two bird with one stone.
While creating the menu for the party’s cold buffet dinner, I wanted to spotlight late summer produce in all its colorful glory.
That meant tomatoes, bell peppers, plums, beans galore, blackberries, and of course the late season king, sweet yellow corn.
Using fresh corn as an element in one of my entree salads was a great start. But having recently seen a recipe for a corn infused ice cream, I was game to try it out. Especially if I added some heavenly blackberry puree to sweeten the deal. I’m not kidding, this is a match made in heaven!
And that my friends, is how this recipe for Summer Corn & Blackberry Ice Cream was born!
I know it’s hot outside. And yes, it takes time in the kitchen to make a batch of cooked ice cream base.
But, if you’re anything like me, it’s truly a labor of love, that is the love of ice cream, of course!
H.H. and I downsized last year and now live on top of a mountain in Western North Carolina with the closest grocery store 35 minutes away.
Despite taking a cooler and ice packs with us, buying ice cream in the summer is usually a fool’s errand.
That means if we want ice cream, I have to make it. And it needs to be really good ice cream…
I don’t mind making my own ice cream all summer long. It gives me a chance to be creative, and we end up having a dozen or so different flavors over the course of the season.
My 15 year old Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker still works like a charm, especially since I bought it with a second freezer insert.
That enables me to make two different flavors of ice cream in one day. One plain base, two different flavor additions. Work smart, not hard!
Now, let’s get down to the recipe for this fabulous summery ice cream delight.
Raw corn isn’t the easiest thing to work with, especially when the juices are squirting and flying every which way but loose!
My desire was to give the ice cream base as much corn flavor as possible.
After thinking about the recipe, I decided to give the kernels a quick cook in the microwave before adding them to the milk mixture to steep.
Something told me that the corn might give up more of it’s flavor in the brief time it’s in the cream if it was slightly cooked.
Now I know you’re going to ask why I didn’t just cook the corn right on the cob. Good question!
Once the corn kernels are softened in the cooking process, they easily lose their juices (read flavor) when cut from the cob.
The juices equal the essence of the corn, therefore we want to keep as much of them as possible.
While I was at it, I threw the trimmed cobs into the cream mixture to steep too. Now the corn would be able to give up every little bit of flavor I could extract from it!
I believe it made a big enough difference that I added this step to the permanent recipe.
I’m trying to make this a pleasurable experience for you! Fast and easy are the name of the game here.
I prefer to chill my ice cream bases overnight, or at the very least 3-4 hours.
NAN’S TIP: An added bonus when preparing this dessert for a dinner party, is the recipe can be made up to two weeks ahead. It’s easy to schedule the steps around my cooking plans and get it tucked away in the freezer.
In the picture of the finished ice cream, you’ll see my hundred year-old Tupperware ice cream container. It was designed to hold a half-gallon of ice cream that is taken out of its paper carton in one piece. Very clever, and very much loved and used over the years.
I wanted to see if I could tell you how to get one, but what I found was not encouraging.
You can find one on Etsy, marked as “vintage”, and they want anywhere from $13.99-17.99. I recall paying maybe $5.99 for it back in 19??.
I can’t remember the year, but it was before my boys were born, and they’re 27 and 33 years old now.
Maybe someone else makes one now… you can let me know in the comments or at The Fab Life Facebook Group devoted to our fabulous readers.
Now here’s where my years of throwing parties professionally pays off gals!
NAN’S TIP: A few days before the party, prepare enough perfect scoops of Summer Corn & Blackberry Ice Cream for all your guests. Place the scoops on a rimmed baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refreeze. Tuck them away in the freezer, and they’ll be ready to assemble the dessert course for your guests.
The super bonus is that because they’re frozen hard, you have a bit more time for assembly and serving them before they begin to melt!
Believe me, it’s a welcome shortcut for the hostess who has just served the perfect buffet dinner to her guests. You’re allowed to have a good time at your own party!
Oh, I almost forgot, you don’t think I wasted that beautiful pile of corn that came out of the cream mixture did you? No way. I tasted some and it was wonderfully sweet, but still very corny.
So I got out my cornmeal the next day and using half the leftover corn, whipped up a batch of my favorite cornbread recipe.
Since it’s only H.H. and I at home these days, I cut it into serving sized pieces and individually wrapped them in plastic wrap. Then I put them into gallon storage bags and popped them into the freezer.
They’ll be ready to slide into the microwave a few minutes before a pot of chili is served or I can use a few pieces crumbled on top of a Mexican casserole.
It’s nice to have something delicious tucked away for busy days.
The other half of the sweetened corn kernels were used a few days later in a batch of my Crispy Sweet Corn Fritters. I served with a fabulous Wild Turkey Maple Bacon Jam. Tthese fritters are featured in my “Leftover Magic” section under the Foodietown tab on the main menu.
I won’t let you waste leftover ingredients on my watch!
So, now you’re wondering what I used my three leftover egg whites for, aren’t you?
I could have made a lovely 2-serving souffle, or a batch of strawberry meringues.
But no, what I did was cook them up as a special treat for our very spoiled Boston Terrier, April. You can see a pic of her with me on my Meet Nan page. She’s the only baby at home these days, so she gets pretty much anything she wants!
As with any recipe, especially one with lots of steps, make sure you read it through when making your shopping list, then again before starting the recipe.
This is a recipe where you do tend to accumulate dirty bowls, but it is not complicated to make, despite its many steps.
Give it a whirl (literally), and you’ll be thanking me with each luscious spoonful!
You’ll want to check out all of the other “end-of-the-Summer” soiree posts too. It’s a fabulous way to celebrate a magical “fairy-like” evening with friends and family.
Here’s what you’ll find waiting for you:
Click here to go to the Master Party Post: Fairies in the Forest Twilight Soiree Theme Party
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1. Pour 1 cup heavy cream into a glass or metal bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator. While you're at it, put the container in which you'll store your finished ice cream in the freezer to get cold.
2. In a shallow bowl, stand up an ear of corn while holding tapered end. Hold sharp non-serrated paring knife at an angle tilted toward cob and saw the knife downward until you reach the bottom. Turn the cob and repeat until all kernels have been removed. Repeat for remaining 2 ears of corn.
3. Add 1 Tbs. water to the shallow bowl of corn, cover and cook in microwave on high for one minute. Drain any accumulated liquid from bowl.
4. In a medium saucepan, pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream, whole milk, sugar, corn syrup and salt and stir to combine.
5. Cook the milk mixture over medium heat until sugar and corn syrup of dissolved.
6. Add the corn and the cobs (break in half if too long) to the mixture and cook until it just comes to a boil. Immediately remove from heat, cover and let steep for 75 minutes.
7. Place the frozen berries, 1 Tbs. of water, lemon juice and sugar in small saucepan. Cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture has cooked down and is thick and jam-like. Once the mixture is done, stir in the halved fresh berries, Bring to room temperature, cover and chill overnight. (berries can be used after 2 hours of chilling)
8. When steeping time has elapsed, remove the cobs and strain the mixture through a fine sieve. Press down on the corn with the back of your spoon or spatula to remove all the corn liquids.
9. Return mixture to the saucepan and heat on medium low until hot, and remove from heat. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks for 1 minute. While continuously whisking, add 1/4 cup of the hot milk to the egg yolks. Whisk for 30 seconds and then add another 1/4 cup of the milk mixture, still whisking continuously to keep the eggs from curdling.
10. Once the temperature has stabilized, add half the remaining milk mixture, while still whisking. Repeat with remaining milk until well combined.
11. Add mixture back into saucepan and cook over medium low heat , stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon and leave a trail when you draw a finger across.
12. Once the proper consistency is reached, strain the mixture through a fine sieve to remove any cooked egg particles. (See Note)
13. Add the reserved chilled heavy cream to stop the cooking process and stir to combine well.
14. When the ice cream base reaches room temperature, pour into a storage container and chill overnight. (you can use the base after 5 hours of chilling if desired)
15. When base and berries are thoroughly chilled, pour corn ice cream base into you ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's directions.
16. Fold berries into the finished ice cream and freeze overnight to let the flavors fully develop.
I personally don't feel the need to strain my ice cream base at this stage if I have carefully tempered the yolks when adding the hot milk mixture. If I do happen to see a few curds develop, then I'll strain it through a fine sieve, otherwise I just feel it is an unnecessary step.
TIP- stir chilled berry puree before folding into finished ice cream, as it will have congealed during chilling
TIP - before folding in the berries, freeze your finished ice cream for 45 minutes to make it firm enough to easily add the berries