In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day. He recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food that is enjoyed by a full 90 percent of the nation’s population. In the proclamation, President Reagan called for all people of the United States to observe these events with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.” (source: IDFA)
Ice cream is just about my favorite food ever. So, this holiday is not something that Sweet Jumbles would easily pass up! In fact, I may just do a few more this month! I had an abundance of blueberries this past week (6 pints to be exact) and tried many recipes for blueberry baked goods and snacks. I tried two blueberry ice cream recipes, and this one was the clear winner. Even better, this is a Cooking Light recipe, so less guilt! Unfortunately it does require an ice cream maker, so hopefully you have one or know someone who does!
One ingredient that I added to the recipe below is Guar Gum. Last summer I heard a story in NPR explaining that adding just a pinch would prevent your homemade ice cream from getting rock hard the way that it tends to. Sure enough, just a bit kept my homemade ice cream firm but not un-scoopable! You can find Guar Gum in the isle with Bob’s Red Mill products (usually near organic and/or gluten-free stuff) and the bag, while small, will last you approximately a lifetime.
Note: The recipe below yields two quarts of ice cream, so if you make the entire recipe, use a traditional bucket-style ice cream machine. Cut the recipe in half if you use a countertop model; they typically have a smaller capacity.
2 c sugar
¾ c (6 ounces) cream cheese, softened
4 large egg yolks
3 c reduced-fat milk
1 c half-n-half
3 c fresh blueberries
¼ c powdered sugar
¼ c water
1/4 t guar gum, optional
- Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until smooth.
- Combine milk and half-n-half in a medium, heavy saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Gradually add half of hot milk mixture to cheese mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk.
- Return milk mixture to pan and add the rest of the combined milk and cheese. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°, stirring constantly.
- Place pan in an ice-filled bowl or refrigerator. Cool completely, stirring occasionally.
- Combine blueberries, powdered sugar, and ¼ cup water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and cool completely.
- Stir blueberry mixture into milk mixture. Pour into the freezer can of an ice-cream maker (optionally, add guar gum at this point); mix according to manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon ice cream into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze for 1 hour or until firm.