March madness in New Orleans is over. No, I’m not talking about basketball. I’m talking about the madness that is Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day. This year, Mardi Gras fell on the second to last possible day that it can be, placing it in March. The carnival season technically began on January 6, but the festivities really got started near the end of February. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of guests, parades, beads, king cake, and beer. Mardi Gras was quickly followed by St. Patrick’s Day festivities. I live in an area of the city called the Irish Channel – enough said.
Now that life has started to settle down again I can focus on making ice cream and sharing on my blog. I appreciate your patience.
Sunday marks the first day of Spring, and although it has felt like Spring around these parts for a few weeks I am happy that the season is officially arriving. Below you will find a recipe for Mixed Berry Ice Cream, just in time for spring berries. Enjoy!
Mixed Berry Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart
I made this recipe with a mix of blueberries and strawberries, but feel free to use any berries that you would like. If you use raspberries, I would suggest straining the base before churning to remove the seeds. This recipe also calls for xanthan gum to counteract the extra water from the berries. If you don’t have it, leave it out. The ice cream will still taste wonderful but enjoyed best just after churning.
1 pound fresh or frozen berries
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
2 Tablespoons brandy
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)
If you are using frozen berries, thaw before beginning recipe. Place berries, sugar and brandy in a small bowl. Stir until sugar begins to dissolve. Let sit at room temperature for about one hour, stirring occasionally.
Combine sour cream, milk, and cream in a blender. Add berries mixture (including juice) and lemon juice and blend. Add xanthan gum slowly (if using) to prevent clumping.
Transfer ice cream base to the refrigerator and fully chill, about one hour. Once chilled, pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Place plastic or parchment over sherbet (to prevent ice crystals) and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.