Two things you need to know about this recipe for ice cream: 1. the idea was born during my baby food making days, and 2. the first time I made it my husband told me it was the best ice cream he had in his entire life.
So let's talk baby food. Our pediatrician recommended this book called Little Foodie when babygirl was just starting solids. We tried a few different recipes from it, none clicked for us except this one dead simple recipe of chucking a couple of handfuls of fresh blueberries into the oven with a bit of cinnamon. The berry lover in me was intrigued, and gave it a go.
Babygirl loved it and we made a wonderful purple mess on her face. When I tried it, I was suddenly let in on this secret roasted blueberry world that no one had disclosed to me before. I thought about all the times in my life I had made various blueberry bakes - muffins, cakes, scones, cookies even. With every one of these, the blueberries were sprinkled in, almost like an afterthought. But what if I made them the star? What if I could use this to flavor the entire batter? And so I got to work. I came up with a blueberry loaf recipe we loved and I did the same with strawberries a few weeks later. And that color that blueberries gave, sans lemon, was so incredible I wanted it everywhere and on everything (except baby's clothes, ya know?). And so, this ice cream recipe was born - one where blueberries are not relegated to a ripple or made artificially blue but are bursting into center stage, beautifully naturally purple. I made it twice more afterwards, once with a custard base which we did not like as much and then once again with perfect measurements for an eggless base and an unmistakeable mouthful of the perfect berry.
Roasted Blueberry Ice Cream
3 cups fresh blueberries*
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup plus 2/3 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup plus 4 tablespoons sugar
Preheat oven to 375, toss blueberries with 2 tablespoons sugar and roast, stirring from time to time for about 30 minutes until berries are totally broken down.
Puree the blueberry mix until skins are tiny specks. (You can strain the mixture here if you like, we like a more textured bite so we keep the skin specks)
In a saucepan, heat milk, salt and cream and sugar until sugar melts.
Whisk blueberry puree and milk mixture in a large bowl. Cover and set in the fridge to cool for 8-10 hours.
Freeze according to your ice cream machine's instructions.
*You may use frozen blueberries - roasting may take a little longer given the lower temperature of the berries when they go into the oven.