About a month ago, my babes and I got the most exciting email - a note saying we had finally been taken off of the waitlist and offered a community garden plot not too far from home! Knowing how long the wait lists were, I had half expected that we wouldn't make it off the list until we were long gone from Portland (we had already been on it for a year!) - so this was a much welcomed surprise!
The best part? Not only do we have a little slice of land to grow some veggies as we so love to do (more about that later!), but the garden includes a little fenced in park area just for gardeners and a hearty supply of shared blueberry and raspberry bushes which are producing like nuts right now. Hello Jackpot!!
I spent the first few trips to the garden just stuffing my face with the joy of sweet sweet raspberries. After a number of trips, I realized I should probably take some home and make ice cream! I have an amazing ability to get-out-of control excited about a number of fruits as they start to ripen and come into season. Strawberries win my heart for a few weeks, then raspberries and blueberries, thimbleberries, cherries, plums, and the list goes on. I was lucky to grow up in northwest Michigan's fruit haven and I am lucky again here in the fruit-rich Oregon.
So get on ready for a summer of fruit filled recipes and my gushing over how delicious whatever fruit is currently abundant is.
I opted for a super simple approach to raspberry ice cream this time, tossing whole fresh raspberries right into the ice cream maker while it was churning. This results in this amazingly polka dotted ice cream - speckled with little spheres of raspberry goodness. It also means that all those seeds are in your ice cream. I for one love this as an added texture wonder. But if seeds aren't so much your thing, feel free to puree and strain your raspberries then stir in the puree just before churning.
We couldn't help but giggle in being reminded of dippin' dots - a classic obsession of my younger years. The little icy raspberry spheres a joyful reminder of those crazy tiny balls of ice cream!
It is officially summer today, so go ahead - dive right into some summertime love with raspberry ice cream!
Raspberry Ice Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or the seeds from half of a vanilla bean)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 pint fresh raspberries (that's 2 cups)
Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, a hand mixer, or a really super strong arm - whisk together the egg yolks and 1/4 cup of the sugar until it doubles in size, lightens to a pale yellow, and gains a silky ribbony texture. This will take a few minutes.
Heat the cream and remaining 2 Tbsp sugar (and vanilla bean seeds if you're using it) to a scald, which is before a simmer but nice and steamy.
With the mixer running, slowly pour the cream mixture into the yolks until fully combined to temper your eggs. Then pour the mixture back into the pot and heat over medium heat until your custard has formed (if you don't feel comfortable knowing when that is, use a thermometer and look for 180 degrees). While it's heating, use a silicone spatula to gently scrape the bottom of the pan and stir slowly.
When you've reached 180 degrees, strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve into a medium bowl, and set that bowl into a larger one with a bit of ice and water in it to create a cooling water bath. Spin the inner bowl with one hand, while holding your spatula in the custard like a rudder to help the mixture cool evenly. If you're in a rush, you can just pop the custard in the fridge (and you don't have to strain it if there aren't any lumpy bits of egg), but these steps help to create the smoothest ice cream possible.
Refrigerate the custard for at least a few hours, until completely chilled, before churning.
Churn the ice cream base based on your machine's instructions, adding the raspberries just when the ice cream is starting to thicken. and stir as needed to help them break apart.
While you're churning, chill a container to put the ice cream into. Once it has thickened, scoop the ice cream into the container and freeze.