It’s ice cream season, y’all!
Not that I’ve ever really had a dedicated season for eating ice cream. Cold weather certainly has never stopped me from indulging in a frozen treat or two. But now that the temperatures are rising and the days are long, I find myself craving a cold, creamy ice cream cone on the regular.
We’ve got some great local ice cream shops here in town, but I still love making my own whenever I have a little extra time. It’s not hard at all (especially when you use a egg-free base like I did here) and the results are pretty spectacular. You just need a little bit of patience. Which when it comes to desserts, is often easier said than done!
I toyed with the idea of making an entire batch of ice cream flavored with blueberries and basil, but then opted to make a sauce instead that could be incorporated into the ice cream base post-churning. I actually think this method makes the individual flavors stand out much more. And of course, it looks very pretty AND you get to play ice cream artist with all the swirling and swooping.
The blueberry-basil sauce is more tart than sweet, so it provides a great contrast to the ice cream itself.
I made this recipe for Blueberry-Basil Swirled Ice Cream to celebrate June, and I’m sharing it as part of our monthly seasonal eating round-up organized by Becky from Vintage Mixer. Check out Becky’s #eatseasonal guide for plenty of recipes that highlight June’s peak fruits and vegetables. And be sure to scroll down and check out the links below to see what some of my talented blogging friends made this month as well.
- For the Ice Cream Base
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon vodka, optional
- For the Blueberry-Basil Sauce
- 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Before starting, make sure the canister of your ice cream maker is frozen. To freeze completely, the canister should be in the freezer for at least 6 hours.
- Make the ice cream base. In your food processor with the blade attachment, process the cream cheese until smooth, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, heavy cream and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3-5 minutes, or until the sugar is completely dissolved and small bubbles have started to form around the edge of the pan. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Carefully add about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture to the cream cheese and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Then add the remaining milk mixture and process for an additional 30 seconds. Transfer the ice cream base to a clean bowl and stir in the vanilla extract. Cover and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Meanwhile, make the blueberry-basil sauce. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine all of the ingredients for the sauce. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the blueberries have softened and started to release their juices, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly. Then transfer the mixture to your blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour the sauce into a clean, airtight container and refrigerate until chilled. The sauce can be stored in your refrigerator for several days before using.
- Churn the ice cream. Pour the chilled ice cream base into the canister of your ice cream maker and churn until the mixture is nearly frozen and the consistency of soft serve, about 20 minutes. Add the vodka, if using, and churn for an additional minute. Transfer about half of the ice cream to a freezer safe container. Drizzle about 3-4 tablespoons of the blueberry-basil sauce over top of the ice cream. Then drag a knife through the mixture to swirl the layers together slightly. Top with the remaining ice cream and another 3-4 tablespoons of the sauce. Then swirl again with the knife.
- Cover with plastic wrap, pushing the plastic all the way down to the surface of the ice cream, and freeze until firm, about 3 hours, before scooping and serving. The ice cream can be stored in your freezer for several days.
June Eat Seasonal Recipes
Strawberry, Raspberry and Rhubarb Crisp by Completely Delicious
Hoisin Buffalo Burgers with Spicy Slaw by Cookin’ Canuck
Sweet and Spicy Cucumber Ginger Salad by Letty’s Kitchen
Strawberries and Cream Oat Bars by The Vintage Mixer
Cucumber Noodle Tzatziki Salad by Flavor the Moments
Rhubarb Almond Danishes by Food For My Family (not pictured)
Ice cream season: all the time, every time! Ok I’ve been eyeing up the basil at the store and this is giving me the push I need to just get some and make ice cream!
Yes! It’s so good in ice cream!
I see myself eating those over and over this summer. The abs can wait.
Ha ha ha. I gave up on abs a long time ago!
This one will definitely be going on my summer ice cream list Liz! Blueberries are a total favorite and love the added basil flavor!
Thanks, Mary Ann! You’ll just love this one!
Ice cream is a year-round thing for me, too, but I crave it almost constantly during the summer. This ice cream is gorgeous, Liz — I love the color of that blueberry swirl! I love that it’s an eggless base, and the addition of cream cheese, sounds perfect for a tangy flavor. The basil-blueberry combination sounds delicious and I definitely need to try this!
I think you’ll totally love it, Marcie. And because there is no custard to cook, it’s a bit easier to make. I hope you try it!
I LOVE the sound of that blueberry basil sauce in the ice cream!! I’m still sans ice cream maker at the moment, but I’m going to grab some ice cream later this week to beat the summer heat. Seriously, I can’t wait to try that sauce!
Girl, get yourself an ice cream maker before Summer gets into full swing!
Yummm and this ice cream is so gorgeous!!! I love fruit and basil combinations, so this is right up my alley. Cheers to summer and ice cream weather!!!
Cheers, friend! Let’s get a cone together soon!
When I began reading your post, I was wondering how you would manage ice cream without that egg custard. Ha! Cream cheese. I’m pinning this one for the basil my CSA gets later this summer. Woman–this looks so delicious–the SWIRL–omg!
Yes, the cream cheese trick is my favorite way to make an ice cream base when I don’t feel like fussing with making a custard. It’s still so creamy. And less work. I love it!
Love the combo of flavors, I bet this ice cream is fantastic!
I loveee berries + basil together. SO good! And now I want some of this ice cream… haha
I hope you get some ice cream today, Ashley!
Those swirls! I have yet to make my inaugural homemade ice cream for summer – I need to get on it!
No time like the present! 🙂
This is the most beautiful ice cream I have ever seen!! Woah! And that cream cheese takes this over the top creamy! In ice cream, really, it’s all about the fat.. and you’ve amped it up, Liz! I love it! The sauce? I love the fancy swirls because it showcases the vibrant blues… it is SO pretty! I just made ice cream this past weekend for the first time this summer.! My icecream maker is officially back at work! Love this Liz!
Yay! This was my first homemade ice cream of the 2016 Summer season too. And I think it’s definitely one I’ll be making over and over again!
Pshhhh, weather never stops me from devouring ice cream year long either, Liz! This one is seriously stunning!! LOVE LOVE LOVE the basil and blueberry flavors and that swirl is everything! I’ll need at least 5 scoops of this beauty! Pinned! Cheers, friend!
Thanks, luv! We definitely need 5 scoops!
I agree that homemade ice cream is where it’s at. This swirly ice cream is a complete work of art and I feel like I can smell the flavors – I need a scoop pronto!
Thanks, Sarah! Excited to get to eat ice cream with you soon!
I made this and it is AWESOME! I added a tiny bit of homemade ricotta, because I had it and it was my second try at it (the ricotta) after making some full fat yogurt. It is amazing! I have it softening up a bit on the counter right now for Father’s Day dinner. Hey, it’s his day and if he wants ice cream first, who am I to argue? I was afraid my husband wouldn’t like the basil/balsamic vinegar mixture but it just makes the taste of the blueberry brighter. The tiny bits of ricotta are amazing little treats of cheesiness.
I will be making this again, and might try it with fresh raspberries because raspberry season is right now.
Hi Tory! So happy to hear you tried it and loved it. And the ricotta is a great touch. I’ve made one ricotta ice cream before, and I definitely want to try it again. And yes, I think we definitely need to make a raspberry version as well!