Summer berry ice cream that ticks all the boxes: smooth, velvety, creamy and very easy to make.
Everyone's favourite ice cream is creamy
How do you like your ice cream? If your answer is ‘Mr Whippy’, a.k.a. soft serve, I won’t disapprove, just whisper ‘each to their own’. Personally, I don’t get it, but then I don’t get trifle or curry either – so who am I to judge?
Most people like their ice cream creamy, thick on the palate, rich and sumptuous, chocolate or vanilla, Stracciatella or salted caramel.
That type of ice cream needs to be made with a custard base. Egg yolks provide the richness, the required amount of fat and they are also natural emulsifiers.
Is gelato made with eggs?
The question of Italian gelato is often raised, variously to support or negate the use of eggs in ice cream making.
And both sides are actually right: gelato flavours that are ‘thick on the palate’, to use my excellent expression, vanilla, cream, chocolate, pistachio, tiramisu or zabaglione most certainly have egg yolks in the contents.
The lighter, fruity kinds and of course sorbetti are eggless: their base is milk, skim milk powder and cream.
Custard or yoghurt?
I find custard is tricky to make. All this double boiling, passing through the sieve and making sure a skin does not form on the surface always sounds like hard work. It’s full and bother. And the end product, to my personal palate, is too cloyingly creamy and far excessive in its richness.
My all-time favourite is frozen yoghurt, or yoghurt flavoured ice cream which I only encountered in France and struggle to replicate at home.
It’s light, refreshing and has a tang that offsets the sugar content. Is that not what summer fare should be like?
Creamy base, no eggs
This recipe is not about yoghurt though, head to the proper fro-yo section for that. This is the result of The Weather Man’s request for ice cream ‘like the Italian gelati, rich and creamy’.
I knew then and I know now that the product ideally suited to his request would be custard-based; I know my man and his foibles, you see. But some people, you just can’t argue with. They want the richness of custard but don’t want eggs in it.
The thing is that TWM has problems with eggs. I think only once in his life he ate a whole egg. When having boiled eggs for breakfast, he only spoons out the yolk.
Oddly enough he loves meringues and macarons, made from egg whites, but stays away from custard which has only egg yolks in it. Go figure.
And so I embarked on research. It soon transpired that my initial idea of churning whipped cream was rubbish – the outcome is sweet frozen butter.
Weirdly, you get a slightly better result when you freeze cooked cream. But if you want the smoothness, roundness and velvety quality that eggs give to ice cream, a combination of ingredients is needed.
My affinity to yoghurt got the better of me: but it turns out that the protein in yoghurt works in the ice cream’s favour. Combined in equal quantities with cream, it tastes smooth enough.
But the proper magic trick is adding some cream cheese to the equation, as well as replacing sugar with corn syrup.
Frankly, I don’t know what precisely makes the difference between sugar and corn syrup added to the ice cream; all I know it gets me the result.
How to make my berry ice cream
Fruit is my favourite ice cream flavour, apart from yoghurt of course, but you should not add raw fruit into the base. The water content in raw fruit will make it less easy to churn and the texture less creamy.
Lightly roasted berries or stone fruit is a fabulous ingredient in many applications, not just ice cream. Fruit lightly tossed with very little sugar is baked for as little as ten minutes, but the flavour intensifies exponentially.
You can use thus roasted berries as a topping for yoghurt, porridge, as filling in cakes or folded into whipped cream for a simple dessert.
For the ice cream, all you need to do is blitz all the ingredients in a blender and then chill in the fridge overnight.
Churn it in the ice cream maker in the way that the machine instruction advises, and freeze.
For serving, the best texture for scooping will be if you remove the tub into the fridge fir half an hour beforehand.
More ice cream recipes
The easiest salted caramel ice cream: three ingredients, no churning. Delicious salted caramel ice cream made with Carnation tinned condensed milk caramel.
The best vanilla ice cream recipe for ice cream maker. No eggs, full fat cream and milk and real vanilla pods are the ingredients of totally luscious vanilla ice cream.
Mascarpone sorbet with lemon flavour inspired by a River Café recipe is smooth, creamy and unbelievably refreshing. This is a no-churn recipe.