I love small farms that sell homegrown fruits and vegetables especially if you can pick your own. We have a few of these near my home in Dallas which I like to frequent. Last week I was able to pick fresh blackberries from Pure Land Organic Farm in McKinney Texas. The farm is about 28 acres of fresh produce that does not use synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and other additives. They post the harvest dates each week on their website and it is by reservation only.
I quickly learned how to pick blackberries. On my first trip, I picked the full black colored berries. These were usually on the outside of the vines, but I noticed they were smaller in size. On my second trip, I dug deep. In the middle of the vines are the full colored, plump, and sweet blackberries. It takes a little more effort to get these and at times your hands and arms can get scratched from the thorns. But oh, the difference in taste is well worth the effort.
If you ever have a chance to go pick your own produce, I highly recommend it. Homegrown produce tastes better than anything you will find in your local supermarket. This is a great way to get your kids to try new fruits and vegetables as well. They are more apt to try it if they picked it themselves.
This homemade ice cream is better if you make over 2 days. I would recommend you make the custard and puree on day 1. Refrigerate it over night and then prepare the ice cream on day 2 according to the ice cream maker manufacturer’s directions.
Blackberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- ice cream maker
- 2 cups fresh blackberries washed and drained
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chopped
- Place blackberries and 2 tablespoons sugar in a skillet or saucepan. Cook over medium heat to release the juices. Simmer until juices reduce slightly, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a food mill to remove the seeds, but preserve the pulp and juices. A fine mesh strainer can be used as well. Cover blackberry puree with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
Ice Cream Custard
- In a medium-size saucepan add cream, milk, 1/4 cup of the sugar and salt. Heat over medium/low heat until steaming. Whisk egg yolks and slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. When the cream mixture is hot and steaming, slowly pour a small amount of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture stirring constantly. Continue to add at least 1/2 of the hot cream mixture. Slowly pour the egg/cream mixture back into the pan and cook over low heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Cover and chill completely overnight.
Churn Puree and Custard
- When both mixtures have chilled, stir the blackberry puree into the ice cream mixture. Mix well otherwise the ice cream will be darker/lighter in color. Pour mixed liquid. into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions. Add chopped chocolate the last 5 minutes of mixing. Makes 1 quart of ice cream.