Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Blueberries Blueberries Everywhere

In an attempt to do things other than cook, clean, and watch TV all weekend, John and I went blueberry picking last Saturday afternoon. Which then resulted in me cooking everything and anything blueberry related all day Sunday. So really, our attempt to get out of the house resulted in us being cooped up in the kitchen making glorious blueberry treats all day. Which, in retrospect, wasn't necessarily a bad thing, since we get to eat all of the anti-oxidant rich goodies. See, we're being healthy, right?

We each picked over 2 pounds of blueberries... which means we had nearly 5 pounds. I'm not kidding 5 pounds of blueberries. And if you're looking for a cost-effective way of getting your hands on these little suckers, seriously go to a u-pick farm and pick them yourself. It was super fun, although super hot... but we got all of those blueberries for about $7. Seriously, ~5lbs for $7? Yes, please.

So far we've used up almost half and I'll be posting more ways to consume and cook blueberries in the next couple days. It will be antioxidant week on Dinner from Last Night! (In the fields I kept calling the blueberries "glorious sacks of antioxidants". I'm pretty sure John thought I had lost it... I'll chalk it up to heat exhaustion.)

Blueberry Ice Cream
Adapted from Annie Eats

I accidentally used way more vodka than the original recipe calls for. I thought I could remember the recipe and instead of walking back to my computer or printing it off, which would have been the intelligent thing to do, I just guessed. It came out really nicely though. From what I've read, the alcohol in the vodka keeps the ice cream from getting too hard in the freezer. The addition of more cream and vodka from the original recipe made this ice cream amazingly creamy and soft, which I wasn't expecting based on the ingredients. Feel free to dial the vodka down if that isn't your thing, or leave it out completely. This won't last long enough for the ice cream to get hard anyway!

2 cups fresh blueberries
3/4 cups water
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp vodka (optional)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

In a medium saucepan, cook blueberries, water and sugar over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool for about 30 seconds.

Transfer to a food processor or blender and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Be careful to let the processor vent! The blueberry mix will be HOT. If you want, strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. I didn't do this step. I like the chunks. But, do whatever suits your ice-cream-consistency desires. Stir in the vodka if using. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24. I let it go for a little under 3. I was impatient.

Add the cream and lemon juice to the blueberry mixture and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until firm. Or eat it straight from the ice cream maker for a little soupier ice cream.


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