Triple Blueberry Ice Cream Floats

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As someone with a mild to moderate yet completely unreasonable and sometimes overwhelming case of anxiety, the act of taking a vacation is often more of a challenge for me than an opportunity.

And no, I don’t mean that in the sense that I just love working so much and have such blinding ambition and tireless drive that the mere thought of taking a break is simply unbearable (I’m not that much of sociopath, you guys).

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I dread vacations because I have a deep-seeded uneasiness about basic adult pursuits and am generally afraid of everything, especially being away from home. I view traveling mostly as a series of obstacles designed to either make me vomit, make me cry, give me a migraine, or some delightful combination of the three. Couple this with a heightened awareness of germs and bedbugs, sprinkle in some severe motion sickness, and boom – I’m basically the most perfect travel companion you could ever imagine (and just think, all of this goes down before the vacation even starts!).

So, yeah. I don’t really like vacations.

Until, that is, we had the vacation to top all vacations.

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No, it wasn’t Paris, it wasn’t Rome…it was (drumroll please)…Bar Harbor, Maine!

Maine ended up being the perfect vacation for us because we could do the things we typically do at home (eat, sleep, go to the park, eat some more), but in one of the most beautiful, genuine, relaxed places we’d ever experienced.  And just look at this landscape!

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And this adorable, postcard-perfect view!

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My husband and I loved Maine so much that any anxiety I felt about traveling, blood-sucking parasites, and being away from home just melted away. We even started fantasizing about what it would be like to live there. We examined local real estate, googled deals on used Subarus, and perused the open positions at L.L. Bean (because YOU GUYS who wouldn’t want to work for LL Bean?! Three words: Wicked. Good. Slippers).

We did everything we could think of that was stereotypically Maine: ate lobster on the beach, hit the trails at Acadia National Park, took selfies at all the major landmark lighthouses, and drove the coast at sunset. We spent some time in Portland noshing on poutine and potato donuts, and looked for shells and sea glass in the beaches of South Portland (or as the locals call it, SoPo. Hipster alert!).

But of all we did (and we did a lot!), perhaps our greatest accomplishment is that we fell in love.

…with blueberries.

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Much like vacations, blueberries are another thing in my life that have always given me apprehension. If a fruit could embody a lifetime of anxiety and insecurities, for me that fruit would be the blueberry. Truthfully, I’ve never found them all that interesting, but felt like I should like them because society (aka bloggers on Instagram) told me I should. I’d swear them off for periods of time, but would eventually succumb to the peer pressure and think, “C’mon, clearly everyone loves blueberries! What’s wrong with you?! Give em another try!” So I’d fall for it, just to be bitterly disappointed when the vibrant blue berries just didn’t live up to the hype. Blueberries just don’t taste that good, I’d say to myself. They just don’t taste like anything, quite frankly.

Until I tried Maine wild blueberries. And then I realized, blueberries taste like something…a very, very good something.

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We had blueberry everything – blueberry pancakes, blueberry beer, blueberry ice cream, and my favorite of all, blueberry soda. We loved it so much that as soon as we got back to Ohio, we ordered a case so that we could enjoy a little piece of Maine at home.

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Now, don’t worry – you don’t have to have blueberry soda to make this float. It would taste great with any berry-based soda (a blackberry Izze would work great). However, keep in mind that this is a triple blueberry float. If you sub out one of the blueberry components for a lesser fruit, then it becomes a…double berry float. Definitely less impressive if you ask me 🙂

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This float is triple blueberry perfection. Tart blueberry ice cream, drowning in sweet blueberry soda, and topped with fragrant, roasted blueberries. It’s the perfect treat on a hot summer day!

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You don’t have to make the blueberry ice cream (you could always use vanilla or raspberry in a pinch), but you guys. This blueberry ice cream is good. Like, so good. Like, “omg, is this really fruit ice cream?” good. Granted, it’s probably not as good as it could be, because I used Ohio blueberries and not Maine wild blueberries, but it’s nothing a little heavy cream and sugar can’t remedy.

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I added in a bit of fresh lemon juice and cream cheese to give it an almost cheesecake-like intensity. My favorite part about this ice cream? The texture – it’s chunky and jam-packed with blueberries!

Rather than completely pureeing the flesh of the berries, I pulsed them in my Vitamix just once – enough to break them up a bit, but not enough to completely liquefy the berry.

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Don’t like chunks of fruit in your ice cream? No worries – there’s no rules with these floats! (Except the messier, the better, obviously).

Add a splash of bourbon if you like, and pile tons of whipped cream on top. Garnish with blueberries, and voila! Triple Blueberry goodness.

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Dear Maine, I love you. Thanks for showing me how fun (and delicious) vacations can be.

Oh and blueberries, you ain’t so bad yourself. You’re actually pretty awesome after all.

Happy scooping 🙂

Triple Blueberry Ice Cream Floats

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Yield: 6 Massive Floats

Ingredients:

For the Roasted Blueberry Compote:

3 heaping cups blueberries, divided

¼ cup sugar

For the Ice Cream Base

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup whole milk, plus 2 tablespoons

2 cups heavy cream

2/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Pinch of kosher or sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 cups of the Roasted Blueberry Compote

For the Float:

2 bottles of chilled blueberry soda; if not available, any berry flavor will do

Plenty of Whipped Cream

Handful of uncooked blueberries, to garnish

Make the Roasted Blueberry Compote:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place berries in a baking dish or pan and sprinkle with sugar. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until berries are juicy and bursting. Allow to cool for a few minutes; until cool enough to handle.
  3. Place berries in the container of your blender and pulse once or twice for a chunky texture, or puree completely if you prefer a smoother ice cream (but remember, you’ll also use these berries as a layering component in your finished float; even if you prefer smooth ice cream, you may want to leave a cup of the berries chunky and puree the rest). Set aside two cups of the berries for your ice cream base and place the rest in the fridge until it’s time to build the floats.

Make the Blueberry Ice Cream:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix two tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Fill a large bowl or your sink with ice water (lots of ice!!!). Set aside.
  3. In a 4 quart saucepan, combine milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup, and salt, then bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 4 minutes.
  4. After 4 minutes, remove the milk mixture from heat and gradually mix into your cornstarch and milk mixture that you made in Step 1. Add combined mixture back to the saucepan, and cook over medium high heat for about 1 minute, or until thickened and the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla and cream cheese. Once cream cheese is completely incorporated, mix in the fresh lemon and 2 cups of the roasted blueberry compote.
  5. Place mixture in a gallon sized Ziploc bag (not the press n’ seal kind; make sure you get the fancy kind that locks). Submerge in ice bath for half an hour until cold, or, skip the ice bath altogether and place bag in the fridge overnight.
  6. Once the ice cream base is chilled, churn in your ice cream maker. Freeze finished ice cream in the freezer for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

Assemble the Floats:

  1. In a tall glass, layer blueberry ice cream, then compote, then more ice cream, then more compote.
  2. Pour soda into the glasses. Be gentle – soda may foam up out of the glass.
  3. Garnish with plenty of whipped cream and uncooked blueberries.

Enjoy!!!!

Roasted Sweet Corn and Blueberry Ice Cream

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You guys.

I’ve been trying really hard.

Like, really really hard.

(I have!)

But I just can’t do this anymore…

I can’t keep faking it.

It’s over.

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(I’m talking about summer, of course).

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Summer and I, we’ve had a good run for the past few months. I’ve tried things that I’d never done before, survived a culinary mishap or two (or three or four), and rediscovered old friends that had long been forgotten.

I really did give it my best shot.

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As such, I wanted this post to be a final tribute to the season, a touching “thanks-for- everything, you’ve-been-a-great-friend, I’ll-see-you-next-year” type deal that really reflected on my personal growth and sent summer out with the fanfare it deserves.

But you guys! My heart’s just not in it.

I’m kind of …over it.

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Even though it’s still technically summer for about another week, I just couldn’t in good conscious write one more summer-themed post when all the leading indicators of autumn (i.e. pumpkins, cable knit sweaters, etc.) are infiltrating key outlets such as coffee shops, retailers, and oh, I don’t know…NATURE.

(I see you, little reddish-orange leaves in the backyard – I SEE YOU).

The signs are all there, my friends, and I can’t ignore them any longer.

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It was fun while it lasted, Summer. But I’m on to bigger and better (and more fall-ish) things.

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Although sweet corn is arguably a summer vegetable, it has always felt very harvest-y to me and thus quite fall-like. So I decided to have my cake and eat it too with what I’ll refer to as a Transitional Blog Post; it can be both a farewell to summer and a hello to fall.

(Hey. My ice cream blog, my rules!)

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Corn and I have a long and pleasant history, which may surprise some people, given my frequent public renouncements of both fruit and vegetables (even though, as you may know, things are on the up and up with fruit).

I can tolerate most vegetables (okay, some vegetables), especially when they’re roasted at high temps with copious amounts of salt. But, there are a few vegetables that I actually like; I even, daresay, love said vegetables. Sweet corn is at the top of that list.

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Corn is one vegetable that I’ve loved as far back as I can remember. I absolutely adore everything about it. I love the bright green exterior and the threads of corn “silk” that cascade from the top. I love slowly peeling back the husks to reveal the tiny tender kernels beneath, beaming like little golden nuggets in the sun. And as much as I love slathering a fresh-from-the-grill cob with gobs of butter and salt, one of my very favorite things about sweet corn is eating it raw, minus all the bells and whistles, in all of its natural glory. The simpler, the better!

I might be bias, but Ohio’s sweet corn is absolutely the best. In fact, there aren’t many things that remind me of home more than good ol’ corn on the cob.

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Corn ice cream is nothing new, but I’ve known that I wanted to make this flavor for a long time now, as a shout out to my beloved home state. To show my respects, I went back to my old school method (read: Ohio egg yolks) for this ice cream, because I wanted it to be decadent and fabulous with farm-y ingredients.

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Straight out of the oven, the roasted corn kernels were unbelievably sweet and juicy. When immersed into the ice cream base and churned, they adopted an extremely rich, almost buttery flavor.

But did it actually taste like corn, you ask?

Why, of course it did!

In fact, I was actually surprised at how flavorful this ice cream turned out; it had one of the most robust and distinct flavor profiles that has ever been created in my tiny kitchen.

(Note: if you want to seem like a real food blogger, use of the term “flavor profile” will help build your street cred).

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Truthfully, the addition of the blueberry swirl was really an afterthought here; I knew I wanted to use some sort of berry as a final shoutout to summer, and I suspected that this earthy variety might complement the buttery corn flavor in a really nice way. Turns out, they were the perfect thing to cut through the richness of the sweet corn base.

When I let my husband sample a bite from the machine, his reaction was “Wow. That’s…weird. But it’s a good weird.”

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So there you have it. Presenting my weird-in-a-good-way ice cream: it’s sweet, it’s simple it’s…corn-y.

(See what I did there?)

In the end, this is really more of a Welcome Fall blog post…but we don’t have to tell Summer that, do we?

Until next year, Summer! Happy scooping!

Roasted Sweet Corn and Blueberry Ice Cream

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

Yield: Just under 1 Quart

Ingredients

  • 3 ears of sweet corn
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 pint of blueberries
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar (depending upon personal preference/sweetness of berries)
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the corn from the cobs (reserving cobs for later) and lay out on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, then roast in the preheated oven until corn becomes fragrant and some pieces begin to get a healthy tan (about ten minutes or so). Remove from oven.
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks slightly until just broken up.
  4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk, cream, and sugar until it just begins to steam. Add the roasted corn kernels and cobs, and continue to cook for about 5 minutes longer, being careful to not let the mixture boil. Remove from heat, cover, and allow to steep for 10 or 15 minutes.
  5. After 15 minutes, remove the kernels and cobs from the milk mixture by running it through a strainer (don’t discard those kernels – they make a great snack!). Note: you don’t have to remove all of the kernels if you’d like some added texture in your ice cream; I was nervous that they would freeze too hard, so I chose not to keep them).
  6. Make your custard in the usual way: a quarter or so cup at a time, begin to ladle the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, and whisk vigorously until combined. Once all of the milk has been incorporated into the eggs, add back to the pan.
  7. Heat over medium heat until mixture thickens and becomes a custard, about 15 minutes or so. Strain through a fine sieve and pour into a storage container, gallon ziplock bag, or large bowl. If you’re fancy, you can submerge the mixture into an ice bath until cool, because that’s the “right” way to make ice cream (but I never do, let’s be honest). Store in fridge until thoroughly chilled (probably overnight).

Make the roasted blueberry compote:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lay your blueberries on a glass baking dish (I used an 8 X 8); sprinkle with salt and sugar and roast in preheated oven until soft, fragrant, and bubbling, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool to room temperature, then mash up the berries with a fork or potato masher. Move to a glass mason jar or other container and store in the fridge until ready to use (side note: store the extras for up to a week to use on pancakes or waffles!)

Assemble:

  1. Freeze ice cream base in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.
  2. While adding to your storage container, swirl in the blueberry compote liberally, or layer between layers of ice cream.
  3. Freeze overnight and enjoy 🙂