Maple-Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream

Maple-Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream

14 Jul Maple-Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream

Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream by the scoop -

Whoever perfected commercial buttermilk is part genius, part half-wit. On one hand, they found a way to mass produce a low-fat, tasty dairy product that makes loaves tender, muffins moist and scones split into perfection. On the other, they sell it in cartons with two to four times the amount most recipes require. When a recipe calls for buttermilk, I’m either running out for more or left wondering how to use up that last cup hovering woefully at the bottom of the carton.

In the local grocery stores, buttermilk is sold by the litre (about 4 cups). There is no handy 1- or 2-cup option for when the desire to whip up a single batch of muffins strikes. Buy it and you’re committing yourself to 4 cups worth of buttermilk baking. Sure it keeps longer than the standard 2%, but in this heat do you really want to make four batches of scones or a month’s worth of muffins?

I thought not.

If you’ve got buttermilk going begging, I suggest you walk away from the oven and devote your attention to creating spare room in the freezer. Ice cream is the perfect summertime way to use up some of that confounding leftover buttermilk. And to cool down.

Maple-Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream

The final dish has the tangy edge of frozen yogurt with the smooth richness of ice cream. After the recent Canadian Food Experience Project post, I was feeling particularly patriotic (and curious) and replaced half the sugar with maple syrup. I’m not fully convinced I can taste the maple over the blueberries. They are so big and bright and loud and boisteorus. Never mind. All three flavours came together nicely in the end. Maybe some of that buttermilk ingenuity wore off of me.

Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream -

This bold, not-too-sweet ice cream will stain your fingers, napkins and clothes if it spills. And it will. Like all homemade ice creams, it melts more quickly than its commercial counterpart. There are no stabilizers. No carageenan gum, no corn starch, no gelatin. Just berries and cream and sugar and buttermilk. Oh, and egg yolks.

Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream Drips -

To get this recipe just right, I used 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk. I was tempted to use all 2 cups of the buttermilk left in my fridge, but the results would have been too soft. Now I’ve a pesky 1/2 cup of leftover buttermilk and no more ideas. So I stuck it in the freezer for a head start on the next batch. Doing the math, if I add a full 4-cup carton to the straggling half cup, it’ll all work out perfectly after 3 batches of buttermilk ice cream.

Hmm. I’m revising my first theory. The creator of commerical buttermilk likely had this in mind from the start, so is therefore just genius. An evil genius, but a genius nonetheless.

Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep / inactive time: 
Cook / active time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1½ quarts
Blueberry buttermilk ice cream is full of berry flavour with an added tang. Whole frozen blueberries provide texture, but you can purée all the berries if you want a prefectly smooth ice cream.
  • 4 cups wild blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (35%)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1½ cup buttermilk
  1. Cook the blueberries: In a large pot, heat the blueberries over medium heat until they are cooked and soft. You might need to add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water. If you want whole blueberries in your ice cream, set aside ¾ cup of the cooked berries. Drain them and return the strained juice to the pot with the other berries. Purée the remaining berries and their juice in a blender. Strain the purée through a sieve, pressing the berrieswith the back of a spoon or ladle to remove any stems and skin. Set the berry purée aside, discard the skins and stems.
  2. Make the custard: In a medium pot over medium heat, bring the cream and vanilla paste to a simmer. Bubbles should form around the edge of the pot but don't let the cream boil. Once it simmers remove the pan from the heat. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the yolks with the sugar and maple syrup until pale and well combined. Slowly, pour a ladle of the cream into the yolks, whisking constantly. Whisk in a second ladle and then slowly whisk the yolks into the cream in the pot. Return the pot to the heat and cook, stirring contstantly, until the yolks are thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  3. Finish and chill the custard: Remove the custard from the heat and stir in the buttermilk. Stir in the blueberry purée and the reserved whole berries, if using. Cover and refrigerate until cool.
  4. Churn the ice cream: About 15 to 20 minutes before churning, pop the blueberry ice cream mixture into the freezer to thoroughly chill. Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer directions.


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  • Marlene
    Posted at 13:44h, 15 July Reply

    Gorgeous! That’s simply gorgeous ice cream! And I have blueberries galore, so thank you for the well-timed inspiration.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 13:48h, 15 July Reply

      My pleasure. The ice cream disappeared quickly. I’ll have to make more as the blueberries roll in. Better get a second barrel for my ice cream maker :-)

  • Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking
    Posted at 02:50h, 18 July Reply

    I am so glad someone else has that gripe about buttermilk being sold by the liter! What is with that?! I thought it was just the stores around me.

    That being said, this recipe has now forced me to go buy more because I just ran out and this ice cream MUST be made! Maple. Blueberry. Buttermilk. Yumm!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 14:22h, 18 July Reply

      I think the whole 1-litre or nothing approach is to keep us baking. Devious of them.

      I’m glad this recipe has inspired you to commit to another litre of buttermilk. I hope you enjoy it.

  • Maggie
    Posted at 13:22h, 19 July Reply

    MMMMM. Blueberries. Why not make salad dressing with that pesky 1/2 cup of buttermilk? That would be perfect in this heat wave.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 13:52h, 19 July Reply

      Doh! Why didn’t I think of that?! Brilliant. Collect double points and an extra scoop of ice cream. Thanks for the practical and timely suggestion.

  • Amallia
    Posted at 07:43h, 20 July Reply

    wow amazing , it looks so good so purple :-)

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 21:06h, 22 July Reply

      Thanks, Amallia. It’s quite purple. And it tastes as good as it looks. I just love berry season.

  • afracooking
    Posted at 11:03h, 28 July Reply

    And I always thought I was the only one who always had buttermilk left over. But now I know I am not alone 😉 and I have a solution :-) thank you!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 23:37h, 28 July Reply

      You are definitely not alone! One reader reminded me that homemade ranch dressing is another option for small amounts of leftover buttermilk. Either way, the results will be tasty.

    Posted at 16:38h, 19 August Reply


    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 23:29h, 20 August Reply

      Thanks, Shannon. I’d love to hear how it turns out for you. It’s hard to beat good blueberry ice cream!

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