Black Currant Ice Cream – Bakes by Brown Sugar

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Video Black currant ice cream

The first time I went to France, I had black currant ice cream and it was incredible. I had never of black currants, but before long I discovered black currant jam too. Any time I get a chance to travel to England or France I get both since they are hard to get in the United States. And there is something indulgent about sitting at a French cafe eating an ice cream sundae and watching the world go by on a sunny day. Read more about how to make this ice cream and enjoy it on a warm summer day.

Black Currant Ice Cream
Black Currant Ice Cream

Black currants have a short season. Locally I have only ever seen them at the Farmer’s Market. This year I discovered them at the local grocery store and bought a few to experiment with. This recipe can also be made with frozen black currants. For this recipe I used frozen black currants, because a friend gifted me with a bag and I knew immediately what I would do with them – ICE CREAM!

How to Make Ice Cream

Ice cream is one of the best parts of summer, so why not learn to make it at home. There are different times of ice cream, and this recipe is for French style ice cream. French style is ice cream made with egg yolks. This type of ice cream has 5 basic ingredients:

  • Egg Yolks
  • Heavy Cream
  • Whole Milk
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Flavoring of your choice

In this case the flavoring is black currant puree. If you don’t have black currants you can also make this with another fruit puree of your choice, like strawberries or raspberries.

Ingredients for the Ice Cream Base
Ingredients for the Ice Cream Base

The ice cream starts with a custard base. The egg yolks add a rich flavor. They also make the ice cream creamier, smoother because they act as an emulsifier. The tricky part with making this type of ice cream is correctly tempering the eggs. If the hot liquid is added to the eggs too quickly you can end of with scrambled eggs. So add the hot milk-cream mixture to the eggs a little add a time, using a ladle. When cooking the custard cook on medium or medium-low heat whisking constantly.

Don’t let the custard boil. The resultant custard will be somewhat grainy. The custard is cooked until it is 175 degrees F, then poured through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. The strainer is used to catch any egg solids.

The custard is initially cooled over an ice bath and then refrigerated for at least 4 hours to ensure it is thoroughly chilled for the ice cream machine. But the longer you can allow the ice cream to chill, the better. I recommend overnight.

How Make the Fruit Puree

The goal for the free puree is just to cook the fruit enough to break it down and easy to mix into the ice cream. Just enough sugar and water are added to help the fruit cook. For the black currants, you only want to cook them until the fruit pops and is thickened. Because of the natural pectin in the black currants the puree thickens quickly. Allow the puree to cool completely and then store in the refrigerator until ready to make the ice cream. You should have about 3/4 cup of puree.

Fresh Black Currants with Sugar
Fresh Black Currants with Sugar
Black Currant Puree
Black Currant Puree

How to Churn the Ice Cream

I use the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker to make ice cream. I make ice cream every 4-6 weeks during the summer so this model perfect. The instructions say to freeze the bowl in the freezer for 24 hours before making ice cream, but I think it works better if it is frozen for at least 48 hours before making ice cream.

If you plan to make ice weekly, then you may want to get a self-refrigerating machine. These models contain a compressor and don’t require freezing the container before making the ice cream.

Black Currant Ice Cream in Ice Cream Maker
Black Currant Ice Cream in Ice Cream Maker

When you’re ready to make the ice cream, taste the ice base with the fruit puree mixed in. You should like the taste at this point. Depending on the taste profile you want, consider adding a little more sugar or a pinch of salt before churning it.

Once added to the ice cream maker it will take about 30 minutes for the ice cream to reach the right texture. It should be creamy, thick, and still soft; very similar to soft-serve ice cream. Be careful not to eat it all before you freeze it.

How to Store the Ice Cream

There are containers made specifically for storing ice cream, but I use a loaf pan and wrap it in several layers of plastic wrap to protect it from freezer burn and collecting any odor.

Black Currant Ice Cream
Black Currant Ice Cream

I hope you try this ice cream. It is so good. And if you don’t have black currants, this recipes works with raspberries and blackberries too.

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