Buttermilk-Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream

My friend Celia recently asked me to make some ice cream for a birthday party — her boyfriend’s family was in town from California, and knowing my ice cream making obsession, she decided to ask me for a couple batches rather than pick up whatever this or that ice cream was available at the store. Um, yes please! Something to be paired with a chocolate cake, something to be paired with a lemon cake. I settled on a rich buttermilk ice cream with blueberry jam swirled throughout, and peanut butter cup ice cream with homemade candies. So, not only do I get immense joy from people enjoying my treats, but we did a trade in which I got the most beautiful ceramic strainer that Celia made. I’m obsessed with it. Scroll down for the recipe — and a photo of her gorgeous piece!

buttermilk-blueberry swirl ice cream

lighthouse beach

celia lesh ceramics

summer sunsets

tis the season

mama pie, baby pie

buttermilk-blueberry swirl ice cream

halibut point

summer sunsets


 Buttermilk-Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen. This is equally delicious without the blueberry swirl, or you could fold in a peach puree…ah, yep! The best way to make this ice cream is to make the jam a few days ahead, so you have time to let it macerate overnight before cooking it a second time, and make the buttermilk base one day ahead, so all you have to do the next day is churn the ice cream and fold in the berries after. That way it will be fully chilled, easy peasy.

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar (separated into 1 cup, and 1/4 cup)
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • Pinch of salt

In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the heavy cream and one cup of sugar and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

In a large, heat-proof bowl, whisk egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.

Remove the cream mixture from the heat and drizzle a small amount into the yolks, slowly adding a bit at a time. You want to add the hot cream slowly and whisk constantly so you gradually warm the yolks, otherwise you’ll end up with scrambled eggs. Once about half of the cream mixture is added to the yolks, combine all of the yolks and cream mixture back into the saucepan.

Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a heat-proof spatula (silicone works), until the mixture just coats the back of the spatula. Strain the mixture and whisk in the buttermilk and salt. Cool completely and freeze according manufacturer’s directions.

Dab a little of the blueberry jam (recipe follows) onto the bottom of the storage container you’ll be using for the ice cream. Transfer the ice cream into the container, bit by bit, alternating with a spoonful or two of the jam. Be careful not to mix too much, so it comes out as a swirl, rather than turning into blue ice cream. But if it does…it is still going to be delicious!

Blueberry Jam Swirl

This is from The Preservation Kitchen – a book I will continue to be obsessed with, and wish I made more use of.  The book’s recipe is actually for canning blackberry jam, which has a different pH level than blueberries, so I would not can this recipe. This obviously makes more than what you’d need for the ice cream swirl, but who doesn’t need blueberry jam this time of year? Freeze what you can’t eat within a week, and you’ll be thrilled come January.

Yields 2-3 half-pints.

  • 6 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

In a wide, heavy-bottomed pot, combine the berries, sugar, and lemon juice. Cover and simmer, checking the pot often, until the juices just begin to release. This will only take about 5 minutes. Cool, pour into a storage container, and refrigerate overnight or up to 5 days.

After refrigerating, pour the blueberries into a wide, heavy-bottomed pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover and cook until it reaches 212 degrees F, about 15 minutes. You can tell it’s done when you spoon a bit on a plate and it feels tacky and doesn’t drip everywhere. It’s important to get it to this point, because if it’s too liquidy, the swirl will taste icy rather than luscious. Let the finished jam cool fully in the refrigerator before adding to the ice cream.

Good luck not filling your belly up with this ice cream straight out of the machine…I was freaking out when I made it.

buttermilk-blueberry swirl ice cream

2 Replies to “Buttermilk-Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream”

  1. Don says:

    Hi Sheila,

    Ice cream looks very yummy. Here is a link I thought you might find interesting.



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