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Blueberry Swirl Vanilla Ice Cream

Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream-Copyright©Tartelette 2008 Usually, when I get up first in the morning, I turn the coffee machine on, put a couple of pieces of bread in the toaster and hop right back into bed. Takes us an extra 10-15 minutes before we are fully awake during which we might tell a joke, talk about our schedules, etc….normal. Except the other day… B. opened up one eye and sleepily said "what the heck is that noise? What is wrong with this coffee maker?". I had to fess up "That’s not the coffee, that’s the ice cream maker!". He had this look, a perfect mix of fear that I had blown a fuse this early in the morning and of giddy happiness that he might have ice cream for breakfast. "At 6 o’clock in the morning? What got into you?!!"

"Nothing! That’s work!". He straighten out on the bed and gave me a huge smile "Oh! Then I love it when you go to work!"… Add the dog to the mix who does not miss an opportunity to lick whatever edible falls on his snout and you have a pretty good morning. Don’t be fooled though, I usually hit the snooze button a couple of times, ok…maybe three. The day before, I had started to work on the ice creams recipes that were starting to create a big mess in my head when I decided to take a break. That break turned out in yet another custard ready to be churned but one I know by heart from the restaurant, vanilla bean ice cream. Plain, simple, so satisfying… so yes, I’ll take that as a break.

I wanted to give the ice cream maker the chance to stretch out its limb too that morning by starting with the vanilla but when I reached for another vanilla bean in the freezer the night before, I bumped into a jar of cooked blueberries. I have this habit of cooking or roasting fruit that is getting over ripe and freezing it so I can throw it into ice cream or cheesecake when I need to. And this is how my simple vanilla ice cream became Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream.

I prepared the vanilla bean custard the evening before, and let the blueberries thaw at the same time. In the morning, I let the custard churn for about 20 minutes, (soft serve consistency), poured the blueberries in and let it swirl for a couple of times before pouring the ice cream into a container and freezing. The vanilla base was smooth and soft mixed with the tartness and natural sweetness of the blueberry juice and fruit.

I admit, I love my ice cream maker…but it can take some space in my small freezer and some of you have complained they did not have one so they could not try ice cream recipes….Let’s stop with the nonsense right now…I want you to have ice cream!! If you want ice cream, you will have ice cream! A stand mixer, handheld electric beaters or an immersion are ok substitute. When your custard is cold, pour it into a freezer safe container and freeze it for about one hour, take it out and give it a good whip with the Kitchen Aid with the paddle attachment, your hand mixer with the paddle beaters (not the balloon whisks ones), or your immersion blander. Put the ice cream back into the container and back in the freezer and repeat two more time (freeze one hour, whip, freeze,…). It won’t be as smooth as professionally churned ice cream but it is a great substitute. See… can do it!

Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream-Copyright©Tartelette 2008
Blueberry Swirl Vanilla Ice Cream:

4 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean or 1 Tb vanilla paste
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup sugar

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Run a knife through the center of the vanilla bean, not cutting all the way through, split it open and with the tip of a pairing knife, scrape the seeds. Place them in a saucepan over medium heat, add the milk and cream to boiling point but do not let it boil. Slowly pour the hot cream onto the egg yolks mixture and stir to combine (tempering). Pour the whole mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the cream coats the back of spoon. At this point you have a thick custard sauce. Remove from the heat and let cool completely, refrigerate until cold, or overnight.
In the meantime prepare the blueberries: in a small saucepan, combine the berries and the sugar and cook over medium low heat until the berries start to pop and release their natural juices. Let cool completely.
Process the custard according to your ice cream maker manufacturer’s instructions and towards the last couple of minutes of churning time pour in the cooled blueberries and give it a couple of swirls. Pour the soft ice cream into a freezer safe container until it reaches your preferred consistency.
If you do not have an ice cream machine: take care of the vanilla ice cream first, during your last whipping, add the blueberries the same way and freeze.

Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream-Copyright©Tartelette 2008

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steph- whisk/spoon July 9, 2008 um 6:13 am

oh, i would love a cone of that ice cream! i’m always putting those bits and pieces i find in the fridge into other things…it’s so satisfying to use stuff up, especially when it comes out tasty!

steph- whisk/spoon July 9, 2008 um 6:13 am

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MyKitchenInHalfCups July 9, 2008 um 8:38 am

Ice cream in the morning . . . now doesn’t that open up a whole new universe . . . what’s a waffle cone for . . . right on Tartelette!!!

Christy July 9, 2008 um 8:59 am

I’m getting an ice cream maker as a gift some time soon…either end of this week or next week…so so happy that I can finally make some frozen treats!! Although I really like your suggestion of "churning" the ice cream on the stand mixer!

Anonymous July 9, 2008 um 9:10 am

In certain parts of Sicily it is traditional to eat granita or gelato with brioche for breakfast, I’m half Sicilian so I say pass me a bowl of that Blueberry Swirl!

Anonymous July 9, 2008 um 10:41 am

This looks gorgeous! I’ve always been nervous about trying swirl ice-creams at home–worried that it would all blend together instead of swirling–but I’m tempted to give this a go with the blueberries lurking in the fridge.

Cannelle Et Vanille July 9, 2008 um 11:30 am

My ice cream machine has also been running like crazy lately, but not quite that early! This looks absolutely delicious!

Clumbsy Cookie July 9, 2008 um 11:31 am

Helen the blueberries makes the most beautiful colored swirl and I wouls have no problems eating ice-cream for breakfast, I mean it has eggs and milk, that’s perfect for breakfast! I love the cute swirl cone holders as well.

Camille July 9, 2008 um 11:33 am

First, I want to thank you for your kind words. I am very fortunate for my family is strong and I have dear friends.

I do the same thing with fruit that is about to turn, or just looks to good to pass up so I buy extra. Sometimes I don’t cook the fruit, I freeze and use for smoothies this way I don’t have to add ice.
I just bought blueberries and have a hand ice cream maker so I might try this recipe. (But, the blueberries might not make it that far I think I have little and big fingers dipping into the bowl!)

Susan @ SGCC July 9, 2008 um 12:08 pm

That blueberry swirl ice cream looks and sounds heavenly! I’d be up for a bowl any time of day!

GrowItGreen July 9, 2008 um 12:28 pm

Now I want to go drag the ice cream maker out of the garage. I also live in SC and I wish you were my neighbor.. lol..
I am excited to read on to some of your other adventures. Next time why not coffee ice cream for breakfast???

read some of my other favorite food blogs at

LizNoVeggieGirl July 9, 2008 um 12:53 pm

Haha, how fun that you made ice cream so early in the morning :0) Looks divine!!

Beth (jamandcream) July 9, 2008 um 1:06 pm

My ice cream maker arrived at the weekend – Yay!! Can’t wait to try!

Anonymous July 9, 2008 um 1:20 pm

Can I come for a sleep over and can we have ice cream for breakfast??!!

What a great idea, roasting fruit and putting it back in the freezer for various baking goodies. I normally just make something, even if I’m not in the mood and this would be a much better way of dealing with almost gone fruit.

Jen Yu July 9, 2008 um 1:23 pm

Yummy!!! I saw the first shot and thought – someone ate the round scoop part… that should have been ME 🙂 To be a visitor in your house must be a treat at any given instant because you are always making such fan-freaking-tastic goodies. I mean, ice cream in the morning? Jeremy is going to move in soon… 😉

Angelica July 9, 2008 um 1:24 pm

So I don’t have any kitchen appliances at all (no, not even a hand held electric beater), but I suppose stirring vigorously will do the trick. I can’t wait to make Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream, even though the weather suddenly went from 35 C to 20 C in just a couple of days. Ice cream is still ice cream!

Ben July 9, 2008 um 1:28 pm

My first ice cream maker is on its way from the store, YAY! I can’t wait to start experimenting with delicious flavors and combinations. I’ll get back to this post for reference. 🙂

Brilynn July 9, 2008 um 1:39 pm

You know this is something I can’t resist! And I have blueberries in the fridge right now….

Anonymous July 9, 2008 um 1:40 pm

That is gorgeous, I need to make some. I love to cook before 8am, maybe i’m just weird.

Anonymous July 9, 2008 um 1:55 pm

Oh I know the joy of letting small kitchen appliances run at 6:00 am. This sounds delectable, and it used up something taking freezer space. Very nice.

My Sweet & Saucy July 9, 2008 um 4:06 pm

What fun! Those ice cream cone holders are too cute!

That Girl July 9, 2008 um 6:01 pm

Personally I think everyone should just do what I did and steal and ice cream maker from their parents.

eatme_delicious July 9, 2008 um 7:01 pm

Thanks for the tips on how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker!

Katy July 9, 2008 um 8:28 pm

Love it!!! Just curious — why do you cook the fruit before freezing it, rather than just freezing the raw fruit? I always mean to do that, but then wait just a little bit too long and end up having to throw stuff out, boo. But I’m always curious about how to freeze ingredients well!

Helene July 9, 2008 um 9:38 pm

Kathy: very simple reason, I don’t want to throw away and I don’t want to freeze a fruit that has "questionable" parts, so I cut them, cook them and freeze. Some fruits also change consistency when frozen like pears and strawberries so I cook those too.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) July 9, 2008 um 10:19 pm

After spending a few hours at the dentist yesterday, I would have loved a bowl of this ice cream!

Peabody July 10, 2008 um 12:08 am

There you are taunting me with that cute little milk pitcher again!
Ice cream looks beautiful.

Mrs Ergül July 10, 2008 um 1:07 am

I have a phobia with freezing food and using them later. Cuz I think something will go wrong along the way in the freezer. But now I think its a good idea to keep those perishable food for a longer time!

I love your ice cream cone holders! Looking at the pink and blue swirls make me happy!

test it comm July 10, 2008 um 2:02 am

That blueberry swirl ice cream looks really good!

Manggy July 10, 2008 um 3:17 am

Oh, that is a genius way to preserve fruit!! And we love it when you go to work too Helen 😉
The ice cream is just beautiful!

Anonymous July 10, 2008 um 3:57 am

Thank you….a recipe that looks as if it will work. I’ve just tried to make a recipe for icecream from the New York Times. It didn’t have eggs and suggested that you use cornstarch instead…and you follow the entire procedure. It was awful..a disaster which is nasty and I’ll have to throw it out. I loathe doing this but I can’t eat it..since it resemble pale yellow jello…urgh..

Bonbon Oiseau July 10, 2008 um 4:45 am

looks delicious–i wish i had a cone right now!

cindy* July 10, 2008 um 5:09 am

i have a pretty small freezer myself, but i make it happen. i find it is necessary in these summer months for impromptu ice cream/sorbet churning.

this ice cream looks amazing…simple and summery in flavor. yum!

Y July 10, 2008 um 7:18 am

Those ice cream holders are lovely. I’m still considering getting an ice-cream machine, but haven’t decided which one to get yet. In the meantime, I’m settling with good quality (and expensive) bought ice-cream.

Anonymous July 10, 2008 um 7:24 am

OH! that is so pretty! i love swirl ice cream 🙂

Anonymous July 10, 2008 um 7:24 am

OH! that is so pretty! i love swirl ice cream 🙂

Anonymous July 10, 2008 um 11:59 am

Oh Tartelette- I love the story, thanks for the tip about roasting and saving over-ripe fruit and using the kitchen aid for another whip. I must make this over the weekend. I also need your energy. 6am and an ice cream machine?

Bunny July 10, 2008 um 12:30 pm

i’ve been wanting to make ice cream,but don’t have an ice cream maker. thanks for showing me i can still make it!! oh i think you just started something good at my house!!

Mike of Mike's Table July 10, 2008 um 12:35 pm

The swirl in this looks great! lol, I’m also glad to hear I’m not the only one who has kicked off the ice cream maker first thing in the morning (after making the custard the night before, I’d know I would want to eat it that night, so I better hurry up and do it first thing in the morning!).

Patricia Scarpin July 10, 2008 um 1:10 pm

My dear friend, I have just the amount of blueberries in my freezer – they are the ones left from my blueberry lemon marbled cake. I know now how I’ll be using them… And I don’t care it’s winter here!

Stella July 10, 2008 um 2:57 pm

This is so pretty.. too bad I don’t have an ice cream maker, duh!

Anonymous July 10, 2008 um 3:13 pm


I just made ice cream with two classes at my daughter’s Preschool. I felt a bit like an apprentice to MacGyver (?) but it worked well enough – if one is desperate ;-). My own ice cream maker is for 220 V so no option for the school. We took ziploc bags, ice cubes and salt. Put the ice cream mix in a small ziploc, close tightly. Put this one in a bigger one (1gl) and add ice cubes, salt and a bit of water. Close again. Have the kids shake it around for a few minutes and voila – ice cream.

Alexandra, who loves your description of your morning and your husband’s reaction

Oooh – and I finally got those jars! Now I just need time…

Dewi July 10, 2008 um 4:07 pm

Hey…if you live in a country where it is hot and humid year round, why not have ice cream in the morning?
I would love that, breakfast ice cream.. hmmm…, well, maybe not everyday!

Jenny July 10, 2008 um 4:49 pm

I was looking at getting a second machine yesterday, but a compressor style – YIKES $400! Guess I will live with the machine I have, which has just been cleaned up and put away.
Making ice cream sounds like a good way to start the day.

Anonymous July 10, 2008 um 6:18 pm

Oh yum – and I conveniently have two pints of blueberries sitting in my fridge…

Deborah July 10, 2008 um 6:51 pm

I love the ice cream cone holders! I should make some ice cream this weekend…

Susan July 10, 2008 um 7:52 pm

Oh! That looks soooo good. It’s such a shame I am the only blueberry lover in my family… But make them chocolate ice cream, and they jump for joy!

PheMom July 10, 2008 um 11:57 pm

I have seen so much blueberry ice cream this week around the blogs, but honestly, this swirl one is the first one that looks tempting to me. Yum (and I’m with B. on the ice creamk for breakfast)!

Anonymous July 11, 2008 um 12:42 am

Now that’s a morning routine I could get into! What a delicious and refreshing start to the day. 🙂

Mari July 11, 2008 um 4:13 pm

My ice cream maker was the definitely the best buy of 2007 and after my KA, my favorite kitchen machine. Wonderful creations come from it, so wonderful in fact, I have to restrict myself to making ice cream when company comes over….LOL!

Anonymous July 12, 2008 um 2:02 am

Could I use vanilla extract instead? I am having a hard time finding vanilla bean or paste.

Helene July 12, 2008 um 2:15 am

LorY: yes you can use vanilla extract, abuot 2 tsps should do it.

Anonymous July 12, 2008 um 6:02 am

You are hardcore my dear! Ice cream at 6 am? You’re a trooper! haha
It looks like it was well worth the effort. I always loved the combination of blueberry and ice cream. Yum!

Anonymous July 12, 2008 um 12:41 pm

Thank you. I am off to make this delicious ice cream.

Anonymous July 13, 2008 um 2:27 am

Oooo I just picked up some blueberries at the farmers market today. I see some blueberry ice cream in my future.

creampuff July 13, 2008 um 5:20 pm

Oh. How come he gets ice cream for breakfast and I don’t?!!!

Not fair.

And blueberries are my favourite … Stupid Mr. Tartelettey.

vanillasugarblog July 13, 2008 um 6:53 pm

wonderful! that ice cream is just perfect.

Jeanine – The Baking Beauties July 20, 2008 um 10:14 pm

This looks so yummy! I just bought an ice cream maker, and this is on my list of things to try. Thanks! 🙂

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