Blueberry Maple Cheesecake Ice Cream

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This weekend I have homemade fish-stick plans–or fish-finger plans, as I’ve been calling them since I ALWAYS fall into the “you-like-fishsticks?” trap (I always fall for this awful joke much to the delight of my husband and BFF…because we’re such adults and I’m SO DUMB). What do fish-fingers have to do with ice cream, you ask? Nothing. Aside from my fish-finger plans for the weekend, which I am weirdly excited about, I have ice cream eating plans…because it’s the weekend and um, ICE CREAM!

Plus, it’s this ice cream, which is ice cream+cheesecake+blueberries, all in one! This ice cream combines the flavor of tangy cream cheese with sweet, sweet maple, plus a fruity ripple of vanilla-scented blueberry sauce, and the requisite graham cracker crumbs…you know, to make it authentic.  I mean, it’s Friday, the eve of the weekend, and we deserve a little frozen indulgence, don’t you think?

Blueberry Maple Cheesecake Ice Cream

Ice Cream Base adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home.

I made this recipe with Tonewood Maple Syrup*. You can read more about Tonewood here in my earlier post or on their website. As always, feel free to sub in your favorite syrup.

Ice Cream Base:

2 cups milk

1 tablespoon cornstarch plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

6oz. softened cream cheese

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/4 cups cream

2/3 cup maple

1/4 cup corn syrup

Blueberry Ripple:

2 cups blueberries

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons lemon

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Graham Layer:

1 sleeve graham crackers, crushed

Mix together about 2 tablespoons or so of the milk with the cornstarch to make a slurry, set aside. In a large, heatproof, mixing bowl whisk the cream cheese and salt together.

Prepare an ice bath in the basin of a clean sink or large bowl.

In a saucepan combine the remaining milk, cream, maple syrup, corn syrup, and cornstarch slurry. Heat to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally, until thickened, continue to boil for about 4 minutes and remove from the heat. Gradually whisk the mixture into the cream cheese until smooth and combined. Either stir the mixture over the prepared ice bath or pour it into a gallon-size, zip-top freezer bag, seal, and place in the ice bath until cooled. If the base is totally cooled you can process in the ice cream maker at this point. I like to let it chill in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight before processing.

For the blueberry ripple:

In a saucepan combine the blueberries and sugar. Heat over medium-high heat until the blueberries release their juices and soften. In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice and cornstarch and stir into the blueberry mixture. Bring to a boil until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Cool completely before layering with the ice cream.

In a freezer-safe container layer about 1/3 of the processed ice cream base in the bottom and drizzle with 1/3 of the blueberry ripple, followed by a liberal sprinkling of graham crumbs, repeat with remaining ingredients, cover, and freeze for several hours before serving. If you have leftover ripple and crumbs, use them to top the ice cream when served.

*Tonewood kindly supplied me with the maple syrup used in this recipe. As always, all opinions are my own.

Cranberry Mint + Bourbon Ice Pops

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So, it maybe slush-snowed yesterday and maybe it’s been kind of freezing around here, but I made popsicles anyway…cause, why not? Especially when these pops combine a seasonal gem like cranberries, herbal mint, and a hit of warm bourbon for good measure. The pops freeze up with an almost sorbet-like texture and turn out the best jewel-toned berry hue. I mean, I’ll just pull on my f-ugg boots and add another layer in the form of a cardi coat to get my pop-tail on…weather be damned, I don’t even care.

Cranberry Mint + Bourbon Ice Pops

Makes about 10 servings.

As always, these pops are not SUPER boozey since alcohol inhibits freezing…meaning too much booze will result in slush…which isn’t really a bad thing, but it won’t result in a pop. Also, I use THIS ice pop mold. 

12 ounces of fresh or frozen cranberries

1/4 cup mint leaves

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups water, divided

1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) bourbon

In a saucepan combine the cranberries, mint, sugar, and 1/2 cup water. Heat until it comes to a boil, the sugar dissolves, and cranberries pop. Remove from the heat and press the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Whisk in the remaining water and the bourbon. Allow to cool to room temperature and pour into ice pop molds. Freeze 1 hour before inserting the stick, then continue to freeze for several hours until solid.

In a saucepan

 

Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun Ice Cream

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So, remember when I was having a dilemma about whether or not to keep adding text to my lead photo? Well, I’ve decided, with your feedback, to just do whatever the heck I wanna do. I think it will work out nicely and now I don’t have any more imaginary stress about it. So, THANKS. You are all the best…so, I made you ice cream!

YAY!

This ice cream is so dang good, you guys. I mean, it has all the flavors of a pumpkin cinnamon roll, including a gooey cinnamon caramel swirl AND a cream cheese icing swirl. I mean, we all know cream cheese icing never hurt a cinnamon bun, amiright? The ice cream is laced with pumpkin puree and a punch of spices making it taste like all the things we love about autumn, plus those swirls. The swirls aren’t totally necessary, but they really make this ice cream something else…plus they make for pretty scoops and I’m all about cute food.

And, can we talk about how it’s October and I’ve been wearing witchy colors on my nails EVERYDAY, that have apparently transferred into the styling here. I love that black flatware and have had it almost since the beginning of this blog–meaning it’s older than my 3-year-old niece.  I can’t always make it work the rest of the year…so just another reason to L-O-V-E fall. Okay, I’m done. Happy Friday, get yo’ pumpkin ice cream on!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun Ice Cream

Adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

It is best to make the cinnamon caramel in advance so it can cool to room temperature before layering with the ice cream. You will probably have a little extra caramel, so just store it in a lidded jar in the refrigerator for 1 week…and pour it over this ice cream OR use it to dip apples into.

3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup plain pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 cups whole milk

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/4 cup heavy cream

2/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons corn syrup

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

In a large bowl whisk the softened cream cheese until creamy, stir in the maple and pumpkin. In another small bowl whisk together the cornstarch with a few tablespoons of the milk. Set both aside.  Prepare an ice bath in a clean sink or large bowl.

In a saucepan heat the remaining milk, sea salt, cream, sugar, corn syrup, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer and quickly whisk in the cornstarch mixture until well combined. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook while stirring for 3-4 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture into the bowl containing the cream cheese and pumpkin mixture. Whisk to combine completely. Pour the mixture into a gallon size freezer bag, seal, and dunk into the ice bath. Let it sit in the ice bath until cool.  Process the ice cream base in a ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions. Layer the ice cream into a container with the cooled cinnamon caramel and cream cheese—try to get at least three layers for maximum swirled goodness.

For the Cinnamon Caramel Sauce:

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons corn syrup

1/8-1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons cinnamon

In a saucepan heat the sugar, water, butter, and corn syrup together until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook until the mixture becomes deep golden brown and caramelized. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the salt and heavy cream until smooth and glossy. The caramel will bubble furiously at this point, so be careful! Stir in the cinnamon and pour into a heatproof container to cool.

For the Cream Cheese Swirl:

6 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and beat with a hand mixer until combined and smooth.