I'm sure you all know this feeling ... you come across a recipe - on another blog, in a book, in a magazine, wherever - and you're utterly captivated by it. The picture makes it look beautiful, the recipe sounds great, but then somehow it just fails to live up to expectations, leaving you feeling more than a little disappointed.
So let me tell you - this ice cream was not good, not good at all. Was I disappointed, however? - no, on the contrary, because this ice cream exceeded my expectations - it wasn't just good, it was fabulous. I love ice cream any time of year (case in point, it is currently the middle of winter in my part of the world), and this ice cream offered the sweet freshness of blueberries (reminding me that summer will come again), the tang of lemon, and thanks to the buttermilk was surprisingly fresh and light.
How did I stumble across this frozen scoop of joy? Well, as those of you who visit regularly will know, I like to play along at the Secret Recipe Club. If that's new to you then let me explain. The club has over a hundred members, divided into four groups, and each month one member is assigned (in secret) to another member from their group. That person then selects a recipe (or more) to make, photograph, and prepare a blog post - all in secret. Then everyone in the group posts their recipe on the same day, and of course the secret is then out. It's a always a thrill to find out who has posted something from your own blog, and is a great way to meet and discover some new blogs. If you are a food blogger and interested in joining the Secret Recipe Club, be sure to check out the Join SRC page.
This month I was assigned to A Calculated Whisk, hosted by the lovely Becky. Becky's blog features loads of creative gluten free and paleo recipes, so I knew I would have no problem finding the kind of healthy food that I like to enjoy - even treat food that is on the healthy side. Her blog features a great recipe index, which makes finding just what your heart desires ever so easy, and her passion for food styling and photography is evident in the gorgeous images that grace all her recipes. With her love for good healthy eating and practising yoga, Becky and I clearly have a great deal in common - it's such a shame that a great ocean divides us, as I would love to be able to roll out my mat and do some yoga with Becky, before heading to the kitchen to whip up some special post-practice treats. But stranger things have happened and who knows when the opportunity to do just that might arise. Until then, I can keep Becky close in the kitchen by cooking some of her recipes, and I can tell you there are quite a few that have been bookmarked for the weeks ahead: Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Cilantro Pesto, because cauliflower is one vegetable I can never get enough of; Zucchini Lasagne, just take a look - you will want it too; Kale & Bacon Quiches with Hash Brown Crust, hello?! - if you're not hooked at bacon, I defy you to get past the hash brown crust; and Lemon Cheesecake Truffles, look so utterly divine I can't wait to try them.
But in the end, being the ice cream addict I am, I couldn't go past Becky's Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream, and I was certainly not disappointed. This ice cream is light and luscious, and in the depths of winter reminded me of the possibility of summer days ahead. I made very minimal changes to the original recipe. Because the buttermilk is low in fat and there are no eggs in this recipe, Becky used gelatine in her version to add a little creaminess - I didn't have any gelatine on hand, but I did have half a can of sweetened condensed milk that needed to be used up, so I used that instead and cut back the honey in the original recipe a little bit. Becky also used some lemon liqueur which I didn't have, so I subbed in a whole fresh lemon. I hope you'll give this recipe a try and enjoy it as much as I am.
Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream
Adapted from this recipe
from A Calculated Whisk
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon honey
1x lemon, washed
2 cups frozen blueberries (do not defrost)
2/3 cup cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
Place 1/2 cup of the buttermilk into a small saucepan and set over low heat and warm gently - keep an eye on it and do not allow the mixture to come to a simmer. Remove from the heat and whisk in the condensed milk and honey, stirring until dissolved.
Cut the lemon into smallish chunks, flick out any seeds, and then put all the lemon chunks (yes, skin and all) into the food processor and blitz until very finely chopped, almost a puree.
Add the buttermilk mixture to the food processor, along with the blueberries, cream, vanilla and salt. Process until smooth, then transfer to a jug and refrigerate for a few hours.
Remove chilled mixture from the fridge and churn in an ice cream maker, according to manufacturer's instructions. Dive in straight away, or transfer to a freezer-proof container and freeze for several hours to firm up.
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did, and visit the links below to check out all the other great dishes my Secret Recipe Club friends made.