Blueberry Crisp Ice Cream

Were there doggies when you were little, mama? Was there power? Mama, were there phones when you were growing up? These are some of the questions I’ve been fielding this week. Apparently, they think I must be ancient. I can understand some of the questions.…

Blueberry Crisp Ice Cream

Were there doggies when you were little, mama? Was there power? Mama, were there phones when you were growing up?

These are some of the questions I’ve been fielding this week. Apparently, they think I must be ancient.

I can understand some of the questions. My kids hear me talking of a world without computers or cell phones. They hear stories of when I used to drag the telephone from the kitchen into my bedroom, with a 24 foot coil stretching the length of the house. On a recent vacation, they spotted a pay phone and it became one of those teaching moments – imagine, you put money into a slot to make a call!

These days, it’s totally normal for them to ask, “are you going to tweet that?” or, “oooh, can you put that on Instagram?”

Wait till I tell them about ice cream.

During those, ahem, simpler times, ice cream meant just a few flavors. Vanilla. Chocolate. Strawberry. Fancy meant Butter Pecan or Pistachio, Neopolitan or Rainbow Sherbet. Eventually, Baskin Robbins gave us 31 flavors, and that was bold. And when Ben and Jerry’s came along, they were practically the ice cream messiahs.

The flavors you can find today are just so much more exciting – herbs and cheeses make their way into ice creams, even balsamic reductions. These kids don’t know how good they’ve got it.

I was in an ice cream making mood the other day, the bug has bitten, ever since my foray into Chai Tea Ice Cream reignited my passion for making ice cream. I was craving Blueberry Crisp, a la mode, and inside out. I stirred the custard and coaxed it into creaminess. I made the filling and baked off the crunchy topping (the best part, don’t you think?). I churned and mixed it all up together into a frozen dream. Each lick was heaven.

It’s good mama! the kids called out as they ate their cones outside. These kids. I think tomorrow I’ll tell them about how I used to walk to school. In the snow.

Blueberry Crisp Ice Cream

1 quart

To me, there's nothing more summery than Blueberry Crisp, a la mode. Put it all together in this dreamy ice cream. I promise you, you won't regret it.


Ice Cream Base

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup sugar, divided
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
4 egg yolks

Blueberry "Filling"

1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup apple juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup rolled oats (regular oatmeal)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


In a medium sauce pan, combine the heavy cream, milk, 1/3 cup sugar, vanilla and salt, and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Use a wooden spoon to stir, dissolving the sugar, and bring the cream mixture to about 175 degrees (about 8 minutes). Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and allow the vanilla infused cream steep for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a separate bowl, and slowly add the sugar, whisking for about 4 minutes, or until the eggs are light in color and thick. When the cream finishes steeping, ladle 1 cup of the hot cream in a drizzle into the eggs while whisking to temper. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan, and gently cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for about 8-10 minutes. You will know the custard is ready when you are able to coat the back of your wooden spoon and run your finger down, leaving a line.

Prepare an ice bath. Strain the mixture into the prepared bowl of the ice bath. Depending on your sieve, you may need to strain twice to get a nice, smooth consistency. Let the ice cream custard cool for 1 hour in the ice bath, stirring periodically. The ice cream may then be churned immediately or, if you like, the following day (keep the mixture chilled in the refrigerator till then). The longer the custard cures, the better.

While the custard is cooling in the ice bath and/or curing, make the blueberry "filling" and "topping." In a small sauce pan over medium heat, stir together blueberries, apple juice and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the vanilla. Allow the compote to cool completely before using in the refrigerator. Again, this can be done in advance, just store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a small baking dish (about 3x6 inches). Combine flour, sugar and butter using a pastry blender, two forks, or a food processor, and mix until it looks like course crumbs. Add oats and cinnamon and mix a little more. Spread topping evenly in buttered dish, and pat down gently with your fingertips. Bake until the top is light brown and crisp, about 25 minutes. Let it cool completely, then break into 1 inch pieces.

Pour the custard into the chilled bowl of your ice cream maker and churn for about 25-30 minutes. At the end, swirl in the blueberry filing and churn some more. Do the same with the chunks of crisp. Freeze in an airtight container in the freezer at least 1 hour before enjoying.

Ice cream base based on Tyler Florence's Vanilla Ice Cream Base, via Food Network.


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  1. Lindsay

    This crisp recipe sounded promising, but was absolutely terrible. Too much butter for not enough oats, I think? It bubbled up quite a lot while cooking and ended up like a hard candy rock with oats encased in it like fossils in amber; thank goodness I separated it from the pan before it cooled completely, or I would have had to throw out the pan itself, I think. I tossed the brick of hard sugar/butter and had success with a recipe that was 1 c oats, 1/2 c brown sugar, 1/4 c flour, and 1/4 c (4T) butter plus cinnamon/salt/nutmeg. That turned out beautifully. 

  2. Avalon

    I am very glad to see your comment here Susan! I was reading over the recipe to make my shopping list and familiarize myself with the procedure when I noticed that tea steeping thing. I went back up to the ingredients to look for the tea that I did not remember seeing and sure enough, it wasn’t there. I couldn’t decide whether I should skip the tea or add some unknown quantity of some unknown type of tea, so I came down to the comment section to see if somebody else had noticed that and my question would be answered. It was. Thank you!

    Fantabulous sounding recipe though, with or without the addition of tea! My family is going to celebrate the day I found this recipe I’m sure, hahahahaha!

    • Liren Baker

      Hi Avalon, I am so glad both you and Susan were careful enough to read through and catch my error. I have updated it and really appreciate it so much! And if you do want to make the Chai Ice Cream one day, too, it’s also a fun one to try! But for now, I do hope you enjoy this one. Thank you again!

  3. Susan

    You may want to remove the reference to steeping tea in the ice cream base – I think that was copied over from the Chai Ice Cream recipe, but is confusing in this recipe!

    • Liren Baker

      Hi Susan, thank you SO much for catching that! I really appreciate it and have corrected the recipe!! Thank you!

  4. Joanna @ Chic & Gorgeous Treats

    Hi Liren! Jo here.. I am drooling over your amazing blog. Right now I wish I could visit San Francisco as soon as I can to meet up with you and Nami again. You ladies seriously rock in this culinary area. I am pumped and inspired. I only wish I could find more time to fine tune my blog and try to get it out there more. As for ice-cream, I completely agree with you. I love both 31 Baskin Robins and Ben & Jerry’s . But nothing beats home made ice-cream. I think for my birthday this year, I must try to buy myself with a better camera lens and ice-cream maker =). Have a good week ahead! Cheerios

  5. Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot

    Ah I remember my crazy long phone cord. I had stronger neck muscles back then. That ice cream looks delicious! I love berry crisp and ice cream. What a creative recipe!

  6. Nami | Just One Cookbook

    I’m saving this recipe!!!! I really enjoyed making ice cream this summer. I love blueberries and “crisp” in the ice cream sounds so good! Hope I can find good blueberries then I’ll try, but lately a lot of them are already bad in the container so I haven’t picked up blueberries from stores lately. We’ll see. I love the photos as always. :)

  7. Rikki

    Oh gosh, I can’t even find the right words to describe how good this looks. I am soooo thankful I have a ton of blueberries in my fridge cause I know what I’m making! Wow, just incredible Liren!

  8. Kiran @

    I’ve been loving blueberries so much and it’s sad that summer is escaping so fast. Gotta indulge more before its too late! Love the story, Liren. Your kids are amazingly cute!

  9. Julie

    I’m going to file this one under “great minds think alike!” I just so happened to post a Wild Huckleberry Crisp Ice Cream on my blog this morning, and I just saw your post featured on Food Blogs. Your version sounds absolutely scrumptious–I love how you made a separate blueberry filling as opposed to just berries (I had to bring huckleberries back with me from a recent trip to Wyoming.) And I loved your story too–clearly remember those long telephone cords. I had a princess phone with a rotary dial. I don’t know if people today have the patience for a rotary dial! Glad to find a new blog to read :)

    • liren

      Julie, I’m so glad we found each other this way. I always say, great tummies eat alike – how I wish I had fresh huckleberries from Wyoming – that is quite a treat! And I have to say, when I was young, I wanted a princess phone so badly (pink, preferably). Must run over and see your ice cream!

    • liren

      It really is funny to think how vastly different (yet at the same time very similar) the generations can be. Just today I found myself telling my son he sounded like a broken record. He looked at me and asked, “Does that mean I broke a record?” LOL.

  10. Lindsey

    I LOVE this one Liren! Mouth watering photos and great story :) I must have asked similar questions to my parents when I was a kid! though I didn’t have homemade ice cream like this….

    • liren

      Thanks, Lindsey! I didn’t have homemade ice cream, either! Which makes me wonder…will they shy away from all the homemade goodness when they get older? Will it cycle back to all things packaged? Hmm.

  11. Mary

    Liren, this post cracked me up. Believe it or not, my 21 year old is starting to make connections between what she didn’t have when she was young that the kids today have. She says “I am beginning to feel so old”. I just laugh. This ice cream sounds summery and satisfying. BTW – I really did walk to school in the snow. I did have shoes on, and it was only 5 blocks from home, but it sounds so much better when I exaggerate the details. :)

    • liren

      It’s always fun to exaggerate a little, though I really did walk to school in the snow, too! My dad used to joke that his mom made him sell the family cow…for some beans. LOL. As for your daughter, ha ha! This is only the beginning :)

  12. Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    Your kids are so cute! Love it and I love this ice cream – I just had breakfast but I’ve always held the belief that a fruit crisp or pie makes a perfect breakfast :).

    • liren

      My husband would agree with you there. He and his dad like to have a slice of pie for breakfast, with milk poured on top. Have you ever heard of such a thing?

  13. Monet

    It is amazing how times have changed…but then again, we still love our ice cream. Somethings do stay the same! While I enjoy trying all the new flavors out there (I had a chipotle ice cream a few weeks ago) this blueberry variety is much more my style. Thank you for sharing. It looks delicious!

    • liren

      Oh my, chipotle ice cream? I must try it, but agree with you, blueberry sounds more appealing when I think of the long term. But I do love the wild flavors we can find these days!

  14. Jean

    I want some! I’ve been on an ice cream and blueberry kick lately and this brings the two together perfectly.

    Your kids’ questions brought a smile to my face. I remember being aghast to hear my grandfather say that he used to walk several miles to school each day whilw we were taken by car or by school bus. Now that my perspective is a little wider, hey, that wasn’t so bad! At least he didn’t have to deal with snow. :)

    • liren

      I saw your frozen blueberries photo yesterday, Jean, and thought, “there we go again, tummy twins!” Funny how each generation has it just a little easier, isn’t it?

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