Buttermilk Ice Cream With Plum Juniper Berry Swirl

August 22, 2012
4 Ratings
  • Makes a quart of ice cream
Author Notes

Sometimes idea's come from the need to use ingredients so they don't spoil, hence this recipe. I had some delicious full fat buttermilk that I needed to use along with some heavy cream, ice cream was my first thought. I also had made a syrup for drinks using gorgeous Methley plums, they are one of my favorites, dark almost black skin and crimson flesh, so sweet and delicious, playing around with flavors I added some juniper berries and the flavor combination is wonderful, it would make fantastic jam also. The resulting recipe is really nice, creamy, a little tangy actually it almost tastes like cheesecake ice cream. The plum juniper swirl goes perfectly with the buttermilk ice cream. I used my basic recipe for the custard and tweaked to incorporate the buttermilk. —sdebrango

What You'll Need
  • Plum Juniper Berry Syrup
  • 2 1/2 cups plums, cleaned, pitted and quarted with skins left on, I used 5 Methley plums
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 whole juniper berries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • The Custard
  • 1/1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup full fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon clear corn syrup
  1. Plum Juniper Berry Syrup
  2. Place everything in saucepan, bring to a boil then reduce heat to med and let cook until thick and plums are broken down and it's reduced by approximately 1/4 it takes about 15-20 minutes. Strain into a jar with a lid, pressing the plums leaving only the pulp and skin, let come to room temperature then refrigerate until ready to use. It's pretty thick and when it's cooled its like the consistency of loose jam.
  3. Before you pour custard into the ice cream maker add the tbs of corn syrup to the custard, pour into ice cream maker following manufacturers instruction. When it's ready it will be the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Put half of the custard into a freezer container, drizzle some of the syrup over the ice cream (I used 1/4 cup) and using a bamboo skewer or butter knife, swirl into the ice cream. Put the other half of the ice cream on top of it and swirl more syrup. Freeze until it is a scoopable consistency.
  1. The Custard
  2. In heavy non reactive saucepan heat cream, milk and buttermilk to scalding. Beat egg yolks and sugar with a whisk or electric mixer until light in color and thick. Slowly add some of the hot milk to the egg yolk mixture whisking constantly. Whisk to combine and add to the pan with the hot milk whisking constantly. Heat over med/hi heat until it becomes thick (165-170 degrees) and coats the back of the spoon, to test it swipe finger making a line, if it's done the line will remain intact.NOTE: if you don't have or cannot find full fat buttermilk use the low fat, omit the whole milk and increase heavy cream to 2 cups.
  3. Pour into heat proof container, cover with plastic directly onto the custard. Let cool at room temperature then refrigerate overnight or until it reaches 40 degrees. You can also prepare a ice bath, pour the custard into a zip lock bag, seal it well and immerse in the ice cold bath until it's cooled. Then refrigerate or use right away

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Stephanie Cigrang Hassibi
    Stephanie Cigrang Hassibi
  • Midge
  • EmilyC
  • mrslarkin
  • Kukla
I have loved to cook for as long as I can remember, am self taught learning as I go. I come from a large Italian family and food was at the center of almost every gathering. My grandfather made his own wine and I remember the barrels of wine in the cellar of my grandfathers home, I watched my mother and aunts making homemade pasta and remember how wonderful it was to sit down to a truly amazing dinner. Cooking for me is a way to express myself its my creative outlet. I enjoy making all types of food but especially enjoy baking, I live in Brooklyn, NY, and I share my home with my two dogs Izzy and Nando. I like to collect cookbooks and scour magazines and newspapers for recipes. I hope one day to organize them.

10 Reviews

Stephanie C. August 30, 2014
can you substitute something else for heavy cream? All the heavy cream I find in the stores even the organic's have Carrageenan & I dont want my family to eat it.
Midge May 30, 2013
Yum! Looks like a winner to me.
EmilyC August 28, 2012
Oh goodness, this looks SO delicious.
mrslarkin August 25, 2012
Great flavor combination, sdebrango! I love juniper berries. So far, I have only used them in savory, so it's nice to have a sweet recipe. Thank you!
Kukla August 24, 2012
Beautiful and delicious looking Ice Cream Suzanne! I love plums and especially plum jam or plum butter and since my childhood I preferred to any cakes or pastries, a sandwich which my mom often made for us; it consisted of a fresh slice of sourdough or rye bread, thin layer of butter, thick layer of homemade plum jam; then a layer of toasted walnuts and finished with fresh homemade ricotta. It was also very clever of you to use the juniper berries in the syrup; I only use them in marinades and brines, but now, thanks to you, will know that they are working nicely in desserts.
fiveandspice August 23, 2012
This looks so wonderful! I was just thinking about the potential for juniper berries in ice cream (great minds... :) And I'm so glad you posted this. The plum and juniper swirl sounds just amazing. And anything with buttermilk...count me in!
Madhuja August 22, 2012
This looks fabulous! I have some juniper berries sitting in my spice cabinet and I wasn't sure what I could do with it - this recipe solves that problem!
em-i-lis August 22, 2012
this is beautiful, suzanne!!!! YUM!
AntoniaJames August 22, 2012
Did you say "plum and juniper berries"??!!! I'm in. Just love it. Especially with buttermilk! ;o)
TheWimpyVegetarian August 22, 2012
This looks wonderful with the juniper berries and plum sauce - great combination! And I love the addition of the corn syrup to make it soft.