Fourth of July

Black Raspberry Ice Cream

July 19, 2014
6 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes one pint
Author Notes

If I had to choose one ice cream flavor for the rest of my life, it would be black raspberry. Yes, there's the color, which is almost obscene in its intensity. But the flavor of black raspberries, when combined with cream, sugar and egg yolks, transforms into something rich and lush, and at the same time floral; for me, it's a nostalgic flavor, both childlike and sophisticated at the same time. It reminds me of childhood summers in Maine, where I've consumed too many black raspberry (sometimes with chocolate chips) cones to count over the years.

Black raspberry happens to be my husband's favorite ice cream flavor too. Perhaps it's even the reason we're together?

Yet, for some reason I had never made it at home until this summer. When I considered this gaping void in my cooking repertoire, it seemed ludicrous. How could we ever expect Clara to jump on the black raspberry family bandwagon if she hadn't even tried it?

So I picked up some of the dusky, purple berries at the greenmarket (they are gorgeous right now) and set to work.

I was looking for an ice cream base that was rich and creamy without gilding the lily; it would be a crime to muffle the flavor of the raspberries. So I opted for a custard that uses a mix of milk and cream, plus three large egg yolks. A little sugar and some vanilla, and the rest was up to the berries.

I wondered whether I'd end up with the brilliant fuchsia hue characteristic of the more commercial varieties I grew up with, but I needn't have worried. The berries are like a concentrated dye, staining everything they come in contact with–including your clothes. The freshly churned ice cream was undeniably purple, and the color only intensified once it had fully firmed up in the freezer. The flavor was just as I remembered it, if not a bit better.

Clara was unsure about the new flavor, but she managed a few bites before requesting some of her current favorite, strawberry (pictured above). I'm sure she'll come around. —Merrill Stubbs

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups black raspberries
  1. Heat the cream, milk, sugar and a pinch of salt in a heavy pot until it's just beginning to bubble around the edges (do not let it boil).
  2. In the meantime, whisk together the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl. Temper the yolks by slowly whisking in about a third of the hot cream, and then whisk this mixture back into the pot with the rest of the cream.
  3. Cook the custard over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until it coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. Make sure not to let it boil. Strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve and stir in the vanilla.
  4. Puree the raspberries in a blender and strain through a sieve to remove the seeds. Stir the puree into the custard, cover and refrigerate until completely chilled, preferably overnight.
  5. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker, transfer to a container and put in the freezer to harden completely. Soften for a few minutes at room temperature before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Laurinda Holm
    Laurinda Holm
  • Aidan Hart
    Aidan Hart
  • Mike Arnum
    Mike Arnum
  • Karen Manzi Jensen
    Karen Manzi Jensen
  • Shalini

13 Reviews

Sewallnight June 13, 2021
This recipe came out perfect. Delicious!
Annie T. July 5, 2020
This recipe is superb. As a native of New England now living in the Midwest, black raspberry ice cream is something I’ve greatly missed. Yes, I can find Graeter’s, which is excellent, but I miss the pure black raspberry flavor without the chocolate chunks.
We planted some black raspberry bushes a few years ago, and my harvest over the past few days was enough to make this recipe.
I made the recipe in the morning, refrigerated it until 4 pm, and finished it with my Kitchenaid ice cream maker in 15 minutes. It was soft, smooth, creamy, and filled with black raspberry flavor. Perfection! Thank you for this recipe.
Laurinda H. July 3, 2020
This is really, really good. One correction - the yield for this recipe is a quart, not a pint.
Daisey C. March 28, 2021
Thank you! I was about to quadruple to make the full 2 quarts my ice cream maker will process.
Aidan H. June 30, 2017
Try it with a tablespoon of Chambor Liquer. Yum!
JB August 5, 2016
I love raspberry ice cream of all kinds, though I've never had it with black raspberries. I often add a tiny bit of rosewater to the custard, which ups the floral factor quite a bit!
beejay45 August 9, 2015
This was my dad's favorite flavor, so I learned to love it early. Here on the West Coast, black raspberries are almost never available...well, at least in California. I miss that ice cream and grab it any time I see it. There's a company that freeze dries fruits, including black raspberries. Their powders are pretty good, really flavorful. How do you think something like that might work for this recipe??? Even possible -- maybe swap more milk for less cream to make up for the missing liquid from the berries and keep it from being too dense??? I'd love it if I could make it at home
Juliann D. November 17, 2014
I took my 2 nieces to a farm 50 miles from my house this summer on what happened to be the last day of black raspberry season, to make this ice cream. it is one of the fondest memories of this summer i have. we had enough ice cream mixture for 5 quarts of ice cream. This was delicious, and i think i will return to this farm every summer.
Mike A. November 13, 2014
I think it is very hard to find black raspberries...any ideas?
Karen M. July 28, 2014
Dave, The cuisinart works just fine.
Shalini July 26, 2014
YES! A great reason to clear out the freezer and get my ice cream bowl in.
Nenita July 25, 2014
I will absolutely try this. I love raspberry ice
Dave T. July 23, 2014
Might anyone suggest a good ice cream maker they like?