Lemon Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream

  • Serves: Makes 1 1/2 quarts
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Tangy, creamy, and exceptionally pretty, this is one of our favorite summer ice creams. It's ideal to make the lemon custard base and blueberry puree two days ahead so it can chill overnight, then churn it and swirl it then next day, and let it freeze overnight before you serve it. Of course, you can make it all in the same day, just start early and be sure to chill the custard and puree completely before churning and swirling it. Then let the ice cream freeze for at least 5 hours before serving. 

We use this delectable ice cream to fill our Lemon Poppy Seed Whoopie Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches, but it's terrific any way you serve it. Find out below how to swirl the ice cream with the fresh blueberry puree so you will get distinctive swirls between the two instead of a solid color.


When swirling ice cream and fresh berry puree together, it's easy to end up with one solid color because the puree mixes into the ice cream easily. To avoid that, we layer the ice cream and puree in a baking pan. First, we spread half of the ice cream into the first layer, then swirl half the blueberry puree into the ice cream. We then add a layer of the remaining ice cream on top and swirl in the remaining blueberry puree. By doing this you will get a distinctive delineation between the two instead of grey-colored ice cream.

To be ready to make frozen desserts and drinks anytime, leave your ice cream maker freezer bowl in the freezer at all times (especially in the summer, when those ice-cold treats are most welcome). Then you can take it out anytime and use it immediately (especially since it takes between 6 and 22 hours to freeze a freezer bowl). To determine whether the bowl is completely frozen, shake it. If you do not hear liquid moving, the cooling liquid is frozen. Before freezing, wash and dry the bowl. Wrap it in a plastic bag to prevent freezer burn. We recommend that you place the freezer bowl in the back of your freezer where it is the coldest. Your freezer should be set to 0 degrees F to ensure proper freezing of all foods.

Lemon Ice Cream Custard Base:
6 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole or 2% milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh Blueberry Puree Swirl:
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

NOTE: Prepare the ice cream maker freezer bowl:
The same day or preferably 24 hours in advance, freeze the ice cream maker freezer bowl / canister or prepare according to the manufacturer's instructions.
The freezer bowl must be completely frozen before you begin your recipe. The length of time needed to reach the frozen state depends on how cold your freezer is.  

Make the Lemon Ice Cream Custard Base:
1. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, until combined and smooth.

2. Gradually whisk in the cream and the milk. Cook the mixture on medium heat, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened. The custard is done when a finger swiped across a spoon leaves a clean line. This should take 6-8 minutes.

3. Remove custard from the heat and add the lemon juice and zest, the salt and the vanilla. Stir to combine.

4. Pour the custard into a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it to the surface, so the custard doesn't form a skin.
Chill the mixture until very cold, or overnight.

Make the Fresh Blueberry Puree Swirl:
1. Combine the blueberries, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan.

2. Heat the blueberry mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the berries start to break down, about 15 minutes.

6. Remove from the heat. Pour the blueberry mixture into a deep bowl and puree with an immersion mixture, until smooth.
NOTE: You may also puree the mixture in a food processor, if desired.

7. Press a piece of plastic wrap on its surface. Chill the blueberry mixture until cold.
NOTE: I chilled the lemon ice cream base and the blueberry puree in the refrigerator overnight.

1. Strain the chilled ice cream base through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl.

2. Pour the strained custard into the frozen freezer bowl of a 1 1/2-quart ice cream machine.
Churn the ice cream in an ice cream machine until the consistency of soft serve ice cream.

3. While the ice cream churns, line an 8- x 8-inch pan with plastic wrap.

4. Spoon about 1/2 of the churned ice cream into the plastic-lined pan.

5. Spoon one half of the blueberry puree swirl mixture in dollops over the surface of the ice cream, then, using a chopstick, swirl the blueberry sauce through the ice cream.
Be careful to not cut through or disturb the plastic wrap that is lining the pan.


6. Add the rest of the ice cream base to the pan and place dollops of the remaining blueberry puree swirl mixture on top.
Using a chopstick, swirl the blueberry sauce through the top layer of ice cream; do not touch the chopstick to the bottom of the pan, and swirl the bottom layer of the previously swirled ice cream and blueberry puree.

7. Cover the finished ice cream, with plastic wrap, pressed directly on the surface, and freeze at least 5 hours, or overnight.

After freezing, serve in a bowl or use in a recipe.

Unmold ice cream from the pan, keeping its square shape. Wrap in its plastic wrap, and place in an airtight container.
Homemade ice cream lasts a week or two to about a month in the freezer.

Food styling and photos by Kelly CA © Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com

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