Blueberry Summer Solstice yoghurt ice cream

23/06/2016 at 23:56

Ah – Swedish Midsummer is upon us again! As plenty of Swedes prepare for the festivities (typically centred around partying, eating and – definitely – drinking), we, too, will turn to Mother Nature for some blue delights. No, I’m neither referring to Smurfs, melancholic love affairs, or pagan frolicking with forest spirits like the Hulder. I’m talking about blueberries! 

Blueberries which we will turn into a mouth-watering yoghurt ice cream – perfect both for joyous summer days  and nights!

 

Blueberry Yoghurt ice cream

Blueberry Yoghurt ice cream

Avid readers might have expected me to – yet again – take Midsummer as an excuse for shamelessly promoting my eternal summer favourite the Rhubarb yoghurt ice cream. While I still wholeheartedly recommend everyone to try that fan-tas-tic recipe too, today’s post will also be very summer-like! And easy to make! And absolutely delicious!

 

Blueberries on my summer mind

Blueberries have a strong standing in Swedish culture - here, a telling image from the classic children's tale "The Adventures of Putte in the Blueberry forest"

Blueberries have a strong standing in Swedish culture – here, a telling image from the classic children’s tale “The Adventures of Putte in the Blueberry forest”

 

Blueberries are not only irresistibly tasty, they are also low in calories, high in nutrients and packed with vitamins and antioxidants. And they are well suited for ice creams –  the pectin they contain (a functional vegetarian ‘cousin’ to gelatin), will contribute to a nice overall ice cream texture.

In order to preserve as much as possible of the “fresh blueberry”-sensation, I opted for a Philadelphia-style ice cream, requiring no heating/cooking. This type of preparation is clearly less “sophisticated” than  custard-based French or Italian types of ice cream.  But while I personally adore all types of ice cream, I find it difficult to beat the simple Philadelphia-style when it comes to maintaining the natural freshness of fruits and berries.

 

IMG_5055-001

Blueberries – both tasty, healthy and nice to look at! While Lowbush “wild” blueberries arguably taste more, this recipe was made with Highbush blueberries and no-one complained 😉

The Hulder - a mythical wood spirit with a penchant for mischief and seduction. Dwells in the blueberry-rich forests of Scandinavia.

The Hulder – a mythical wood spirit with a penchant for mischief and seduction. Dwells in the blueberry-rich forests of Scandinavia. (The image is from the 2013 Norwegian Hulder movie “Thale”)

Simplicity in extremis – how to mix it all together

Both fresh or frozen blueberries will work for this recipe. For the rest, you will only need cream, yoghurt, sugar and a little lemon juice (optionally, for additionally improved frozen consistency, you could also add some inverted sugar and a tiny amount of alcohol).

Think you can mix those things together? Good – because that is really all you have to do!

IMG_5072

For the best results, use a yoghurt with a high fat content but with quite a neutral flavour: Turkish style-yoghurt is perfect, but Greek-style can also do.

Yes – it really is that simple! 

If you still need details, I would suggest to begin by puréeing the blueberries together with the sugar and the lemon juice. Then add the milk, the cream and the yoghurt. Whisk until the mix is smooth.

If using alcohol and/or inverted sugar, you can add that to the mix now too. I should add that, since these optional ingredients mainly are there to really ensure a nice, scoopable consistency to the frozen ice cream, there is little need for them in case you plan on eating the ice cream shortly after making it. In case you plan on storing it in the freezer for some time, or – in particular – if you are making this ice cream in your freezer without an ice cream machine, the inverted sugar and/or the alcohol make more structural sense. You could, of course, also consider adding 25-70 extra ml (0.1-0.3 cup) sugar, although that will make the ice cream taste comparatively more sweet.

 

IMG_5056-001

The simple mixing of cold ingredients can successfully be delegated to helpful younger members of the family!

 

Whisking done? Good – now pour the mix into your ice cream machine!

If you don’t have any ice cream machine: Go here for some good advise on how to make ice cream in your freezer!

IMG_5059

Mouthwatering Blueberry yoghurt ice cream immediately after the churning

 

 

In Blueberry Heaven

How can such a simple recipe be so very good? Tasting this summer dream, it is clear that simplicity in no way has compromised quality! 

Blueberry Yoghurt ice cream

Blueberry Yoghurt ice cream

I love blueberries, and quickly fell in love with this ice cream. And I was not alone – gathered friends and relatives opted for second and third helpings, praising the frozen delight until there was nothing left. The nice consistency, the freshness, the delicious and rich blueberry flavour … it all came together and formed a blue, brilliant and berry-rich joy! And using yoghurt instead of going all-out on cream makes a lot of difference. The tartness of the yoghurt adds a marked freshness to the overall berry flavour which is most pleasing. So – quickly get hold of some blueberries and treat yourself, your loved ones and any passing hulders to the blue goodness!

PS. Want to learn more about Swedish midsummer? Check out this hilarious video!

Blueberry Summer Solstice yoghurt ice cream
By: 
 
Despite its stunning simplicity, this quick recipe delivers a truly delicious blueberry yoghurt ice cream!
Ingredients
  • about 250 ml (1 cup) thick, fat (about 10 %) yoghurt (such as Turkish yoghurt)
  • about 250 ml (1 cup) cream
  • about 250 gram (2 cups) blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • about 125 ml (1/2 cup sugar)
  • (optional) about 1 tablespoon inverted sugar (like agave nectar, corn syrup or their likes)
  • (optional) 1 tablespoon kirsch (or similar hard alcohol)
Instructions
  1. Purée the berries and mix with the lemon juice and the sugar(s).
  2. Blend the sweetened purée with the yoghurt and the cream [ and the alcohol, if using]
  3. Churn in your ice cream machine (or still-freeze in your freezer).
  4. Enjoy fresh, or store in a freezer-safe container (cover the ice cream with some plastic film before putting on the lid and it will keep much better).

Swedish culture seems to have a blueberry bias: Little Olle in the popular, classic children's song "Mother's little Olle" probably saves his life unwittingly by offering his blueberries to the hungry bear he encounters.

Saving one’s life with blueberries? As most Swedes brought up with the traditional and popular children’s song “Mother’s little Olle” [Mors lilla Olle] can tell you, this is probably what happens here (although the rather clueless Olle believes that he is feeding a playful dog).

Share the ice cream love: