Red Currant Ice Cream

You would be correct in thinking that “making red currant ice cream” has not been atop my to-do list for an extended period of time. In fact, I am not exaggerating when I say that it had never even crossed my mind to make currant ice cream. However, the currant bushes in my garden were literally drooping under the weight of the berries and I think it is safe to say that I probably harvested (and froze) several pounds. And, big surprise, all that harvesting and freezing got me thinking about just how those currants might make their way into some sweet treats.Red Currant Ice Cream Recipe | Jessie Sheehan Bakes

So, as I stood in my kitchen, de-stemming and freezing the fruits of my (okay, my husband’s) labor, I started making a mental list of all of the baked goods I could make with my currant bounty: currant galette, currant muffins, currant shortbread bars (recipe coming soon, FYI), and currant buckle, among others. Ice cream didn’t even make the cut. And it wasn’t until I shared my list with the guy who grew the currants, and he started waxing poetic about some currant ice cream that he’d once had, that it occurred to me that ice cream might be just the thing to make with the copious amount of frozen berries I’d just de-stemmed.Red Currant Ice Cream Recipe | Jessie Sheehan Bakes

Now, the custard base of my currant ice cream proved to be a no-brainer: I just used the one from my strawberry ice cream. but research was necessary in order to determine how best to incorporate the currants in said custard. I looked to the Jewels of NY first, but the currants were folded into the ice cream whole, and I worried that they’d get icy. Then I looked at this raspberry palmiers, red currant and raspberry ice cream sandwich recipe, but the currants were combined with raspberries (and now that I was on board with making currant ice cream, I was feeling like a purist about the whole thing) and the currant/raspberry mixture was swirled through the ice cream in ribbons — I just wasn’t feeling ribbons. And then, right then and there, my currant ice cream search kind of stalled out. I think it is safe to say that the internet is not teeming with currant ice cream recipesRed Currant Ice Cream Recipe | Jessie Sheehan Bakes

However, in a stroke of genius, I thought of cranberry ice cream, and although a cranberry is very different from a currant, they both share an extremely tart profile. My search changed directions and as I looked at cranberry ice cream recipes, like this New York Times recipe and one from Serious Eats, I realized that the ticket to my ice cream was going to be cooking down currants and sugar, pureeing said sugar-y currants in a blender, passing the puree through a sieve, and then adding ALL of the puree to the custard. And the results? Just about the creamiest, dreamiest, pretty-in-pink, slightly tart, yet slightly sweet concoction around. A perfect addition to a slice of currant buckle or galette, and the perfect vehicle for much of, but not all of, my currant booty (ie: more red currant recipes coming soon).

Red Currant Ice Cream Recipe
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Red Currant Ice Cream

Recipe Author Jessie Sheehan
Course Dessert
Cuisine Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of red currants mine were frozen, but fresh are fine too
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk I substituted 1% milk, and it worked well
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 6 Tbsp brown sugar divided
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 yolks

Instructions

To make the red currant puree

  • Combine the currants and granulated sugar in a medium-sized pot and on medium heat, stirring frequently, cook the currants and sugar until the sugar melts. Increase the heat to medium-high, and cook until the mixture boils. Remove from the heat.
  • Place the hot mixture in a blender and puree. Place a sieve over a medium sized bowl, and using a whisk or rubber spatula, press the mixture through the sieve. Place in the refrigerator to chill.

To make the custard

  • Whisk the milk, cream, vanilla, 3 tablespoons of the brown sugar, and salt in a heavy bottomed large saucepan. Simmer the mixture over medium heat.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, whisk the yolks and the remaining 3 tablespoons of brown sugar until frothy. Once the milk mixture simmers, temper the yolk mixture by adding a little of the warm milk/cream to the yolks and whisking. Continue adding the milk/cream to the yolks, a little at a time, until the temperature of the yolks rises. Then, whisking constantly, pour the tempered yolks into the saucepan of milk/cream on the stove. Stir the custard constantly with a wooden spoon or a heatproof spatula until it thickens slightly and, once coated in custard, your finger leaves a trail on the spoon/spatula. do not boil.
  • Strain the custard (don't skip this step, your yolks may curdle without you realizing it) into a medium sized bowl and place in the refrigerator until chilled. This can take several hours, and can be sped up by placing the bowl in the freezer. If you do place it in the freezer, stir the mixture periodically to ensure it does not freeze solid. Once chilled, combine the custard with the currant puree and transfer the currant custard to your ice cream maker, and freeze the custard, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a freezer-proof container and store in the freezer until ready to use (although some of us like it straight from the machine and still a bit soft). You will have about a quart of ice cream.

Notes

Removing stems from currants can be tough to do without damaging the berries. I freeze mine first, still on the stems, on cookie sheets for anywhere from an hour to 24 hours (or more). Removing the stems from the frozen berries is a snap. I then either use the de-stemmed berries right away, or transfer them to a zip-lock bag and place them back into the freezer.

 

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0 from 0 votes

red currant ice cream

Recipe Author Jessie Sheehan

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of red currants mine were frozen, but fresh are fine too
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk truth be told i used 1% and it was mighty yummy
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 6 Tbsp brown sugar divided
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 yolks

Instructions

to make the red currant puree

  • combine the currants and granulated sugar in a medium-sized pot and on medium heat, stirring frequently, cook the currants and sugar til the sugar melts. increase the heat to medium-high, and cook the sugar-y currants until the mixture boils. remove from the heat.
  • place the hot mixture in a blender (i used my vita mix) and puree. place a sieve over a medium sized bowl, and using a whisk or rubber spatula, press the mixture through the sieve (when i use a whisk, i literally whisk the mixture in the sieve pressing it thorough the sieve as i do so). place in the refrigerator to chill.

to make the custard

  • whisk the milk, cream, vanilla, 3 tablespoons of the brown sugar, and salt in a heavy bottomed large saucepan. simmer the mixture over medium heat.
  • meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, whisk the yolks and the remaining 3 tablespoons of brown sugar until frothy. once, the milk mixture simmers, temper the yolk mixture, by adding a little of the warm milk/cream to the yolks and whisking. continue adding the milk/cream to the yolks, a little at a time, until the temperature of the yolks rises. then, whisking constantly, pour the tempered yolks into the saucepan of milk/cream on the stove. stir the custard constantly with a wooden spoon or a heatproof spatula until it thickens slightly and - once coated in custard - your finger leaves a trail on the spoon/spatula. do not boil.
  • strain the custard (don't skip this step: your yolks may curdle without you realizing it) into a medium sized bowl and place in the refrigerator until chilled. this can take several hours, and can be sped up by placing the bowl in the freezer. if you do place it in the freezer, stir the mixture periodically to ensure it does not freeze solid. once chilled, combine the custard with the currant puree and transfer the currant custard to your ice cream maker, and freeze the custard, following the manufacturer’s instructions. transfer to a freezer-proof container and store in the freezer until ready to use (although some of us like it straight from the machine and still a bit soft). you will have about a quart of ice cream.

Notes

how to de-stem and freeze currants:
removing stems from currants can be tough to do without damaging the berries. i freeze mine first - still on the stems - on cookie sheets for anywhere from an hour to 24 (or more). removing the stems from the frozen berries is a snap. i then either use the de-stemmed berries right away, or transfer them to a zip-lock bag and place them back into the freezer.

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