mixed berry cheesecake ice cream

So…. funny story.

I made Rocky Road ice-cream the other day. I found about a cup of Canadian mini-marshmallows in my fridge and knew I had to make one of my favorite flavours of ice-cream to put them to good use. Marshmallows here in Mexico aren’t of the greatest quality. I haven’t seen a bag of plain white marshmallows for over a year, and even if you pick the white ones out of the bag of pink and yellow, they still taste funny. So simple as it may sound for you, good marshmallows are a treat for us.

I made the ice-cream Friday morning. I wanted it to freeze as much as possible before I scooped and took a picture. You see, I already have nature against me with an average temperature of 30 degrees and humidity so high I can’t count.

I went to take a picture. I didn’t love it. I put everything back and thought I will do tomorrow. I didn’t think I had to warn anybody not to eat it as it was only 3 PM.

I was wrong.

By 5 PM the majority of it was gone. I was not impressed. There were barely 3 scoops left, certainly not enough to get a decent scoop to take a picture of before it melts into a puddle of cream and marshmallows.

In my irritated state, I thought I will make a flavour that nobody will bother to steal or bug me about. Now don’t get me wrong, every flavour of ice-cream is consumed and enjoyed in our house; however there are definitely preferences. And usually the ones with fruit don’t win out.

I used to make this recipe and sell it in our little cafe. I’m sure I lost money on it. It was considered one of the premium flavours: full of cream cheese, berries (which don’t come cheap here), and graham cracker crust. I had not made it in a few years so thought I would go for it.

Earlier in the day my husband asked where his soup mix was. I claimed I had no idea what he was talking about. After about an hour, he shows me a jar of what I thought was graham cracker crumbs. He says “it seems you put your graham crumbs on top of my soup mix”. Oops. I thought it was just darker graham crumbs. Is there even such a thing?

I don’t like to waste food so thought I would try to use those crumbs for the crust part of the ice-cream. I mixed in the butter and sugar, baked, and let cool. Came back an hour later. Awful. They had totally absorbed the flavour of the soup mix. I actually spit it out it was so bad. So, it got trashed and had to be done again. Thankfully, I had some whole graham crackers in the pantry and the second time was successful.

It is only the middle of May here and the heat has already been quite unbearable. I’m not sure if it’s because we are quarantined and can’t get to the beach or the mall or what. But it reminded me the other day that I need to have ice-cream around more often now.

I did a poll on Instagram on Saturday and got great ideas from a lot of you for flavours of ice-cream that I am going to try. I am aiming for one new flavour a week. Any more than that and the photography of said flavours will make me go mad.

This one is bright and creamy and crunchy all at the same time. It’s worth the time that goes into it, I promise. It’s best if you don’t throw the additions into the machine, instead layer them. After the ice cream base is churned, pour half the base into a freezer safe pan. Then layer on the berry slurry.

Then add the crumbled graham crust.

Then add the remaining ice cream and freeze until firm, 4-6 hours.

Worth the work, trust me. And I only got asked twice if the ice-cream was ready to eat before I tried to photograph. A new family record.

INGREDIENTS:

BERRY SWIRL:

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen berries (I used blueberries and blackberries)
  • 3 TABS sugar
  • 1 TAB cornstarch
  • 1 TAB water
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed for juice

GRAHAM CRUST:

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 TABS sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

ICE CREAM:

  • 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 – 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed for juice

DIRECTIONS:

SWIRL: In a small saucepan, crush the berries. Add sugar. Turn on to medium heat and bring to a boil. While waiting, combine water and cornstarch. When berries are bubbling, add cornstarch mixture and stir for one minute as it thickens up. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Transfer to bowl and chill.

GRAHAM CRUST: Preheat oven to 375. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press mixture into a thin, even layer on the bottom of a greased baking sheet. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Break crust into pieces and chill.

ICE CREAM: Put softened cream cheese and lemon juice in a medium size bowl. Put egg yolks in another bowl.

In a medium sized pot, combine whipping cream, milk, and sugar. On medium heat, stir and warm through but do not let simmer. When cream mixture is warm, pour about a cup into egg yolks. Pour egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan and stir constantly with a flat bottomed wooden spoon until mixture can coat the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Pour this mixture through a fine strainer over cream cheese mixture. Whisk until cream cheese is incorporated. Let cool. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Churn liquid mixture according to your machine. When finished, transfer half of mixture into a freezer safe dish. Layer berry slurry and crumbled graham crust and then pour the remaining ice cream on top. Freeze until firm.

Makes about 2 litres.

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