Our school mascot is the Rams. And, we have a small, but important-to-us rivalry with a nearby college through athletics. We have a trophy that passes back and forth between the two campuses (or at least is supposed to travel back and forth), and for the first time in its existence, we were able to secure the trophy on our campus. In some kind of great ways, the Cup isn’t based on a single sporting event, but a series of competitions between the teams where points are earned. This April, it came down to a single baseball game between the schools. We played it at the local minor league team’s stadium and the students from my campus had a great showing. So, on this chilly (people were in snowsuits) April evening, we played inning after inning, resulting in the trophy making its way to our campus at the end of the night.
Our student government president and others have been thinking about ways to celebrate this, and while we didn’t have a major celebration before the year ended, now that we have commenced school, I had a birthday, and other things came to a close, I wanted to celebrate with some staff members on-campus. I decided that making this bRAMbleberry crisp ice cream might be the way to do it. Even better, our school colors are purple and this turned out to have shades of purple throughout it.
I followed the instructions over on the Bite-Sized Baker website for this recipe. I didn’t notice the recipe in the Jeni’s cookbook, but maybe it was there. Either way, I’m appreciative of the recipe being on this website and being easy to follow.
Brambleberry Crisp Ice Cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home:
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream:
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 ½ ounces cream cheese, softened
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out, seeds and bean reserved
2 cups blackberries and raspberries
1 cup sugar
½ pound unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes and chilled
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
To make the sauce, combine the berries and sugar in a 1-quart saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 220 degrees F (5 to 8 minutes). Let cool slightly, then force through a sieve to remove seeds. (Or leave a few seeds in there just to prove you made it.) Refrigerate until cold before using.
To make the crisp streusel, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put all the ingredients except the oats in a bowl and blend by rubbing the dry ingredients into the butter with your fingertips. Work quickly so that the butter does not melt. When the mixture looks like coarse sand, add the oats and mix well. Spread out on an ungreased baking sheet. Break apart any large clumps into crumbs about ¼ to ½ inch in size. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until toasted and browned, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, especially in the corners, and to turn over the unbaked portions. Let cool completely, and then freeze until ready to use. The streusel can be frozen for up to 1 month.
To make the ice cream, mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla seeds and bean in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes precisely. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
Remove the vanilla bean. Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy.
After churning, pack into a storage container alternating it with layers of bramblerry sauce and crisp streusel. Press a sheet of parchment paper directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least four hours.