Bountiful Berry Compote with Buttermilk Ice Cream

In warm weather, I like to make great-tasting desserts but I want to spend less time in the kitchen doing it. I prefer enjoying the cool breezes of our screened porch while my husband whips me at Scrabble, or sinking into my wicker rocking chair with a novel. So I developed a standby simple dessert that is still dazzling, aromatic, and delicious. I like to pass both the ice cream and the compote in large bowls so people can serve themselves. Guests who are watching their waistlines can portion themselves lots of berries and a little ice cream, and the rest can be as liberal with a scoop as they dare.

Ingredients

Buttermilk Ice Cream

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • â…› teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
  • 2 cups buttermilk

Berry Compote

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Large pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered if small, cut into eighths if large
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ pint fresh raspberries
  • 1 pint fresh blackberries

Method

To Make the Ice Cream

Whisk together the egg yolks, ¼ cup of the sugar, and the salt in a medium bowl. In a heavy saucepan, cook the cream and remaining ½ cup sugar over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until almost simmering. Slowly pour the cream into the eggs, whisking as you pour. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant plastic or wooden spatula until it reaches 175°F and lightly coats the spatula. Strain the custard into a clean bowl. Place over an ice bath and cool to room temperature. Stir in the buttermilk. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Churn in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze until scoopable, about 4 hours, depending on your freezer.

To Make the Compote

Put the orange and lemon juices, sugar, and salt in a large sauté pan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid reduces slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the strawberries and butter, gently stirring until the butter is almost completely melted, about 2 minutes. Add the raspberries and blackberries and continue to cook just until the raspberries and blackberries are warm, about 30 seconds. Do not overcook, or the berries will break apart.

In Advance

The berry compote should be made just before serving.

To Serve

Scoop some buttermilk ice cream into bowls and spoon the berries and some sauce over the top. Or, separately pass the ice cream and compote in two large bowls. Serve immediately.

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