Lime Ice Cream with Blueberries and Sugared Mint Leaves

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For me, the beginning and end of summer are marked not by the calendar but by the size of the blueberry containers in the grocery store. In late June, as blueberries start to appear they are packed in half-pint containers. At the height of summer, they come in full-pint containers and only shrink again to the smaller size at the end of August. If you can find wild blueberries in your area, by all means use them instead of commercially grown ones. Although they are not as plump and won’t produce as juicy a sauce, their flavor is exquisite. In either case, warming the blueberries heightens their flavor. Blueberries are frequently paired with lemon, but here for a change I use lime. After making this recipe, I now prefer it over lemon.

Ingredients

Lime Ice Cream

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • cups heavy (whipping) cream
  • cups milk
  • Grated zest of 3 limes
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

Sugared Mint Leaves

  • About 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 18 fresh mint leaves

Blueberries

  • 2 pints fresh blueberries
  • cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • pinch of kosher salt

Method

To Make the Ice Cream

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, ¼ cup of the sugar, and the salt. Combine the cream, milk, lime zest, and remaining ½ cup sugar in a heavy saucepan. Heat the cream and milk over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until almost simmering. Slowly pour the hot liquid into the egg-and-sugar mixture, whisking as you pour. Return the egg-and-cream mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant plastic or wooden spatula, until the custard reaches 175°F and lightly coats the spatula.

Strain the custard into a clean bowl, discarding the lime zest. Cool over an ice bath until room temperature. Stir in the lime juice. Refrigerate for 4 hours or up to overnight. Churn in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze for about 4 hours until scoopable, depending on your freezer.

To Make the Mint Leaves

In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg white with a fork. Put the sugar in another small bowl. Using a pastry brush, very lightly brush both sides of a mint leaf with the egg white. Dip the leaf into the sugar, completely coating it. Place the mint leaf on a plate. Repeat with the remaining mint leaves, making sure they are not touching as you place them on the plate. Let sit at room temperature until dry, about 4 hours. Store in a single layer in an airtight container.

To Make the Blueberries

Put the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves and the berries begin to give off some of their juices.

To Serve the Dessert

Scoop some ice cream into each of 6 bowls. Spoon some blueberries on top and garnish with 3 sugared mint leaves per bowl. Serve immediately.

In Advance

The sugared mint leaves can be made 1 day ahead unless it is humid; in that case, they need to be made the same day. Store at room temperature. The blueberries can be prepared up to 2 days before serving. Keep refrigerated. Reheat gently before serving.

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