blackberry swirl ice cream

I recognize, as I think most food bloggers do, that there are copyright issues with what we do. It’s all well and good to put a note saying where we got the recipe, but ultimately, it’s often unlawful to reprint the recipe at all. There are loopholes, of course. Rumor has it that ingredient lists can’t be copyrighted, so if the instructions are rewritten in our own words instead of the original author’s, everything is supposedly okay. But I’m generally too lazy to rewrite the instructions.

Cookbooks authors can respond to the copyright issue however they see fit. They can try to fight each of however many thousands of food bloggers are out there copying recipes, or they can do what I think is wiser – adopt the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” mentality. Both David Lebovitz and Dorie Greenspan have clearly chosen to join us. They are both good about leaving comments on other blogs, in addition to keeping up their own blogs. Dorie has supported Tuesdays with Dorie from the beginning, when over a hundred bloggers published her recipes every single week. As well she should – I would not have bought, or even heard of, Dorie’s famous book if not for food blogs.

Neither would I have bought (or heard of) David’s The Perfect Scoop. Food bloggers love David, and while it is nice that he leaves comments on other blogs, what it always has to come down to is the quality of the recipes. David isn’t known as the master of homemade ice cream without reason.

The day before I decided to buy this book, I was saying that as much as I like ice cream, it’s just not as fun for me as baking with flour and butter and the oven. Furthermore, David has so many recipes on his website that I questioned whether I needed an ice cream book at all.

Um, apparently I do. For one thing, The Perfect Scoop is stuffed full of interesting ice cream recipes that I would never have considered trying but now can’t wait to make, including Guinness-Milk Chocolate, Olive Oil, Fresh Fig, Green Apple and Sparkling Cider, and I could go on and on. But the real reason I decided to buy the book can be attributed to a savvy move on David’s part and how cookbook authors can take advantage of having a food blog – he has a recipe for basic vanilla ice cream on his website. I’ve tried it. It is the best vanilla ice cream I’ve made, out of 4-5 recipes by some of my favorite recipe writers. So now not only do I have this book full of interesting recipes, but I have good evidence that the recipes will actually be good.

This blackberry swirl ice cream is a basic vanilla recipe with crushed blackberries swirled in. This certainly isn’t the most original recipe in the book, but I needed something that would go with chocolate for the next TWD recipe. Dave (um, my husband, not Lebovitz this time) loves blackberries and they’re at their peak right now.

It was as good as I expected. Dave and I agree that we might prefer a bit more blackberries stuffed in there, but we’re big fruit people, so that’s no surprise. Other than that, the vanilla portion was creamy, the blackberry portion was balanced between sweet and tart, the ice cream was beautiful, and the directions for the recipe were clear. I’m as excited as ever about this book.

Blackberry Swirl Ice Cream (from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop)

Ice cream:
1 cup whole milk
⅔ cup (4.6 ounces) sugar
pinch salt
1½ cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Blackberry swirl:
1½ cups (5.6 ounces) blackberries, fresh or frozen
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vodka
1 teaspoon lemon juice

1. To make the ice cream, warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top.

2. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrap the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

3. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as your stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Add the vanilla and stir until cool over an ice bath. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.

4. An hour or so before churning the ice cream, make the blackberry swirl by mash the blackberries together with the sugar, vodka, and lemon juice with a fork (if you using frozen blackberries, let them thaw a bit first) until they’re juicy but with nice-sized chunks of blackberries remaining. Chill until ready to use.

5. Freeze the ice cream custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. As you remove it from the machine, layer it in the container with spoonfuls of the chills blackberry swirl mixture.


  1. I love this book. I made the Oatmeal Raisin this week and it is to die for. We ate the whole batch in 2 sittings.

    Your ice cream looks fantastic. I so wish I could have a bowl right now!

  2. This looks delicious! It’s so pretty. I really must get this book, soon! I’ve seen his recipes on so many food blogs and everyone has raved about them.

  3. mmmmm this looks so good! perfect for TWD 🙂 i thought about making my own ice cream for it, but decided to just take the shortcut and use store bought 🙂

  4. We love this book too. I made the Raspberry Swirl. I can’t wait to try the fig. Yours looks heavenly!

  5. lrfoodies says:

    This looks amazing! I’ve been waiting to break out the ice cream maker since I’ve moved to DC, and this might be the inaugural recipe. Looks fantastic!

  6. I wish I had an ice cream maker every time I see a DL ice cream recipe. Cookiebakerlynn does a lot of his recipes and also went to his class in Seattle last year. Her stuff looks sooo good.
    I love the look of this blackberry swirl and vanilla because…
    when I was a child and had to go to the dentist he gave a prescription afterwards to an ice cream shop near by. (cool dentist, yeah?) The choices were chocolate, vanilla, raspberry or blackberry swirl. I loved the blackberry swirl best and always got that! Your ice cream reminds me of the best part of seeing my childhood dentist!
    I haven’t been to read your blog in quite a while. I will enjoy some back catalogue reading! Cheers.

  7. That book is still on my wish list. If your ice cream is any indication then I am sure tomorrows post is going to be fantastic!

  8. My mom has his book and I’m gonna have to break down and buy it soon because she lives far away and tires of emailing me recipes. I made his rice ice cream (like rice pudding) and it was soooooo good. The rice stays chewy and adds a very nice texture in my opinion. This one looks amazing!