blUBErry Ice Cream (Ube Ice Cream Swirled with Blueberry Sauce)

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In spite of what my spellchecker says, you can’t spell blUBErry without Ube.

It’s true.

And ever since my Purple Ube Pancakes post, I’ve been wanting to pair Ube and blueberries in an ice cream (blueberry pancakes + Ube pancakes = blUBErry ice cream, my mind works in strange ways).  I knew the tart sweetness of blueberries would pair well with sweet purple yam, I just didn’t know how I was going to pull it off.  I had never made Ube ice cream, a favorite among Filipinos, so I knew I had to start there and worry about the blueberries later.

But, as I would discover, churning out a batch of Ube ice cream would be more difficult than just dumping a cup of frozen Ube into a vanilla base (under no circumstances should you try that, you will curse the heavens and everything around you. Damn you frozen purple yam! Damn you straight to hell!!!).

Ahem.  Uh, after two hacks at creating terribly icy and gritty ice creams, I think I hit one out of the park on my third try.  A couple pounds of Ube, a few quarts of cream, and a couple hundred curse words later, I was able to figure out three tricks for churning rich and smooth Ube Ice Cream.  And lucky you, dear reader, I’m going to share them with you here.

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Ube Ice Cream Tip #1:
For my Ube Ice Cream, I used frozen grated purple yam that I found at my local Asian market.  After thawing out the Ube, I placed it in a couple layers of paper towels, balled it up and squeezed as much liquid out as I could.  As you can see in the picture above, there is quite a lot of water in the unfrozen Ube.  If you skip the step of wringing out your Ube, you will indeed be sorry and end up with icy and hard-as-a-brick ice cream–which is pretty useless stuff unless you want to build a purple igloo.

Ube Ice Cream Tip #2:
Another trick I learned is to steam the Ube after the thawing and squeezing steps. If you leave the Ube uncooked, it will become gritty when it is frozen in the ice cream. And believe me, gritty ice cream is no fun.  So after you have thawed out your Ube and squeezed every ounce of liquid from it, place it in a steamer for a few minutes.  After the Ube becomes soft, place it in a bowl and mash it with a wooden spoon, or whatever mashing implement you have at hand.

Ube Ice Cream Tip #3:
Buy David Lebovitz’s ice cream book, The Perfect Scoop.  No, there is no Ube Ice Cream recipe in The Perfect Scoop (things would have been much easier for me if there was), but there is plenty of sound ice cream making advice that would be of benefit to any and everyone that eats ice cream.  And on top of that, the recipes in the book look absolutely wonderful.

Now, although there is no Ube recipe in David’s book, I did use his Vanilla Ice Cream recipe as a guideline for my Ube Ice Cream–changing a couple of things here and there to better suit my tastes.  The Ube Ice Cream I finally concocted is wonderful on its own. Or, for another Filipino variation, you could stir in some macapuno (coconut strings).  But I was very happy with the blueberry variation.  And I did use David Lebovitz’s recipe for Blueberry Sauce to swirl into my Ube Ice cream.

Mmmm. Ube and blueberries. Together at last.

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blUBErry Ice Cream (Ube Ice Cream Swirled with Blueberry Sauce)
Yield: About 1 quart

1 cup frozen grated Ube, thawed
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
Blueberry sauce, recipe follows

Place the thawed Ube on a couple layers of paper towels and squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the Ube. Line a steamer with foil, being careful to not block all of the steamer holes. Place the Ube onto the foil and spread the Ube into a thin layer.  Steam the Ube over low heat for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, remove the Ube from the steamer and place the Ube in a small bowl.  Mash the Ube with a wooden spoon and set aside.

Combine the half-and-half, heavy cream, and sugar in a medium saucepan.  Heat the cream mixture until it just begins to simmer, then remove from heat.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Temper the eggs by slowly adding, one ladle at a time, the warm cream
mixture to the eggs, whisking continuously.  When about a third of the cream mixture has been added to the eggs, pour the warmed egg mixture into the
saucepan with the rest of the cream.  Continue to cook and whisk over medium-high heat until the
mixture reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer.
If you don’t have an instant-read thermometer, cook the mixture until
it thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon. (You can test for
doneness by running your finger across the coated spoon. If your finger
leaves a trail on the spoon, then the custard is done. If the
trail flows back together, continue to cook the custard until it
thickens some more.)

Pour the warmed custard into a large bowl through a fine mesh sieve.  Add the Ube to the custard mixture and stir with a whisk to break up any clumps of Ube.  Place the bowl of custard in an ice bath and cool.  After the custard has cooled, cover and place in the refrigerator over night.

Pour the cold custard mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions.  After the ice cream is finished, place a layer into a container, followed by a layer of blueberry sauce (recipe to follow), followed by a layer of ice cream and so on.

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Place the layered ice cream in the freezer until it hardens, at least 4 hours.

Blueberry Sauce
(from The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz)

2 cups blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons kirsch

In a medium, non-reactive saucepan, heat the blueberries and sugar until the blueberries burst and release their juice.  Combine the cornstarch, water, and lemon juice and mix until smooth.  Add cornstarch slurry to the blueberries.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the kirsch. Cool blueberry sauce to room temperature and then place in refrigerator.

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  • David September 3, 2007, 11:14 pm

    Wow! That color’s pretty amazing. No, there wasn’t room for an Ube Ice Cream in the book…but maybe it’ll make it into Volume II!

    Reply
  • Katrina September 4, 2007, 8:45 am

    Hey, so you’ve bought the book! Will you try the Salted Caramel ice cream next? :-)
    And, WOW, David Lebovitz left a comment — your first celebrity visit! And now he’s discovered ube through you…I wonder what he’d do with it, if he could get it in Paris?

    Reply
  • elmomonster September 4, 2007, 4:43 pm

    Now that’s some tasty lookin’ ice cream! And yeah! David Lebovitz actually came to visit. What a coincidink…I just heard him the other week on NPR.

    Reply
  • maybahay September 5, 2007, 3:23 am

    what a sexy-looking ice cream.
    Ubelicious!

    Reply
  • Burnt Lumpia September 5, 2007, 8:31 am

    Hi David. Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you’re serious about a volume II 😉
    Hi Katrina, yes I finally bought the book and it was well worth it. I wish I could take credit for introducing David to Ube, but he does briefly mention it in his book.
    Thanks elmo! It is very tasty and I’m happy with the way it turned out.
    Thanks maybahay! Ubelicious indeed!

    Reply
  • oggi September 5, 2007, 8:46 am

    I’ll eat anything with ube. I will make this good looking ube ice cream variation soon.:)

    Reply
  • Janice September 5, 2007, 6:07 pm

    YOU KILLED GRIMACE!!! AAAUGH!!!
    …but i have to admit, what a nice dead Grimace it is.

    Reply
  • Beth Loggins September 6, 2007, 6:08 pm

    Wow, quite interesting!

    Reply
  • Wandering Chopsticks September 6, 2007, 8:05 pm

    Gee, do you like the color purple? :) I’ve been cooking purple too! Purple aloo gobi with purple cauliflower and ube. Purple cauliflower au gratin. I love purple, but my foods don’t look nearly as pretty as yours.

    Reply
  • Burnt Lumpia September 6, 2007, 9:33 pm

    Thanks oggi. It is definitely an unexpected, yet tasty variation on ube ice cream.
    Ha ha Janice! I guess with the streaks of blueberries, it looks like I busted Grimace’s head wide open.
    Hi Beth. I hope you mean “interesting” in a good way 😉
    Dub C, I don’t particularly like purple, although I am a huge Lakers fan. I think your food always looks nice. And I have just one more Ube recipe that I recently did. I swear, it will be the last purple dish you see here in a while.

    Reply
  • Mila September 7, 2007, 7:17 am

    Purple a deux! Pretty and can imagine it is tasty too.
    Will you attempt ube jam?

    Reply
  • Sara September 8, 2007, 12:53 pm

    OMG a Filipino food blog! The stars are finally lining up!
    <3 <3 <3 Sara!
    PS: My sister is obsessed with anything and everything ube, so I have a feeling I'm going to have to try this recipe out very soon. Keep up the amazing work!

    Reply
  • Burnt Lumpia September 9, 2007, 8:06 pm

    Hi Mila, although Ube jam crossed my mind, I tried something a bit different. More on that to come soon…
    Thanks for the love Sara! Spread the love and tell your friends!

    Reply
  • Katrina September 10, 2007, 9:35 pm

    Hey, David Lebovitz linked to you on his blog!

    Reply
  • Babette September 12, 2007, 12:57 pm

    Hi there! So you did make an Ube ice cream, GREAT! I was planning on making one and already had the ingredients in my fridge (except for the half/half); I was just looking for the ‘right’ recipe. Thanks for this post, now you know what my family and I will be having for dessert this weekend. sarap… :)

    Reply
  • Burnt Lumpia September 13, 2007, 8:04 pm

    Hi Katrina. Yes, I noticed that. Needless to say I was kinda giddy:)
    Hey there Babette! I hope my recipe is to your liking. Don’t forget to squeeze the ube and steam it.

    Reply
  • margaux September 16, 2007, 10:12 am

    is there a way for us to just taste what you made? i’m sure i’d mess it up even if i tried. i’m not a fan of ube ice cream but your pictures look so yum, the blueberries are calling out to me.

    Reply
  • Burnt Lumpia September 16, 2007, 10:26 pm

    Hi margaux, if you don’t like ube so much, you could just make a vanilla ice cream and the blueberry sauce. I highly recommend “Perfect Scoop” if you haven’t already purchased that cook book.

    Reply
  • toni October 18, 2007, 5:43 pm

    I can already imagine how this tastes like. Mmmmmmm. I’m definitely adding this to my ice cream fantasies. 😀

    Reply
  • Cat January 17, 2008, 4:37 pm

    I made the Ube icecream (minus the blueberry swirl) last night. OMG it is so good. My husband thinks I put too much Ube in it, but that’s okay…it means more for me. :-) One thing that I did do was instead of mashing the ube with a spoon I put the ube and cream mixture in a blender and mixed it all up. Then I put the blender pitcher in the fridge over night. The pitcher made it really easy to pour the mixture into my ice cream maker.
    Thanks for such a great recipe.

    Reply
  • Burnt Lumpia January 24, 2008, 8:19 pm

    Hi toni, I hope it lives up to your expectations;)
    Cat, thanks so much for giving this recipe a try. I’m glad it turned out well for you. And that’s a great idea using your blender!

    Reply
  • Japanese Ice Cream May 8, 2008, 5:53 am

    I love sweet potato in ice cream – japanese lavender and sweet potato makes a great ice cream. http://japaneseicecream.blogspot.com

    Reply
  • A Flip in Cinci July 7, 2008, 7:11 pm

    Wow. I’m so glad you posted this. I have been craving Ube ice cream for years now. It reminds me of my two viits to the Philippines as a toddler.
    By the way, I also tried the Ube + vanilla ice cream and had the same bad results.
    I love your blog!

    Reply
  • Indonesia-Eats February 15, 2009, 9:52 pm

    I like the colour, would love to try the recipe one day. First time trying ube, while I had Halo-halo. I may combine ube with pandan for making ice cream as pandan is my favourite flavour. Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply
  • erica June 8, 2009, 1:36 am

    Hey can you tell me how I can modify this recipe using the yam instead of frozen grated ube? Being at an overseas military base we don’t have a lot of Filipino food products available, so I make do with what is. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you and the ube ice cream looks oishi desu ne!

    Reply
  • Soft Cialis February 8, 2010, 7:49 am

    Do you like a nice big slice of hot bluberry pie with a scoop of real vanilla ice cream on top ? or what!?

    Reply
  • Jennifer August 8, 2010, 3:58 pm

    next time you make a batch…could you mail me some? I would never attempt all of that work, but I accidentally got ahold of a purple yam and LOVED that it was so beautiful. I was a little disappointed that my enthusiasm was greater than that of my 2 and 3 year old. The wheels are turning now and I too want to think of as many uses for it as possible!!! You are VERY creative.

    Reply
  • Rob Poulos August 10, 2010, 12:47 pm

    Mmmmmm! That looks very tasty! Thank you for sharing the recipe! =)

    Reply
  • Mireille May 10, 2012, 7:13 am

    just discovered your site – you have lots of new recipes to me – can’t wait to try – do check out my recipe for puto if you get a chance – would love to know what you think – http://gourmetglobal.blogspot.com/2012/05/coconut-puto.html (since I am not Filipino)

    Reply

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