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Corn…it’s not just for dinner.

Sweet Corn & Berry Ice Cream

You will have to forgive me. I rushed through making this recipe without the blog in mind,  but after tasting the results, I knew I had to share. I recently came across a different recipe for a sweet corn ice cream and had been toying with using it for a dessert to pair with some berries in my fridge. Then, like fate, I came upon this recipe from artisanal ice cream whiz Jeni Britton Bauer for a sweet corn ice cream with a black raspberry swirl and I didn’t look back. This recipe uses cornstarch as a thickener in lieu of the more commonly used egg, which really helps keep the corn flavor pure as eggs would change the flavor of the ice cream.

And for those that may think putting corn in your ice cream seems odd–that’s just nonsense!  Just take a minute to think about cornbread with jam or honey, cornmeal pancakes, corn Chex, that buttery, delicious corn cake that accompanied your entree at the late Chi-Chis…you get my drift??

So here is my adapted version of the recipe.  Enjoy!

Sweet Corn & Berry Ice Cream
(Adapted from “Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home: More than 100 Addictively Good Artisan Recipes” by Jeni Britton Bauer )

  • 1 ear of corn (cut off kernels and scrape the stalk to gather excess juice into reserved corn)  
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons of softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • Berry Sauce (recipe below)

In a small bowl or ramekin, stir together cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of milk until smooth.

In a large bowl, whisk the cream cheese and salt together until very smooth.

Into a large saucepan, add cream, sugar, corn with juice, and corn syrup.  Bring to a rolling boil over medium heat for 4 minutes. (The recipe calls for medium-high heat, but on my burners I was at a boil over risk at that heat.)

Strain the mixture through a sieve into another bowl, pressing down onto the corn to maximize the corn flavor.  Add mixture back to the saucepan and whisk in cornstarch mixture. Bring back to a boil over medium to medium-high heat until mixture begins to thicken; about 1 to 2 minutes.  (Recipe said 1 minute…I let mine go for 2.)

Slowly pour the mixture into the cream cheese whisking constantly to make sure cream cheese is thoroughly incorporated into the creamy mixture.

If you’re experienced in ice cream making, you’ve probably guessed that it’s time to let the mixture cool down before processing.  I would normally just throw this in the refrigerator overnight, but Jeni shared this smart technique for quick cooling.  After letting this cool for a few minutes, pour it into a heavy-duty gallon sized freezer bag.  Submerge the bag into an ice bath and let it sit for about 30 minutes, turning occasionally.  Voila, your ice cream is ready to process in your ice cream maker per the manufacturer’s instructions.

In the meantime, make the lush berry syrup.

Berry Sauce

  • 2 cups fresh berries (I used half blueberries and half black raspberries)
  • 1 cup sugar
In a medium saucepan, combine above ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Stir frequently and grab your candy thermometer. You’re looking for 220 degrees which took me about 7 minutes.  The temperature is critical to achieve the proper consistently for freezing.  Strain the mixture and allow to cool.  I used my ice bath from the ice cream base to quickly cool this down while my ice cream was churning.
To assemble this delicious treat, layer the ice cream and berries, but do not stir. Cover with parchment and freeze until firm.

This makes one quart. The berry syrup is pretty sweet (and so delicious), so I do think you could get by with increasing the quantity of ice cream a bit with the same amount of syrup.

Let me know if you try this.  I don’t think it will disappoint!  I served this with lemon ginger shortbread and the flavors melded seamlessly.

And…if you’ve gotten this far and you don’t have an ice cream maker,  maybe now is the time.  It may seem like a novelty appliance, but ice cream is one of the best things to make in advance when entertaining.  You’ll impress your guests without having to worry about making dessert the day of your event. It can be a little time consuming, but it’s also pretty forgiving and you can ease the process by making the base one night and then throwing it into the maker on the next night.