When my grandmother asked me what I wanted as a graduation gift, I told her one thing. And she got me that one thing: a simple, old fashioned ice cream maker. I have SO many ice cream ideas swirling in my mind for the summer. I will definitely be putting this baby to use a lot over the coming months. I expect to hear no complaints from anyone around here. Ice cream is for winners.

And yes, blackberries were, in fact, on sale at the market. I bought 5 cartons of them. Uncontrollably ate one of them, used 3 for this ice cream, and saved 1 for later.

 It took looking at dozens of different recipes to decide the method of madness I wanted to use to create this delicious ice cream. In the end, I went the custard route. Cream, cream, sugar, cream, and berries? Done.

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1-3 cartons of blackberries*
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups half-n-half
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Additionally: ice and salt for ice cream maker
*You can make this with just one for a more subtle taste or with 3 cartons for a strong blackberry flavor. I used 2
1) In a medium saucepan, combine blackberries, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of the sugar. 
2) Stir and cook, covered, over low heat for 20 minutes. Your berries should be rather mushy and reddish color at the end.

3) Placing berries in a mesh strainer over a medium bowl, strain and extract as much juice as possible from the berries. I used a large spoon to press the berries firmly against the sides of the strainer to get out more juice. It’s okay if a bit of the berries come through the strainer. I didn’t do so but you can save the remaining berry bits and add some of those to your ice cream before putting it in the freezer to give it some texture.

4) In another saucepan, heat your half-n-half and 1 cup of sugar on low heat, uncovered. Take off of the heat once the mixture is thoroughly heated and mixed together well. 
5) While this sits, take your eggs yolks and beat them (preferably with a hand mixer) until they begin to thicken.
6) Now you’re going to combine the egg yolks with the half-n-half mixture BUT you want to be very careful that you do not do it too quickly or else you will cook the eggs. Slowly pour the eggs into the pan with the half-n-half while continuing to whisk the whole time. This can be tricky but it’s very important that your eggs don’t cook.
7) Once this mixture is completely combined, heat over medium heat and continue to stir until the mixture becomes rather thick. This will take a few minutes. 
8) Drain your custard mixture into a large bowl using a mesh strainer.
9) Add in your heavy whipping cream to the strained custard and stir. Then add in your blackberry juice and stir until fully combined.
10) Place in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare your ice cream maker.
11) Pour the blackberry custard mixture into the canister of your ice cream maker and make the ice cream according to the instructions of your machine.

12) Once your ice cream maker has finished, spoon ice cream into a freezer appropriate container and freeze for a few hours. Alternatively, you could eat the soft serve ice cream right away. I may have done a little bit of both.
13) ENJOY! I kept having a hankering for granola with this ice cream but I had none and was too lazy to make any. It happens. The ice cream was still to die for.

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