This skinny ice cream is insane. Once you’ve made your first batch, you’ll be saying goodbye to shop bought. It gets its skinny by using Elmlea Double Light instead of traditional double cream. Elmlea is a dairy cream alternative, and is a blend of buttermilk and vegetable oils. Ice cream purists will be horrified, but for me, it just makes good sense. It cuts down the calories massively (Elmlea has 50% less fat than double cream), still tastes amazing, and arguably, you earn yourself a double scoop.
I had a handful of lovely ripe homegrown blackberries from my future in-law’s allotment in Sussex so I made a compote and drizzled it in once the ice cream was almost fully churned. It was a happy accident that I’ll be making again and again.
There’s no denying that double cream gives the ice cream the richness and creaminess that is lacking from the cream substitute, so for a treat, go all out. I use an ice cream maker but you can easily make it without by following the alternative steps below.
Skinny blackberry ripple ice cream recipe
For the vanilla ice cream
284ml carton Elmlea Double Light
300ml full fat milk
110g golden caster sugar
1 vanilla pod or a few tsps of vanilla extract
3 large free-range egg yolks
For the blackberry ripple
2 cups of blackberries
A cup of caster sugar (add more or less to taste – one cup makes it pretty tart but I like the contrast against the sweetness of the ice cream)
A squeeze of lemon
Put the canister from the machine into the freezer a day before you want to make the ice cream. Next day, pour the cream and milk into a pan, then tip in half the sugar. Slit the vanilla pod down its length with a small sharp knife and scoop out as many of the tiny black seeds as you can into the cream mixture or pour in the vanilla extract if using. Cut the pod in half and drop it into the pan.
Heat the cream and milk over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until it almost boils – you’ll see a few bubbles at the edge. Take off the heat and set aside for 30 minutes so the vanilla can infuse.
Put the egg yolks into a bowl with the rest of the sugar and beat with a whisk for about 2 minutes until the mixture has thickened, is paler in colour and falls in thick ribbons. Scoop out half of the cream mixture and beat into the egg yolks to slacken them. Reheat the cream until it just comes to the boil, take off the heat and stir in the egg yolk mixture.
Return the pan to a low heat and cook, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon, for 8-10 minutes, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Watch that it doesn’t boil – as soon as you see any bubbles about to burst to the surface, it should be thick enough, so take the pan off the heat so the mixture doesn’t curdle.
Cool the mixture for 30 minutes, stirring every so often to stop a skin forming. Pop the mixture in the fridge for at least an hour, so it gets really cold.
To make the blackberry ripple, add all the ingredients into a pan and let it bubble for about 15 minutes until the blackberries break down and you have a sticky looking jam. Cool for 30 minutes and then sieve the mixture to get rid of all the pips.
Get the ice cream machine running, scoop out the vanilla pod pieces if using, then slowly pour in the ice cream mix. Leave it to churn for 10-30 minutes (depending on your machine). When it’s almost ready (the mixture doubles in size) add in your blackberry ripple mix. Turn the machine off and use a spatula to spoon the mix into a plastic container and freeze for at least 3 hours.
To make it by hand: Follow the steps to making the ice cream mix and then freeze for 3-4 hours, stirring once an hour until almost frozen, then freeze as above. This will disperse the ice crystals and keep the ice cream smooth.
Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before serving. It keeps in the freezer for 3 months but that’s ridiculous. It will be gone in a day.