Summer Berry Swirl Ice Cream made with a mix of farmstand fresh berries is a delicious recipe for making ice cream at home.
This recipe for homemade ice cream made with or without an ice cream is sure to become a favorite dessert recipe for summer or anytime!
Berry ice cream
This berry ice cream recipe is made with an egg heavy, dairy fat rich frozen custard base that makes it similar to berry gelato. It’s actually even based on this very popular Blueberry Gelato recipe.
Thick, jammy ribbons of different fresh berry swirls (raspberry swirl, blackberry swirl and strawberry swirl) ripple throughout the sweet, creamy frozen custard.
The three different fruit swirls add distinct flavor and color. But you can feel free to mix them all together to make a mixed berry swirl instead.
You can also mix a bit of the mixed berry purees into the ice cream base before churning to add a bit of color to the otherwise creamy yellow vanilla ice cream.
Or make berry chip ice cream by adding chocolate chips for flavor and texture.
However you choose to mix it up and serve it you’ll love making different variations of berry swirl ice cream at home!
- Milk and cream – a rich combination of heavy cream and whole milk makes the rich in dairy fat custard ice cream base feel super creamy. Feel free to use whichever mix of dairy or even-non dairy milks you have. But homemade ice cream made with lower fat or dairy free options, like 2% or almond milk, will be less creamy and more crumbly.
- Egg yolks – lend even more creamy texture to this gelato like ice cream. If using a lower fat milk in the custard, add additional egg yolks to counteract the lack of creaminess.
- Sugar – granulated sugar sweetens the custard homemade ice cream base and also sweetens the raspberry, blackberry and strawberry purees.
- Vanilla extract – or paste or fresh vanilla bean if you’re feeling fancy.
- Mixed berry fruit purees – fresh strawberry, raspberry and blackberry sauces that are used to add flavor, color and delicious jammy texture to the homemade ice cream. This same recipe can also be used to make blueberry ice cream with blueberry swirls, Cranberry Orange Ice Cream and more!
Step by step instructions
- Prepare ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Make custard base. In a large saucepan whisk egg yolks, vanilla, and sugar until light in color and ribbon like. Then whisk in milk, cream, and salt and place saucepan over medium heat. Whisking constantly bring mixture to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove from heat, strain through a fine mesh strainer into a freezer safe, lidded container. Refrigerate ice cream base for up to 3 days.
- Up to 3 days in advance make the fresh strawberry, raspberry and blackberry purees, also up to 3 days in advance. Muddle strawberries with ¼ cup granulated sugar and ½ teaspoon lemon juice in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer until thick and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly, then carefully puree until smooth. Strain or leave the seeds in for a more rustic puree then cover and refrigerate. Repeat to make a blackberry swirl and raspberry swirl.
- Churn ice cream custard base according to ice cream maker manufacturer instructions, typically in a completely frozen solid churning bowl on low speed for 30-35 minutes.
- Meanwhile add spoonfuls of each berry puree around the edges and bottom of a freezer safe lidded ice cream container.
- Once ice cream is the consistency of soft serve, stop churning and pour ⅓ of the soft ice cream into the berry swirled container.
- Dollop spoonfuls of ⅓ of each of the berry purees, then top with another ⅓ of the churned ice cream and berry purees.
- Finally pour remaining ice cream into container and add remaining berry purees over the top. Lightly swirl berries into ice cream and top with lid.
- Freeze until hard, at least 3 hours.
- Serve and enjoy!
How to make ahead
The fresh fruit purees and ice cream base can all be made up to three days in advance and stored refrigerated until ready to use. Hardened frozen ice cream should be used within two days for best flavor and texture. But homemade ice cream can be frozen for up to a month.
This recipe yields about 1 ½ pints, or 3 cups of berry swirl ice cream. Enough for roughly six servings of ice cream with each serving of ice cream being ½ cup.
How to make ice cream without an ice cream maker
There are a few different methods for making ice cream and gelato without an ice cream maker.
- No churn versions fold whipped cream into a custard base then freeze.
- Or, you can hand churn gelato, stirring the freezing custard at even intervals until set, for the flavor and texture of gelato sans ice cream maker. If hand churning try mixing in the fresh fruit puree at different times for ribbons of contrasting flavor and texture.
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¾ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 cup blackberries
- 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice divided
- Begin by placing the bowl of your ice cream maker into the freezer.
- Then make ice cream base. In a large saucepan whisk egg yolks, vanilla, and sugar until light in color and ribbon like. Then whisk in milk, cream, and salt.
- Place saucepan over medium heat and clip candy thermometer to the side of pan. Whisking constantly bring mixture to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once ice cream base reaches temperature remove from heat and immediately strain through a fine mesh strainer into a lidded container. Place in the refrigerator to chill until ready to churn, up to 3 days.
- Then make the fresh strawberry, raspberry and blackberry purees, also up to 3 days in advance. Muddle strawberries with ¼ cup granulated sugar and ½ teaspoon lemon juice in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer until thick and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly, then carefully puree until smooth, adding tablespoons of water if needed to puree. Strain puree if necessary to remove seeds and transfer to lidded container. Chill until ready to use. Repeat with both the raspberries and blackberries, storing each of the three berry purees separately. Alternately, you can quicken the process and opt to make a puree of all three berries at once.
- When ready to churn stir a few tablespoons of each of the fruit purees into the ice cream base, or more if desired, to add both berry flavor and a ting of color to the ice cream. Reserve remaining to swirl in ribbons of puree after ice cream has churned.
- Churn ice cream according to ice cream maker manufacturer instructions, typically in a completely frozen solid churning bowl on low speed for 30-35 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare a freezer-safe ice cream container by adding some berry swirls around the outside. Add spoonfuls of each berry puree around the edges and over the bottom as desired.
- Once ice cream is the consistency of soft serve, stop churning and pour ⅓ of the ice cream base into the berry swirled container.
- Spoon ⅓ of the each of the remaining berry purees over the ice cream base in the container. Add another ⅓ of the ice cream, topped with another ⅓ of each of the berry purees.
- Finally, pour remaining ice cream into container and top with dollops of remaining berry purees. Lightly swirl into ribbons. Then secure lid into place and freeze until hard, at least 3-4 hours