blueberry ice cream pie

One of my favorite things to do on lazy weekends – on the occasion that I get a lazy weekend – is to sit at my breakfast nook table, preferably with a cup of coffee in hand, and flip through the latest issues of food magazines. I can often convince my kids to join me. They think it’s fun to look at the food photography and identify what dish they might like to eat. I often quiz my kids on what ingredients are in each beautifully-styled dish featured in the glossy pages of the magazines. Many times they get the ingredients right. Other times they don’t. For some reason, my daughter first identifies most meats in the photos as horse. And I swear we’ve never eaten horse.

A couple of weekends ago, we picked some blueberries at one of the local blueberry farms. Lots of blueberries, actually. Nine pounds of them. Forty-three dollars worth, in case you were wondering. I was a little overwhelmed at the amount. After the split second it took me to get over the fact that we had just picked over $40 worth of blueberries, I nudged my husband to hand over the cash to the sweet woman behind the folding table. I had asked my kids to fill their buckets, so they did.

Later that day, I sat down at the table with a few magazines in front of me. The recent issue of Better Homes & Gardens was top on the stack. Madeline and Oliver each took a seat beside me and we started flipping pages, looking for blueberry inspiration. A recipe for blueberry ice cream pie caught my attention, mostly because it was a recipe of southern chef Scott Peacock‘s. It caught the kids attention because it had plump blueberries and vanilla ice cream, all packed together in a pie. My kids are suckers for pie. And ice cream.

I made one huge mistake with this dessert. I made it on a day when we had no one else around to help us eat it. This is the type of frozen dessert that is appropriate for pulling out of the freezer to serve at a July 4th barbecue or at a children’s birthday party. It’s a little overwhelming for a family of four.

The recipe uses five cups of fresh blueberries, three of them in the syrupy blueberry sauce and another two cups are used as topping. While it wasn’t the most attractive pie to photograph, the sweet richness of it certainly made me the Best Mommy In The World.

For about an hour, anyway.

I’ll take what I can get.

 

Yield: 10 servings

Blueberry Ice Cream Pie

Ingredients:

Ingredients for Crust
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup slivered almonds
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Ingredients for Blueberry Sauce
3 cups blueberries, rinsed, well-drained, & carefully picked through for damaged berries
⅓ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Zest of one lemon
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
⅛ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon water

Ingredients for Assembly
1 quart vanilla ice cream (store-bought or homemade)
¾ cup blueberry sauce, chilled
½ cup sour cream
½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed, picked-over, and well-dried on paper towel-lined baking sheets
Remaining blueberry sauce, heated

Directions:

Preparation of Crust
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor, combine oats, almonds, brown sugar, and salt. Pulse until coarsley ground.Transfer to a small bowl and stir in melted butter. Dump into a 9-inch pie plate and press evenly onto the bottom and sides with your fingers.

Bake 8-12 minutes or until lightly golden. Allow to cool completely, then transfer to freezer until ready to use.

Preparation of Blueberry Sauce
In a large, wide, non-reactive skillet, stir together blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add zest, lemon juice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and water. Stir to blend.

Cook and stir over medium heat until blueberries begin to pop and give off juice. Continue stirring until the berries come to a full simmer. Simmer for 1 additional minute until the sauce is slightly thickened.

Set aside to cool then refrigerate sauce until completely chilled before assembling the pie.

To Assemble Pie
Transfer ice cream to a mixing bowl and let stand in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or until just softened.

Spoon half the ice cream into the prepared crust and spread in an even layer. Top with the chilled blueberry sauce. Spoon on the remaining ice cream and spread to edges.

Cover surface of ice cream with plastic wrap and freeze for 8 hours or overnight until firmly set.

In chilled mixing bowl, whisk sour cream, heavy cream, and sugar until just thickened to spreading consistency. Do not overbeat. Spread cream mixture over pie and top with blueberries.

Adapted from this recipe from Scott Peacock in Better Homes and Garden.

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48 Responses to “celebrating life: homemade ricotta cheese”

  1. Winnie — June 15, 2013 @ 1:37 pm

    I am crying. And just so glad you are alright.

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — June 15th, 2013 @ 7:31 pm

      Thank you so much, Winnie. I miss you.

  2. Ali | Gimme Some Oven — June 15, 2013 @ 1:47 pm

    Oh my GOODNESS. I had not heard about this, and have just been catching up on your Facebook posts and now this. I absolutely can’t imagine. What an incredible miracle that you two made it out ok.

    Wishing you lots of rest this weekend, and sweet moments to savor all the more with those you love.

    I am so, so glad that you are ok.

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — June 15th, 2013 @ 7:30 pm

      Thank you so much, Ali. It put life in perspective in a very sudden way, that’s for sure.

  3. WOW!! I’m SO glad you were okay, that must have been terribly frightening. What a miraculous ending!

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — June 15th, 2013 @ 7:30 pm

      It was so bizarre and scary and surreal. And thanks — I’m feeling very lucky today.

  4. Anna @ Garnish with Lemon — June 15, 2013 @ 2:01 pm

    What a frightening experience! And such a good reminder to count our blessings every single day. I’m so glad that everyone is home safe and sound.

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — June 15th, 2013 @ 7:29 pm

      So very true, Anna. I’m feeling so blessed today.

  5. Macaroni Mama — June 15, 2013 @ 2:03 pm

    This brought tears to my eyes. Wonderfully written. I could see the flashes of lightning and the after flashes from your eyes.

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — June 15th, 2013 @ 7:29 pm

      Thanks, Mom. I love you.

  6. megan @ whatmegansmaking — June 15, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

    oh my gosh, what an amazing and terrible story. So so glad you are OK! I can’t even imagine.

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — June 15th, 2013 @ 7:29 pm

      Thanks, Megan. It was definitely amazing and terrible, both at the same time.

  7. Joan@Chocolate and More — June 15, 2013 @ 2:14 pm

    I have goosebumps up and down my arms, I’m so glad you’re alright. God was watching over you, that’s for sure.

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — June 15th, 2013 @ 7:29 pm

      Thank you, Joan.

  8. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — June 15, 2013 @ 2:34 pm

    Oh my God I can’t even believe this!!! Thank God you are ok. I love that you made ricotta. It is amazing how comforting and soothing food and cooking can be in times of near-tragedy.

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — June 15th, 2013 @ 7:28 pm

      You’re so right, Liz. It really helped calm my nerves last night.

  9. Carol Sacks — June 15, 2013 @ 2:39 pm

    What a harrowing experience! I’m so glad you’re safe and back with your family. Take care.

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — June 15th, 2013 @ 7:27 pm

      Thank you, Carol. I’m so glad it all turned out fine, except for the car.

  10. Michael Dietsch — June 15, 2013 @ 3:43 pm

    I have no words. Except that I’m very glad you’re okay.

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — June 15th, 2013 @ 7:27 pm

      Thanks. I’m still trying to process it myself.

  11. Cassie — June 15, 2013 @ 3:43 pm

    I am so happy to hear you are OK. What a frightening experience!

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — June 15th, 2013 @ 7:27 pm

      Thank you, Cassie.

  12. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. You surely had angels surrounding & protecting you my friend. Hugs to you.

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — June 15th, 2013 @ 7:26 pm

      Thank you so much, Robin.

  13. What a horrific event, so sorry to hear that you went through that, Merry! What a blessing that you and Karen walked away from it. So glad to hear you’re OK.

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — June 15th, 2013 @ 7:26 pm

      Thank you, Georgia.

  14. Oh Merry-Jennifer,

    That is so scary. I cannot even imagine hurtling down the road at 70 miles per hour and having that happen. I am so glad you’re okay!

    P.S. You are the third person I know who has experienced a lightning strike in very close proximity. You, my brother-in-law (struck while he was getting something from the trunk- thankfully not seriously), and my husband (ball lightning behind his head in our very own living room.) Eek.

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — June 15th, 2013 @ 7:26 pm

      I have another friend whose mother this happened to. Crazy, right? And I know you completely know what I went through after your own near-death experience recently.

  15. jwlucasnc — June 15, 2013 @ 6:13 pm

    Good lord, how terrifying. So glad you both survived this ordeal without injury.

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — June 15th, 2013 @ 7:25 pm

      Thank you. Me too!

  16. Paula — June 15, 2013 @ 6:53 pm

    I was amazed and relieved yesterday when I saw your Instagram and your tweet about this, that you were alright. Reading about this event is chilling and I can only imagine what you and Karen experienced.

    God obviously has a lot more plans for both of you right here 🙂 Take good care.

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — June 15th, 2013 @ 7:25 pm

      Thank you, Paula. I think you’re right – there is something more I’m meant to do here.

  17. Wendy Read — June 15, 2013 @ 9:08 pm

    Thank God you are alright. So very scary for you both! Hope you are doing so more healing things this weekend.

  18. DessertForTwo — June 15, 2013 @ 9:19 pm

    MJ! My gosh! I read this with my jaw on the floor. I’m so glad you’re okay! Wow! Praise the Lord!

  19. Kathy — June 15, 2013 @ 11:08 pm

    I just read this aloud to my husband, we are just in awe. So very, very thankful that you were able to walk away from this. xoxo

  20. Caroline — June 15, 2013 @ 11:09 pm

    What a story. I’m so glad you were okay! I can’t imagine how terrifying that must be.

  21. Denise @ Creative Kitchen — June 16, 2013 @ 9:33 am

    Oh my!! Wow!!!! What a story to start up with in my reader. I’m so glad you’re okay!! Life is a blessing, and reminders like this sure put it into perspective. As a fellow Floridian, I read your story outloud to my hubby and teen….we are just floored! Crazy….I’ve heard lightening stories before but never in a car.

    One time headed back from Tampa along a stretch of the turnpike there were lightening bolts all around us like that. It was a stretch with all those tall electrical towers lining the road. I guess I should have been relieved that those would keep the lightening from us, but it was so close and all around us that it was very scary!

    I’ll be praying that you feel God’s peace during this time of post trauma, reflection and processing. HUGS!! Denise

    PS….to be a little funny (maybe you’ll develop a super power now! which one would you want. 😉

  22. Kim Foster — June 16, 2013 @ 11:11 am

    Holy crap, MJ! This is incredble.

    I’m so happy you are okay. It could’ve been, well, I don’t even want to think about it. I’m glad it was nothing more than a scary, harrowing experience.

    But now that you’re okay, I have to say it, this is going to be a great cocktail party story, for the rest of your life!!!!

    Eat the ricotta, hug your kids. So happy you are okay, honey.

    xoxo

  23. I cannot imagine how you must have felt after that, I hope that you and you friend feel better now. That must have been terrifying.
    Your cheese looks lovely however and the pictures are beautiful

  24. MJ – SO SO SO scary! I saw your tweets after the fact and wondered whether you would write about it. It must have helped to write it out. So glad you are ok. Many many hugs. XOX just because.

  25. Kathryn — June 17, 2013 @ 4:47 am

    So, so, so scary.

  26. Di — June 17, 2013 @ 10:59 am

    The ricotta distraction seemed to be the right perscription for you. Your written recollections provide your reader with an illuminating (no pun intended) account of your ordeal that is real and immediate and frightening. This terrifying episode in your and your colleague’s life was delivered here eloquently and honestly. I am happy you survived this brush with death and chose to share it. I hope the trauma is physically and emotionally minimal, Merry Jennifer. I am also looking forward to trying your ricotta recipe!

  27. Miranda — June 17, 2013 @ 1:38 pm

    omg – this beautifully crafted – terrifying tale is so well told i could barely read it at a first pass – with my hair standing on end the whole way … the second time i read it i wanted to cry – there’s something so heartfelt about it – so sweet about the simple pleasures of life healing the traumatic – i don’t even like ricotta cheese but i’m going to make some to celebrate you ✿♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪✿

  28. Denise — June 17, 2013 @ 4:41 pm

    OMG this is so scary. I was reading your FB post to Lenny, and the first thing he said was that shouldn’t have happened in a car. Completely crazy … So happy you are okay!!!!!

  29. I read your tweets the other day, and saw your updates on Facebook. Still, as I read this post, I have chills. I cannot tell you how glad I am that you are OK… I will give you an extra big hug at BSP in a few weeks!!

    And, I just adore homemade ricotta. I am thinking that I need to make a batch ASAP.

  30. Nutmeg Nanny — June 26, 2013 @ 10:57 pm

    Oh wow, I am so glad you are okay, what an incredibly frightening story!

  31. Jan Beaumont — June 28, 2013 @ 8:24 am

    How well you described your experience. I was mesmerized and as I read I felt as if I was the one in the car. What a truly awful and frightening thing to happen. And thank goodness for the presence of mind Karen showed. I am so glad your were safe in the end. And to think I read this because some time ago I saved a recipe for home made ricotta cheese! I searched for it tonight and read not just the recipe but your story. Thank you so much – every time I make ricotta cheese, or even see it in a supermarket, I will think of you xx

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