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Gray ice cream anyone?

By Laura Giannatempo, contributor

February 24th, 2009

A funny thing happened in the test kitchen this week. We were testing ice creams for an upcoming “Cooking Without Recipes” story in the June/July issue (stay tuned—it’s going to be incredible). The test included a blueberry ice cream with crumbled gingersnap cookies, a flavor we had created based on the author’s instructions for making other berry ice creams.

Following the basic method, Joy, our tester, pureed blueberries and folded the puree into the cooled ice-cream custard. It was a beautiful purple-blue color. She chilled the custard in the refrigerator, as directed by the recipe. But when she went to take it out of the fridge to freeze it in the ice cream maker, the custard had turned an appalling, flat gray. Cement and spackle came to mind. The flavor was blueberry-ish enough but the color was so off-putting, there was no way we would let it pass.

While we investigate why the blueberries turned color (Food Geek, help!), we’ll bypass blueberry ice cream for the time being (the story has so many fantastic flavors, it won’t be missed).

posted in: Blogs
Comments (4)

Pielove writes: The article sounds great, except for the gray part! I agree with foodstylist that the blueberries should be cooked-- pureeing releases the enzyme polyphenol oxidase, which can cause a browning reaction. Cooking will inactivate this enzyme. The second thing that might be contributing is that the anthocyanins that make blueberries blue change color at different acidity levels (pH). The ice cream may not be acidic enough, as bakerbickerson pointed out. legalcat, I can't wait to see what gorgeous and innovative mini ice cream sandwiches you turn out! Abby Dodge had a great ice cream sandwich article in FC #58, June of 2003. Posted: 10:16 pm on March 12th

foodstylist writes: Did she cook the blueberries before pureeing? Sometimes it's necessary to retain the color and improve the flavor. Posted: 8:59 am on March 2nd

bakerbickerson writes: i have a great recipe for blueberry ice cream. the trick is to add and acid(lemon or lime juice) to the blueberry sauce to set the blueish color. Posted: 6:05 am on February 26th

legalcat writes: We can't wait! We have been brainstorming about ice cream sandwiches for summer, creating really unique ice cream flavors and cookies.
Posted: 6:59 pm on February 24th

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