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Sweet Corn Ice Cream with Blackberry Sauce

The natural sweetness of freshly harvested corn combines with cream to create an unusual—but delicious—ice cream. With a drizzle of fresh blackberry sauce that’s a fruity counterpoint to the rich ice cream, this cooling dessert captures summer in a bowl.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ears of fresh sweet corn, husks and silk removed 
  • 3 cups half-and-half 
  • 1 cup heavy cream, plus more as needed 
  • 2/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar 
  • Pinch of salt 
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 1/2 pints blackberries 
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice 

Directions:

Using a chef’s knife, cut the kernels off the corn cobs. Add the kernels and cobs to a large pot along with the half-and-half and cream. Add the 2/3 cup sugar and the salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let steep for at least 3 hours or up to overnight. (If steeping for longer than 3 hours, refrigerate the mixture.)

Strain the corn mixture through a fine-mesh sieve. Using your hands, wring out the cobs and press on the kernels with a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible; discard the cobs and kernels. Measure the liquid; you should have about 3 cups. If not, add more cream as needed. Cover and refrigerate the corn-infused mixture for at least 3 hours or up to 8 hours.

In a nonreactive saucepan, bring the 1/2 cup sugar and the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 2 pints of the blackberries and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries break down, about 8 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and add the lemon juice. Purée the berry mixture, then strain it through a fine-mesh sieve. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Freeze the chilled corn-infused mixture in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If desired, pack it into an airtight container and freeze until very firm.

To serve, scoop the ice cream into bowls, drizzle with the blackberry sauce, top with a few of the remaining blackberries and serve immediately. Makes 1 quart ice cream; serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Desserts, by Raquel Pelzel (Oxmoor House, 2008).