There’s no better time than summer to celebrate the joys of Oregon berries. You can turn foraging for berries into a memorable summertime family adventure at one of the many U-pick fruit stands across the state, or stock up on Oregon berries from your local grocery store or farmers market.
When picking berries, remember to choose raspberries that are medium to bright red in color and blackberries that are shiny and black. When buying fresh berries, choose berries in dry, unstained containers. Store fresh berries uncovered in the refrigerator as soon as possible after purchase. Berries should be arranged unwashed in a shallow pan lined with paper towels, and washed just before use.
July is National Ice Cream Month and it’s a great excuse to pair Oregon’s blackberries, marionberries, blueberries and raspberries with smooth, rich ice cream. There is just something about berries and ice cream that says summer in Oregon. It takes the finest cream to make smooth ice cream and Oregon cows produce some of the highest quality milk in the nation and always rank in the top five. Oregon also churns up a lot of ice cream; more than 25 million gallons are made right here. You can add to that total with this fun ice cream recipe you can make at home.
Capture the flavor of summer in Oregon with this Very Berry Ice Cream recipe from Chew Out Loud.
- 2 cups fresh Oregon berries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- In a bowl, whisk together the milk and sugar until sugar is dissolved.
- Stir in heavy cream and vanilla, and whisk to combine well.
- Turn on ice cream maker and pour milk/cream mixture into container. Follow directions on your ice cream maker for churning. Churning typically takes 25-30 minutes.
- During the last 5-10 minutes of churning, add the berries.
- Ice cream may be soft and will need to firm up in the freezer for 2-3 hours before serving.
(Don’t have an ice cream maker? Here are five steps to Making Ice Cream Without a Machine by David Lebovitz)
- Prepare your ice cream mixture, then chill it over an ice bath.
- Put a deep baking dish, or bowl made of plastic, stainless steel or something durable in the freezer, and pour your custard mixture into it.
- After forty-five minutes, open the door and check it. As it starts to freeze near the edges, remove it from the freezer and stir it vigorously with a spatula or whisk. Really beat it up and break up any frozen sections. Return to freezer.
- Continue to check the mixture every 30 minutes, stirring vigorously as it’s freezing. If you have one, you can use a hand-held mixer for best results. You can also use just a spatula or a sturdy whisk along with some modest physical effort.
- Keep checking periodically and stirring while it freezes (by hand or with the electric mixer) until the ice cream is frozen. It will likely take 2-3 hours to be ready.