In my sophomore organic chemistry lab at college, we used a chemical called benzaldehyde in a particular experiment. The benzaldehyde came as a clear liquid in a small vial, and as soon as we unscrewed the cap, a distinct aroma wafted up into our faces and around the room.
My friends puzzled over the scent, trying and failing to place the familiar smell, but I immediately recognized it. Benzaldehyde smells exactly like almond extract, one of my favorite flavors in baked goods!
So when I decided to make another pint of ice cream, I really wanted to use almond instead of vanilla extract. It lent the frozen dessert a subtly sweet flavor that kept everyone going back to the kitchen for more. This just may be my new favorite ice cream—no more Ben & Jerry’s for me!
Blackberry Almond Ice Cream
I’ve made this twice: once as the recipe is written below and once with only skim milk. Both turned out delicious, so use whatever milk combination you’d like! Chill for 2-3 hours before serving for a firmer texture, or serve immediately for a soft-serve-like consistency.
1½ c. skim milk
1 c. 2% milk
½ c. sugar
¾ tsp almond extract
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 (6 oz) container of blackberries, sliced into quarters or sixths
- In a medium pot over medium-low heat, stir together 1 c. skim milk, the 2% milk, sugar, and almond extract. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining skim milk and cornstarch. Once the pot begins to simmer, add this mixture. Bring the pot to a boil, stirring frequently, until it thickens.
- Pour the mixture into a metal bowl, and cover the top with plastic wrap, ensuring that the wrap touches the entire surface of the custard. Place the bowl in a large bowl with ice water to cool faster, and put both bowls in the fridge. Chill for at least 3-4 hours.
- Add the custard to an ice cream machine, and churn according to its directions. Add the blackberries about 4-5 min before the ice cream is done. When finished, either chill for a few hours or scoop into bowls and enjoy!