Blueberry Ice Cream Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 15 min. + chilling Process: 20 min./batch + freezing
If you churn only one homemade ice cream this summer, it should be this blueberry ice cream. Each scoop has a subtle tart, floral flavor and intense purple hue.

Updated: Jun. 10, 2024

Depending on where you live, ice cream made with fresh blueberries might be hard to track down. That’s OK with me because blueberry ice cream can easily be made at home. I like to use freshly picked blueberries in this recipe: the regular, highbush blueberries or the smaller, more intensely flavored wild regional blueberries. And if you freeze blueberries to use beyond the summer season, those are perfect for fresh ice cream year-round.

Scoop this indigo-colored blueberry ice cream into a sundae dish or homemade waffle cone, or use it to make phenomenal milkshakes.

Ingredients for Blueberry Ice Cream

  • Blueberries: This recipe works with regular and smaller wild blueberries alike. Choose plump berries that show no shriveling or signs of mold.
  • Sugar: Simmer granulated sugar with the berries to add sweetness and help draw out the flavor and color of the berries.
  • Water: A small splash of water in the pan helps loosen the sugar and blueberry mixture as it comes to a boil.
  • Half-and-half: A blend of half cream and half milk, half-and-half creates the soft, creamy base for this ice cream. For a soft serve-like texture, use heavy cream instead.

Directions

Step 1: Cook the blueberries

Wash blueberries thoroughly, and pour them into a large saucepan along with the sugar and water. Stir everything together, and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat, and simmer the berries for 10 to 15 minutes, until the berries are softened and the sugar has dissolved.

Step 2: Strain the liquid

Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl, and pour in the blueberry sauce. Use the back of a wooden spoon to press the berry pulp to force out all the liquid. Discard the pulp (or see the Variations section below for a way to include it).

Step 3: Add the cream, and chill

Let the blueberry liquid cool slightly, then whisk in the half-and-half. Cover the bowl tightly, then let it chill in the refrigerator overnight.

Step 4: Make the ice cream

Fill the bowl of your ice cream maker with the blueberry-cream mixture, then freeze it according to the manufacturer’s directions. Once it’s frozen, transfer the blueberry ice cream to a freezer-proof container, and cover tightly. Place the ice cream in the freezer for two to four hours, until it’s firm and scoopable.

Editor’s Tip: The bowl of the ice cream maker should be filled about two-thirds of the way to allow room for the ice cream to expand as it freezes. If necessary, process the ice cream in batches. Hold the extra blueberry-cream mixture in the fridge between batches.

Recipe Variations

  • Include the blueberry pulp: After straining out the liquid, process the blueberry skins and pulp in a food mill or food processor until smooth. Fold the puree into the ice cream mixture for added flavor.
  • Add whole blueberries: Near the end of the ice cream maker’s freezing time, pour in a cup of whole blueberries. Stir gently to mix them in.
  • Fold in white chocolate chips: Pour in a cup of regular or mini white chocolate chips.

How to Store Blueberry Ice Cream

Store blueberry ice cream in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months. Ice crystals and freezer burn can ruin the texture of ice cream. To prevent this, press a piece of waxed paper or storage wrap to the surface of the ice cream to keep any air out.

Blueberry Ice Cream Tips

Can you use frozen blueberries for ice cream?

Yes! Substitute an equal amount of frozen berries for fresh, and add them right to the pan. There’s no need to thaw them first. This means you can freeze summer blueberries at their peak and make blueberry ice cream anytime.

Can you make blueberry ice cream without an ice cream maker?

To make this ice cream without an ice cream maker, pour the liquid mixture into a shallow metal or glass dish, and cover it with storage wrap. Freeze the mixture for two hours, until it’s beginning to firm up. Then, use a hand mixer to blend the ice cream and incorporate air. Freeze the ice cream for 30 minutes, then mix it again. Repeat these steps once or twice more, until the ice cream is light and creamy.

How can you serve blueberry ice cream?

The simplest way to enjoy blueberry ice cream is to scoop it into a sugar cone or a dish and top it with fresh blueberries. But don’t stop there! Make a blueberry ice cream sundae with toppings like hot fudge, maple syrup, blueberry sauce or marshmallow creme. Turn it into ice cream sandwiches with sugar cookies, oatmeal cookies or even mini waffles. You can also make a homemade version of a McFlurry. Let the ice cream soften slightly, then use a mixer to fold in M&M’s, crushed Oreos or chopped Rolos candies.

Watch how to Make Blueberry Ice Cream

Blueberry Ice Cream

Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 20 min
Yield about 1-3/4 quarts

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 cups half-and-half cream

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until sugar is dissolved and berries are softened. Press mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl; discard pulp. Stir in cream. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Fill cylinder of ice cream maker two-thirds full; freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. (Refrigerate any remaining mixture until ready to freeze.) Transfer ice cream to freezer containers, allowing headspace for expansion. Freeze until firm, 2-4 hours. Repeat with any remaining ice cream mixture.

Nutrition Facts

1/2 cup: 226 calories, 7g fat (5g saturated fat), 34mg cholesterol, 35mg sodium, 37g carbohydrate (34g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

The wild blueberries on our property spark recipe ideas. When my daughter and I made this ice cream at a Girl Guide meeting, it was well received. Even today, our 10 children, 19 grandkids and 4 great-grandchildren think it tastes great. —Alma Mosher, Mohannes, New Brunswick
Recipe Creator