I banged my head against the wall one good time. I wanted cheesecake, like a really big slice of cold creamy cheesecake, and I wanted to do anything anything anything at all NOT to make a cheesecake. Headbang. How can I get to cheesecake into my face without leaving my house… without having to make an actual cheesecake? The last time I foil-wrapped and water-bathed a cheesecake was probably 1997. It ended in a tragically soggy crust and I’ll never do it again.
One good bang against the wall and presto! Ice cream is the answer. Cream cheesy and rich to mimic cheesecake flavors, berries because they’re purple and delicious, and chunks of graham cracker crumbs to simulate the all-important crust. Dreams: realized.
Basically, I’ll do anything not to get all the cheesecake flavor I can without actually making a cheesecake. Ice cream is my latest cheesecake hack. Past cheesecake hacks involve using a pie plate instead of a springform pan. I’m nothing if not clever in the kitchen. Salted Caramel Cheesecake Pie.
This ice cream is majorly easy! I don’t like an egg yolk-y ice cream base so I tend to skip the yolks.
Fortunately we have all the luscious fat we need with heavy cream and cream cheese!
I like to use brown sugar for a little extra depth to the sweetness, salt for balance, and bourbon because it’s awesome and it keeps the ice cream from freezing into an unmanageable block.
All of the ingredients are combined in the bowl of a big ol’ food processor. That’s right! This ice cream starts in a food processor.
If you don’t have a food processor, a high-powered blender will also work.
Milk and cream, cream cheese, sugar, and salt all twirled together and just like that! Ice cream base!
For the blueberry sauce we’ll combine fresh blueberries, sugar, cornstarch for thickening, as well as salt and lemon to bring out the flavors of the berries. A bit of water too.
The berries will burst and break down slightly and the whole mixture will thicken as it boils. Super easy!
Churned cheesecake ice cream is devilishly smooth. Seriously. either commit to going at it with a spoon straight from the ice cream maker, or don’t even go there. Once you start… game over!
We can totally talk about ice cream makers if you’d like although you probably have one cluttering up the way way back of your kitchen cupboards (I’m guilty too..). This Breville Smart Scoop makes fantastic ice cream because it has an internal cooling system. No need to chill a bowl. Also great, this Cuisinart 2-quart ice cream jammer… as long as you remember to keep the mixing bowl in the freezer.
We quickly transfer most of the churned ice cream to a freezer-safe container. In this case, my freezer-safe container is a metal loaf pan. I mean… why not?
Cooled blueberry sauce is added to the quickly melting ice cream and the two are swirled.
Large chunks of graham crackers are folding into the aaaaahhhh-it’s-still-melting-ice cream. More blueberries on top. And hey a few more graham crackers too.
Quick quick. Then we run to the freezer to let it all rest. Like seriously… run.
What do we want this ice cream to fulfill? Rich a cream cheesy? Check. Taste just like cheesecake? Check. Fresh sweet blueberry goodness? Check. Pretty purple color? Check. Crust-like graham cracker bits? Check. Once consumed, provides turbo energy for housecleaning and other mundane chores? Well, kinda. Check!
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon bourbon (optional but delicious)
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- 1/4 cup water
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 heaping cup crumbled Graham Crackers
- To make the ice cream, combine the cream cheese, milk, cream, brown sugar, slat, and bourbon (if using), in the bowl of a large food processor fitted with a blade attachment.
- Blend on high speed until smooth. Depending on how softened your cream cheese was, there may be a few flecks of cream cheese remaining in the combined mixture. That's ok!
- Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions, usually about 30 to 45 minutes.
- While the ice cream is churning, make the blueberry sauce. In a small saucepan stir together blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, water, salt, and lemon juice over medium-low heat. Stir until the berries burst and the juices have thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Place in a small bowl and allow to rest in the refrigerator while the ice cream churns.
- When ice cream in done churning, quickly spoon it into a freezer safe container. Add the blueberry sauce and swirl to combine. Add crumbled graham crackers and lightly stir in.
- Allow ice cream to rest in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Overnight is best. Ice cream will last for 1 week in the freezer.