Blackberry Thyme Ice Cream

Yesterday, my children and I ambled down our rural road to pick the wild, ripe blackberries that mark mid summer here in wine country. We returned home with stained fingers, burrs in our shirts, and thorn scratches on our legs and arms, but with plenty of dark, juicy berries. It was too hot to turn on the oven, so we decided to make homemade blackberry ice cream! I love the combination of fresh fruit and herbs, so I steeped a little fresh thyme in the custard to add complexity.

Once you get the hang of making the ice cream custard base, then it’s easy to add whatever flavoring you like, depending on what’s in season. You’ll need to chill the custard overnight, then freeze it the next day for ice cream nirvana.

Serve our Blackberry Thyme Ice Cream with shortbread cookies and a chilled glass of Hanna Bismark Mountain Zinfandel, and you’ve got a dinner party dessert. Our Bismark Zin is brambly, fruit forward and spicy, and even though it’s dry, makes a surprisingly delicious dessert wine because of its bold berry flavors. Enjoy your summer!


1 1/4 cups heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

3 sprigs of fresh thyme

4 egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups fresh blackberries, with 1/2 cup reserved

2 tablespoons sugar


Place milk and cream in a medium saucepan over low heat until bubbles form around the edges. Do not let simmer. Remove from heat and add thyme sprigs. Let steep for 30 minutes and remove thyme.

Beat egg yolks, sugar and salt in an electric mixer until doubled in volume. Add one cup of milk mixture to temper, then add another cup, then the remainder. Mix to combine, then return the liquid to the saucepan. Cook over low heat until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about five minutes.

Puree blackberries in a food processor or blender, then strain to remove seeds. Add sugar to taste.

Add blackberry puree to the custard and refrigerate overnight. Freeze in an ice cream maker, and add reserved blackberries five minutes or so before the ice cream is completely frozen.

Makes 1 1/2 pints

Wine Pairing

Serve our Blackberry Thyme Ice Cream with shortbread cookies and a chilled glass of HANNA Bismark Mountain Zinfandel!