It’s been pretty hot in Guangzhou lately so I thought I’d share my recipe for a cool, refreshing blueberry lemon ice cream, though more accurately a sherbet, no ice cream maker needed! It’s sweet yet tart, and surprisingly creamy. All you need are some frozen blueberries, a lemon, low fat or skim milk, Splenda or whatever sugar alternative you have lying around, cornstarch or tapioca starch, vanilla extract and a tiny bit of margarine. You’ll also need a blender and, are you ready for this…some frozen milk cubes! Interested? Keep reading!
I’ve dubbed this delicious ice cream/sherbet the “Yishu Blend” after my BFF in back in the states (HI YISHU!)
In the United States, sherbet and sorbet are two different desserts.
Sherbet is a fruity frozen dessert that contains diary while sorbet has no dairy at all.
- low fat or skim milk ice cubes (I used a mini ice cube tray to make 28 cubes, but only used 20)
- a quarter cup of unfrozen milk
- a couple handfuls of frozen blueberries
- the juice of one lemon
- Splenda or whatever sugar alternative you have on hand (honey or agave would probably also work)
- a teaspoon-ish of margarine
- vanilla extract
- one teaspoon of either cornstarch or tapioca starch
- lemon zest
I’ve been meaning to buy an ice cream maker, but the selection of machines on Taobao (淘宝网 the Chinese version of eBay/Amazon) that qualifies for Taobao’s Cash on Delivery service in Guangzhou is pretty limited. I did however, stumble upon a very bootleg copy of the Hamilton Beach Half Pint Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker. The product the vendor is selling is actually under the brand Vitek, but the video they’ve embedded shows the Hamilton Beach brand. I thought that was pretty funny. Anyways, I decided to give myself the challenge to create a healthy homemade ice cream or sherbet using what I had available. The results were surprisingly delicious!
I made a sweet lemon custard that I combined with the frozen milk cubes and blueberries to give my dessert a creamier texture. It’s pretty simple to make. In a sauce pan combine about a quarter cup of milk with just a little bit of margarine, splenda, half of your lemon juice, vanilla extract and a teaspoon of cornstarch, which is used to replace real sugar to thicken the mixture. Taste as you go until you achieve the right balance of sweet and tart for you. Use a whisk to stir as you go, making sure it doesn’t burn. Once the mixture has thickened into a creamy custard, pour it into a small container and cover with some microwaveable plastic wrap (so your wrap doesn’t melt on top of your custard). Make sure to press the wrap onto your mixture so that a skin doesn’t form. Let your mixture cool in the refrigerator.
Next, combine your milk cubes and frozen blueberries and pulse blend repeatedly for 10 seconds at a time. You may need to shake the blender so the mixture doesn’t stick to the sides. Add in your custard and keep pulsing. I like my deserts a little tart, so at this point I added in the rest of my lemon juice.
Taste as you go and add more Splenda if you feel you need it. Try not to over blend! If you find your ice cream getting watery, stop and place what you have in the freezer for a couple of hours. Then keep blending. Scoop your sherbet into a bowl and place it in the freezer, mixing it every once in a while. When your sherbet has hardened a little bit, scoop and serve in a chilled ice cream bowl with slices of lemon or blueberries. Yummy!!