There Are Whole Blueberry Muffins in This Ice Cream
You’re probably getting bored with eating the same blueberry muffin for breakfast every morning, right? I thought so. But the problem isn’t the muffin. Oh no, it’s the way you’re eating the muffin—solo. What you need to do is blend that blueberry muffin into ice cream. The idea came to me while listening to a very excellent episode of the Splendid Table podcast, during which Dana Cree, author of Hello, My Name Is Ice Cream: The Art and Science of the Scoop, explained how to make doughnut ice cream by soaking the pastry in her ice cream base, then blending the whole thing up. (Obviously you’ll want to check out that recipe too.) Much as I love a good doughnut, the idea of a subtly spiced blueberry muffin soaking up all that sweet cream, then puréed into a smooth treat was too much not to try.
Dump 2 cups heavy cream, 1 cup whole milk, ½ cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt into a medium saucepan. Turn the heat on medium and whisk the mixture together. Bring the mixture to a boil, continuing to whisk. In a small bowl or cup, mix 2 tablespoons milk with 2 teaspoons arrowroot starch or cornstarch, then pour that into the saucepan.
As the mixture bubbles up, toss in a small blueberry muffins, broken up into small pieces. While a giant grocery store muffin may be too big, an average muffin baked in a standard home-baking muffin tin (typically around 3½ ounces) should do it.
Reduce the pan’s heat to medium-low and mush the muffin into the hot cream mixture with your whisk or a silicone spatula until it’s mostly broken up. Continue to cool the mixture for another 2-3 minutes.
Pour the mixture into a heatproof blender bowl (or plunge an immersion blender into the saucepan. Blend the mixture until it’s completely smooth, then run it through a fine mesh sieve.
Pour the ice cream base into a bowl or jar with a lid and let the mixture cool in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight.
After the mixture has fully cooled, pour it into an ice cream maker according to the machine’s directions and churn the ice cream until it’s thickened. If you’d like, toss in a few handfuls of fresh blueberries. You may think it’s done when the ice cream reaches a soft-serve consistency, but only take a spoonful at this point and wait at least another 3-5 minutes after it looks like soft serve to turn off the machine.
If you’re not planning to finish the ice cream in one sitting, pour it into a silicone or aluminum loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap, and store in the freezer.