A bowl of sweet and fruity Saskatoon Ice Cream will make you happy, whether you pick a pail of plump, ripe saskatoon berries or raid the pantry and freezer.
I blame it on the hot weather – some days I could gladly ladle spoonful after spoonful of cold, smooth, homemade ice cream into my mouth, several times a day, letting the deliciousness cool me down from the inside out. If it wasn’t so sticky, I’d rub it on the back of my neck and let it drip down my back, smear some on my sweaty forehead, maybe slather it on my hot feet.
Enough fantasizing, I’ll just eat it instead. Those flavours are too good to waste.
Last week’s vanilla ice cream was wonderful – who says vanilla is boring? I think it’s rich and complex in flavour. Then there was the pina colada one I made, which went so fast, I never got photos of it, or the recipe posted. This week’s version is a delectable saskatoon ice cream, because, well, look at those bushes. . . they were begging me to turn them into something worthy of celebrating summer.
Every year I’m lucky to get a big box full of all kinds of homemade jams and jellies from my mother-in-law. It’s a special gift of sparkling summer preserved in jars.
I was in too much of a hurry to eat some tasty saskatoon ice cream, and I didn’t want to fiddle with making and cooling juice from my saskatoon berries. So I used one of those jars of shimmering saskatoon jelly.
My mother-in-law uses the recipe that comes with the pectin packages (see the recipe at the bottom of this post). I’ve made it before, too, and it’s a great basic saskatoon jelly. And somehow, the jelly made the ice cream super-smooth and luscious. I think the secret ingredient might be the touch of pectin that is in the jelly.
This ice cream has a rich, creamy, dairy-free base dotted with little bursts of chopped fresh saskatoons – it really is the taste of summer heaven in a bowl.
Kitchen Frau Notes: The drop of almond extract in the recipe is just enough to enhance the natural undertone of almond flavour in saskatoon berries, but not overwhelm the ice cream with it.
Arrowroot starch (also sometimes labelled arrowroot flour) helps prevent ice crystals from forming in homemade ice cream made with non-dairy ingredients.
I imagine you could use saskatoon jam instead of jelly here, or even blueberry jam or jelly (with fresh or frozen blueberries, then, too – just omit the almond flavour.)
This ice cream is the right amount for a 2 quart/litre ice cream maker. If using a smaller machine, fill as high as the manufacturer recommends, and use the extra creamy berry mixture to make popsicles.
I do love my 2 quart electric ice cream maker with the freezable liquid-filled canister. Summer would not be as fun without it!
Saskatoon Ice Cream
(gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free)
- 2 cans (14 oz/400grams each) premium full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup (240ml) saskatoon jelly (for homemade, see recipe below)
- ¼ teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup (240ml) fresh saskatoon berries (or frozen ones, partially thawed)
Place the liquid-filled canister from the ice cream machine into the freezer at least 24 hours before planning to churn the ice cream.
In a large saucepan, whisk together one can of the coconut milk, the arrowroot starch and the salt. Heat over medium high heat, stirring constantly until bubbles just start to rise to the surface and the mixture thickens. Do not let it come to a full boil.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the saskatoon jelly until it is completely melted. Stir in the remaining can of coconut milk, the almond extract and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth.
Cover and chill for 3 to 4 hours or overnight. Chill the saskatoon berries, too, if using fresh ones.
Pour the chilled mixture into the ice cream maker, and churn according to manufacturer’s directions, about 20 to 30 minutes. About 15 minutes into the churning time, chop the fresh or frozen saskatoon berries, trying to make sure there are no whole berries – this is a little trickier with the frozen ones.
I recommend you wear an apron when chopping the fresh berries since the occasional splat of saskatoon juice does fly your way – I speak from experience. Add the chopped berries to to the ice cream. Churn until it is as firm as a good soft-serve ice cream. Serve immediately or freeze for several hours until more solid.
Makes 1½ quarts/litres.
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* * * * *
Homemade Saskatoon Jelly
from the recipe insert in the Bernardin pectin packages
- 2 kg (4lbs 6oz) cleaned saskatoon berries
- ½ cup (120ml) water
- 1/3 cup (80ml) lemon juice
- 7½ cups (1.5kg) granulated sugar
- 2 pouches liquid pectin (170ml total)
Combine the berries and the water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain the juice by pouring the cooked berries into a jelly bag hanging over a bowl. Leave the fruit to drip for 3 to 4 hours or overnight – until you have 3½ cups juice. Do not squeeze the fruit or you’ll have cloudy jelly.
Prepare and sterilize canning jars.
In a large saucepan, combine 3½ cups prepared saskatoon berry juice, lemon juice, and sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat.
Stir in liquid pectin, squeezing all the pectin out of the pouches. Boil hard one minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and skim off any foam floating at the top of the jelly.
Working quickly, pour jelly into warm, sterilized jam jars to within ¼ inch from the top. Wipe rims of jars with clean, damp cloth. Cover with sterilized lids and seal, screwing jars finger-tight. Let cool undisturbed. You should hear the lids “pop” as they seal and see that the vacuum has sucked the lid down so it doesn’t move when pressed with a finger (but don’t press the lids until the jars are completely cooled.)
If any jars didn’t seal (the lid will still bulge upward slightly and moves when pressed with a finger), store those jars in the refrigerator and use within a few months.
Makes 8 cups.
* The jelly might not set if you double the recipe – make one batch at a time.