Monday, November 3, 2014

Coffee Ice Cream and Blueberry Crumb Pie

When the weather starts to turn cool and fall-like, I start thinking of pie.  Warm fruit pies with the last of summer's berries, silky chocolate or coconut cream pies topped with salted caramel and softly whipped cream, rich pecan pie spiked with bourbon and drizzled with chocolate sauce, tart apple pie with freshly churned vanilla bean ice cream...

If I had to pick a favorite fruit pie, though, impossible as that is, I might just choose blueberry.  Almost every night for dessert, I eat a bowl of frozen blueberries, warmed until they become soft and juicy, topped with a spoonful of Greek yogurt and a sprinkling of cinnamon.  I just love blueberries.

So for our first fall pie, I made blueberry with an oat crumb topping, my favorite way to finish a fruit pie.

Instead of topping the pie with whipped cream, I churned a small batch of coffee ice cream, starting with my favorite barely sweetened custard, and adding a generous amount of espresso powder.  Did you know that coffee and blueberries pair so beautifully?  The two are quite made for each other.

The next day, I met a couple friends for lunch, and I packed up slices of pie in to-go boxes to surprise them, although of course, no ice cream.  It was a gorgeous fall day, sunny and warm, and we ate outside and chatted and caught up on life.

Jamie is now waiting with enthusiastic anticipation for his next pie; you see, in between my promises to love him forever, I actually wrote this into my vows:

"I promise to bake lots of pie for you..."

Coffee Ice Cream
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon vodka or coffee liqueur
In a saucepan, whisk together the cream, milk and espresso powder.  Gently warm over medium heat, just until the cream simmers around the edges but is not boiling.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks.  Ladle a cup of the hot cream into the sugar/egg yolks and whisk to temper the eggs; scrape the mixture back into the saucepan.

Cook the custard over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5-7 minutes.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and liqueur.  Pour through a mesh strainer into a bowl to remove any bits of cooked egg.  Cover with plastic wrap resting right against the surface of the custard; refrigerate overnight.

Churn the custard according to the manufacturer's instructions of your ice cream maker, then transfer to a container and freeze until firm, about 4-6 hours.

Yields about 2 quarts.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

Blueberry Crumb Pie (recipe published on a previous blog post)



  1. Hi Heather,

    Your coffee ice cream sounds amazing i so want to make it right now! I have avoided making custard based ice creams in the past as i never know what to do with all the leftover egg whites aside from making meringues. Do you have any suggestions for other uses at all?

    Thanks in advance

    1. You know, I've never liked meringues, so I too tend to have a lot of leftover whites when I make ice cream, or lemon curd, or anything that uses only the yolks. However, I do eat a lot of eggs for breakfast, so I usually just refrigerate the leftover whites and add a few extra whites to my scrambled eggs, or even add the raw whites to fruit smoothies for some added nutrition.


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