Recipe: Blueberry Cardamom Ice Cream

Makes 2 quarts

There’s an old Icelandic saying: “Even though you are small, you can still be clever.”

Teeny weenie blueberries, fresh from the bush may be small, but they make the most adorable and extraordinary purple ice cream. And, as you drown in bite after bite of cold, sweet, glorious goodness, you also consume a quarter ton of antioxidants. Clever, indeed. So, churn up a batch. Stick around to watch as it freezes in the belly of your ice cream maker – you’ll be all smiles as the violet blue blends with the rich cream and sweetened by a light touch of sugar and cardamom.

Make ice cream. Let joy overwhelm you – become a child, yet again.

I’m honored that this recipe was featured in Penzy’s Spices’ 2012 early summer catalog.


2 cups blueberries
1 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp fresh, crushed cardamom (the seeds of about 15-20 pods)
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk


Ah, blueberries. There’s no quicker way to revive the inner child. Especially when the winter has drug on, and on, and on – our friends in Iceland will tell you that.

Here’s what you do to start giggling like a six year-old again:

1. Fly to Iceland

2. Pick blueberries

3. Make ice cream.

Your nearest farm will also do. You’ll not only leave with blueberries, but a lifetime of happy memories.

Ava loves blueberries, so she adored our little outing to High Fence Farm this month. She was especially keen on carrying the bucket.

Try not to eat them all in the car ride home. Once you get those blueberries home – what few you do get home will make delightful ice cream. It’s totally worth the wait.

Here’s what you do:

Stir and simmer together blueberries, water, sugar, and cardamom until blueberries soften and the sugar dissolves- about 5-10 minutes. Chill completely – in an ice bath or overnight.

Meanwhile, dream a little daydream:

Decide where you’d rather eat the ice cream when it’s all done. A) While watching a fisherman’s stone-lifting competition, or B) while floating over the Dettifoss waterfall.

Lifting stones is a way to assess a fisherman's capability and therefore pay. The largest stone weighs 154 kg. Djupalonsandur, Iceland. Photo by Chris | The Dettifoss waterfall, Iceland. Photo by Roger McLassus.

I’m totally going for the waterfall. I like floating. Floating with ice cream sounds even better.

When the blueberries are sufficiently chilled, give them a buzz-whir with an immersion blender (or regular blender). You can keep a small scoop unblended for texture, if you’d like. Just keep in mind they do get very hard.

Add to ice cream maker with cream and milk. Churn according to package instructions.

Even Iceland’s landscape looks like churning, swirling ice cream. How weirdly wonderful.

Kaldaklofsfjöll mountain range, Iceland. Photo by Valtameri

Except, of course, that blueberry ice cream is distinctly more purple than the ice in Iceland.

Eat it right up! Straight from the machine is best – when it’s like soft serve.

You could also put in a container and freeze a few hours longer, until scoopable.

Totally amazingly scoopable.

With each bite, feel yourself transform into a carefree child.

Full of light, and laughter, and love.

And giggles. Lots of those, too.


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  1. The world needs more ice cream! How do you find a good ice cream machine? Are they expensive? I would love to make my own instead of filling my freezer with preservatives and who knows what they put in ice cream I buy at the store!

    • Sasha Martin says:

      You can get one for around $60 that will work fine, but check what size the container is. Mine is a 1 1/2 quart, so I had to freeze this in two batches. They have 2 quart ones as well :)

  2. Cardamom and blueberry? Suddenly I feel the need to buy an ice cream maker! Is there one that you have had good luck with?

    • Sasha Martin says:

      I have the basic Cuisinart. I love that it has two bowls, so I can make two flavors without having to wait and refreeze the bowl.

      My only problem with the machine is that it sounds kind of whiny. I solve the problem by running the machine behind closed doors – in the laundry room. ha ha. With a toddler running around I might invest in a better one down the road, but this one really does get it cold and that’s the goal.|ice%2Bcream%2Bmaker|8|best|0|1|24||1&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-NoMerchRules-_-

  3. christine says:

    Yum. Great pics too- you have to go to the library and take out “Blueberries for Sal” to read to Ava.

  4. aunty eileen says:

    Looks heavenly Sasha… I want some right now : ) Pictures are outstanding also!

  5. What a wonderful, refreshing, innovative combination! It is an elegant dessert.

  6. Wow what a fabulous ice cream flavor. Looks terrific!

  7. Oh man! I love the color of this and the flavors sound amazing. Will have to make someday because I have a friend who would love it also. :)

  8. Making blueberry ice cream today! The orchard was open today and picked a huge bucket’s worth. Trying a little variation: Buttermilk instead of milk and heavy cream and homemade aquavit (alcohol keeps the buttermilk from freezing too much). I’m leaving out the cardamon (even though I LOVE it) because there’s some infused into the aquavit. It’s more of a blueberry buttermilk aquavit sherbert…

    The above recipe looks awesome and I’ll have to give it a try, too. I just didn’t have enough cream so I added some fresh lemon juice to whole milk to make buttermilk instead. Didn’t feel like making (another) trip to the store!

  9. My ice cream maker is the big kind you can get at Walmart and it too is exceedingly noisy. Maybe one day I’ll inherit my Grampa’s hand-cranked one (but not anytime soon, Grampa)!

  10. Do you think there is any sort of good substitute for cardamom in this recipe? I figured I probably had some way in the back of my spice drawers, like between the other tri-syllabic spices that I don’t know what to do with (marjoram, tarragon…) but as it turns out, nope. Had there been, it’d be more than a decade old, so may not have been so great! Is there some particular function that it fulfills or something else that could do the job just as well? I’ve got everything else on the list in the pantry or the fridge and I’m raring to go. I looked up the following article online
    but it said there’s nothing like it in the world, so am I out of luck? P.s. – sorry I’m always the one trying to beg ideas for substitutions when I don’t have or can’t get the actual ingredients!

    • Sasha Martin says:

      You can leave it out and it won’t affect the integrity of the ice cream – it just adds flavor (I have a ton though, if you’d like to try it). If you wanted to put something else in, choose a spice that you enjoy with blueberries. Or just leave it out altogether. Good luck! :)

  11. That picture of Kaldaklofsfjöll is weird and yes, strangely reminiscent of ice cream, but that one of the blueberries above it reminds me of drinking a really disgusting milk, ice and soya jelly ball concoction on Gulang Yu in China. Something was very wrong there. Piano music piped from the undergrowth. Praying mantises (manti?) everywhere. And no ice cream at all despite it being a holiday resort.

  12. Just found this as I was looking for Penzeys recipe for this very ice cream. You don’t say, but is this where you got the recipe from?


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