I may refer to this Blueberry Sweet Cherry Nice Cream as the quintessential summer treat, but it’s a wonderfully light and refreshing dessert all year round. In fact, I’ve served it at a winter luncheon along with these Coconut Date Bites, and my guests simply couldn’t believe there was no added sugar. I had to review the recipe with them! The fruit adds not just a big burst of flavour, but all the natural sweetness you could wish for. New Year’s Resolution dessert, anyone?
The quintessential summer treat (QST) has several key qualities: it’s cold, it’s refreshing and it’s easy to make. And, because you’ll want to eat lots and lots of it on these scorchingly hot days and sultry evenings, it’s a bonus if it’s not very rich. And (yes, another and) the QST earns big bonus points if it’s as natural as eating fresh fruit.
Presenting … Blueberry Sweet Cherry Nice Cream
With all these criteria satisfied, I’m pleased to present to you … blueberry sweet cherry nice cream.
You might recall that last summer I treated you to three flavours of nice cream, that treat that’s like ice cream but made with frozen bananas as the base. Not only is it cold, refreshing, easy to make and basically just fruit, it also has no added sugar and is dairy free, which is important to some. Even if you eat cream and other dairy products with abandon, you won’t feel like you’re missing anything with this frozen confection. It’s creamy in texture and bursting with flavour, a great vegan dessert that will satisfy everyone around the table.
What grows together goes together!
For today’s offering, I decided to combine blueberries and sweet cherries for flavour (after all, what grows together goes together) and gorgeous colour. Just look at the deep, jewel-like fuchsia with flecks of dark blue and purple — this is food as art! A good squeeze of fresh lime juice brightens up the flavours.
When it comes to luscious cold treats I’m not a very patient person, but if you leave the nice cream in the freezer for a day or more before using it, it’ll become quite hard. If you can restrain yourself, let the container sit on the counter for ten minutes or so to soften up a bit before scooping. (Or, like me, you can chip away at it when it’s still frozen solid, but that just uses energy needlessly in this hot weather and doesn’t produce those appealing roundish scoops.)
Or — I’m full of tips today — when the nice cream is partially frozen, scoop balls of whatever size your heart desires onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Work quickly and pop the tray into the freezer as soon as possible. Once the nice cream balls are completely frozen, put them in a sealable container. Although they’ll still benefit from a little softening before eating, it’ll be even faster to go from craving to the perfect cone or bowl of cold deliciousness!
Blueberry Sweet Cherry Nice Cream
© Marlene Cornelis, Urban Cottage Life 2016
Equipment Alert: You’ll need a high-powered blender to make nice cream (I’ve also read that you can make it in a food processor.)
When working with fruit, measurements like “3 bananas” and “juice of 1/2 lime” are somewhat variable. No worries, just eyeball and taste! If your lime is small or stingy with the juice, just add what you need to brighten the flavour of the berries and cherries. And another tip … I’ve learned that cutting the banana into 1/2-inch slices before freezing is easier on the blender, even a high-powered one like a Vitamix. Also, let the frozen fruit sit out for a few minutes before blending them to make things come together a little more easily.
- 3 bananas, cut into 1/2 inch slices, frozen
- 1 cup blueberries, rinsed and frozen
- 1/2 cup pitted sweet cherries, frozen
- juice of 1/2 large lime (mine was nice and juicy, at least a tablespoon)
The night before or a few hours ahead, prepare the frozen fruit (if you’re using purchased frozen fruit, you’re ahead of the game). Remove the fruit from the freezer a few minutes before blending to let it soften just a bit. Place all the fruit into the Vitamix and add the lime juice. Put the lid on the blender and insert the tamper.
Turn on and increase speed to high right away, tamping vigorously to help everything come together. Once mostly blended, taste and decide if you want to add any additional lime juice. Complete blending, scrape into a bowl, cover and freeze.
If you wish, once the nice cream is partially frozen, scoop it into balls, placing them on a parchment-lined tray. Work quickly so they don’t thaw and get runny, put them into the freezer to complete freezing, then transfer them to a sealable container.
Enjoy your nice cream in cones or bowls, as you would regular ice cream.
Sneak Peek Preview
I’ve been working on yet another flavour of nice cream: raspberry chocolate. The recipe isn’t quite there yet (more taste testing for me!) and I find the addition of chocolate makes this more of a fall dessert since I like to stick to pure fruit in the summer. So, it won’t be making an appearance here for a while. In the meantime, though, I can’t resist sharing this photo with you. Doesn’t that look like something to look forward to?