A Trip to the Blueberry Farm + Blueberry Honey Ice Cream Recipe

Last week our local U-pick blueberry farm opened for the season, so I decided we might as well head out there before I got too close to my due date (I”m just under three weeks away). We visited the farm last year and have decided it is a great yearly tradition for our family.

Our Farm

While our farm is not certified organic, they do follow many organic farming principles, and I was informed that this year they did not need to spray, which made me happy. This is one of those instances where, for me, choosing local takes precedence over organic, not to mention the benefit of my kids being able to go directly to the farm and know exactly where their food has come from.

The farm also partners with a local baker to sell fresh blueberry pies and blueberry bread, and they produce and sell their own raw honey. The honey is delicious and was the inspiration for the recipe I”m going to share with you today.

Read on for more photos, tips and an original recipe for a delectable early summer treat.

U-Pick Fun

During lunch with a friend this week, my daughter was so proud and excited to explain that she picked these blueberries herself. And let me tell you, the taste is amazing– much sweeter and more distinct-tasting than the berries in our grocery store that traveled many miles to get to us in Southern California.

I wanted to share a few helpful hints with you in case you have a chance to go blueberry picking this season. These came from our farm”s website.

  • Farmer Mike uses two hands cupped together and the key is THUMBS.  Cup both hands together and using your thumbs and index finger, roll the blueberries into your cupped hand.
  • Go for a walk. The plants near the entrance get picked the most.  Go for a walk and you will usually find plenty of blueberries.
  • LIFT Branches!  Most adults pick the berries at mid stomach level (where they are the easiest)  If you carefully lift branches, you will often discover clusters of berries and it makes picking much easier.  Hint- looking for heavy foliage is a good place to lift branches.

Visiting the farm didn”t end up saving us any money (especially when you consider the gas to drive about an hour away to get there), but it was well worth the cost in my opinion. I don”t mind at all paying a few bucks more for fresh, local berries in my fridge, the experience for my kids, and supporting a local family business.

Recipe: Homemade Blueberry Honey Ice Cream

originally published on Gidget Goes Home

makes just over one quart

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup honey
2 Tb. water
1 cup, minus 1 Tb. half and half
5 egg yolks
1 cup buttermilk, chilled in the freezer for at least 20 minutes
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, simmer berries, half the honey, and water, breaking up berries as they cook down, about 5 minutes. Puree in a blender, then strain through a sieve into a small bowl. Set aside. In a medium sausepan over medium-low heat, simmer the half and half until very hot but not boiling.

In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks with remaining honey until pale yellow. Slowly pour in half and half, whisking as you go, so as not to cook the eggs.

Return mixture to saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring constantly across the bottom of the pan, until thick and custardy, coating the back of a spoon (170 degrees on a candy thermometer). Do not allow it to curdle.

Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl. Stir in chilled buttermilk, vanilla and berry mixture. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer”s instructions. Ice cream will need to be frozen for at least 2 hours to achieve hard ice cream.

I hope you love this beautifully colored, rich-tasting homemade ice cream as much as I do! What”s your favorite way to eat blueberries? Do you have local blueberries available in your area?

About Nicole

Nicole can be found blogging at her lifestyle blog GidgetGoesHome.com, and is the editor of Simple Homemade. She loves to read, sew, make ice cream, take pictures, watch baseball and go for walks by the beach with her hubby and three little kiddos. She loves anything handmade and is affectionately known as a bit of a hippie among family and friends.

Comments

  1. Fresh Blueberries are awesome! The ice cream looks so good. I am hoping that my blueberry bushes will grow big. Thanks for the fun post.

  2. We are very lucky to have a certified organic blueberry farm that offers u-pick berries just 15 minutes from our house. We have gone picking the past two years and it is definitely a great experience! The first year we went my son was just 2 weeks old and I carried him in my Moby wrap the whole time!
    Last year we picked two different times, about 25 lbs. total. We ate and used a lot for baking and froze the rest. We probably froze around 15 lbs of blueberries and I was so sad in December when we used our last bag. This year I’m hoping to pick and freeze 30 lbs., if I can. There’s nothing like eating fresh, local, organic berries all year long!
    I wish I had an ice cream maker – that ice cream sounds awesome! I will be on the lookout for one this summer at garage sales!
    Emily´s latest post: Natural Ways to Repel Bugs- Ants- and Insects this Summer

  3. So jealous!!! We have raspberries, blackberries and strawberries an easy distance from us, but no blueberries. Sometimes a blueberry farm about two hours from us will be a guest vendor at our farmers’ market–those berries are just incredible. Soooo much better than anything I can buy at the grocery.

    Also, thanks for making the point about buying local trumping buying organic. If I can get local AND organic, I absolutely will. But better local produce than anything grown organically 3000 miles away.
    Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy´s latest post: Gift Ideas for Men Fathers and Otherwise

  4. We have many choices for blueberry picking in our area. I just love it!! We froze enough blueberries last year to last us almost the whole year! We are just finishing the last bag and it will be another month or so until we can pick around here. (Although this year we will have to freeze more now that our second son is eating solid food!) The most common way we use frozen blueberries in our house is to stir them into our piping hot oatmeal to cool it down quickly. Although I am definitely feeling the need to try out that ice cream! Mmmmm…..

  5. Definitely local is a priority over organic. U-pick is a wonderful way to fill your freezer for the year. Calculate how many blueberries your family might eat in a week (say 1 to 2 lbs) and pick accordingly. I like to pick about 50 to 75 lbs a year. When I think about the $1.75/lb price I am paying and what I would pay for berries out of season, it is a really cheap way to eat fruit during the winter.

  6. What fun, Nicole! Your pictures are gorgeous and I feel like I’m right there with you. We’re several weeks away from fresh berries, that is for sure, but there’s rhubarb everywhere!
    Aimee @ Simple Bites´s latest post: Lower the iPhone and Wear a Smile- My BlogHer Food ’11 Recap

  7. “the benefit of my kids being able to go directly to the farm and know exactly where their food has come from” thats a very important Consideration .i know several kids who thinks food comes from the supermarkert ,,,, :-s
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  8. Yum! That ice cream looks delicious. I hope we have somewhere to pick blueberries in my area. I haven’t checked yet.

    Some of the best blueberries I have ever tasted were from my local farmer’s market. They were so sweet and fresh!
    Stacy´s latest post: Servant Daddy simple game – lots of fun!

  9. Thank you for the post – I recently moved to So Ca from MN and was desperately missing my u-pick fruits! I can’t wait to visit the farm. I think I’m going to make a trip there next week. Can you share any other of your favorite u pick places?

    • This is the only local u-pick farm I’ve been to. I’ve heard fun things about the Carlsbad Strawberry u-pick farm but I know they spray their berries. I think there might be a place to pick oranges out by the Wild Animal Park, too.
      Welcome to SoCal!!

  10. oh yummy! You just made my wait for fresh blueberries even longer….I have another 6-8 weeks before they are ready around here!

    I want to get an icecream maker, but don’t like the ones that you just freeze the bowl, I get nothing but mush….may I ask what you use & the secret to making it turn into Ice Cream, and not just cold-flavored milk? Also, do you use raw cream that you skim yourself, cuz I’m not having luck with that either! I’m excited to try this recipe, it sounds super yummy!!!

    • I use a bowl attachment for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I keep the bowl in the freezer and love it. It makes for a great consistency, although as with all ice cream makers you have to freeze the ice cream for at least a couple of hours after mixing to get it to fully freeze. Mine is a nice soft serve usually right out of the ice cream maker. I also make sure I fully cool the liquid before putting it in and that helps a lot.
      And nope, I just use store-bought, usually organic, cream. Raw milk is ridiculously expensive where I live so we stick to organic cream top milk and organic cream or half-n-half.

  11. I think I need to take a trip up there and then make this ice cream! :)
    Krissa´s latest post: Cooking Together…Lemon Cornmeal Breakfast Cake

  12. Very nice trip.Thank for sharing

  13. LOL Dido! it’s so true and so sad at the same time!
    actually, i think all parents should take their kids to this kind of trip! back to nature….
    sapir´s latest post: do labor unions such as enectrical plumbers pipefitters etc do background checks

  14. Someone mentioned PYO to me yesterday and since I had the day off today I decided we had to find one! We found the only Organic PYO farm in MD (Hybridoma Organic Fruit Farm in Baldwin MD) which just happened to have raspberries (red ones were picked for the day but there were still black ones to be had) and blueberries. We ended up with 5 lbs of Blueberries and 4 pints of black raspberries between my hubby and I. I had to find an Ice Cream recipe and I can’t wait to try yours.

  15. I can’t do milk, so we do this recipe with coconut cream!

  16. I wan’t some of that homemade honey blueberry ice cream

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  1. [...] week we went blueberry picking, which was great fun, and I wrote about here {along with republishing my blueberry-honey ice cream recipe- [...]

  2. [...] so there’s still time to get some blueberries and make some treats. I made this delicious Blueberry Honey Ice Cream and plan to make some Blueberry Jam [...]

  3. [...] A Trip to the Blueberry Farm + Blueberry Honey Ice Cream RecipeMay 27, 2011 … Last week our local U-pick blueberry farm opened for the season, so I decided we might as well head out there before I got too close to my … By admin in Uncategorized  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed. [...]

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  5. [...] + Honey + Cream/Buttermilk = Blueberry Honey Ice Cream (pictured [...]

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