Red currant sour cream ice cream

red currant ice cream

Today a friend told me they’re starting to get red currants in their fruit CSA and they’re looking for things to do with them. Just the kick in the butt I needed to finally post this recipe. I made it up two summers ago, when I had access to tons of red currants and had finally gotten my fill of eating them fresh.

Red currants are traditionally used for making a clear jelly, but jellies don’t really do it for me–I like my spreads to have more texture. I don’t have this problem with ice cream, however. An ice cream with a swirl of red currant sounded particularly delicious.

Under special request from his mom, my husband had just made Melissa Clark’s Rhubarb Ice Cream with a Caramel Swirl. I’m a sucker for the unadorned, slightly tart taste of plain-dairy-flavored ice creams (sweet cream, yogurt, buttermilk, creme fraiche…), so I was completely taken with the sour cream ice cream base of Melissa Clark’s recipe. I promptly nicked it, added a ribbon of red currants mashed with sugar, and my favorite way to use up red currants was born.

Red Currant Ribbon (sour cream ice cream with a red currant swirl)

Adapted from the ice cream base of Melissa Clark’s Rhubarb Ice Cream with a Caramel Swirl

If you don’t have fresh red currants, you could use pretty much any other berry in their place. I imagine raspberries, strawberries, or blackberries would be delicious.


  • 1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of Kosher or sea salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 cup red currants (you can use more, probably about up to 1 cup, if you have them)
  • Extra sugar to taste


1. In a thick-bottomed pot over medium heat, whisk the milk, 3/4 cup sugar, salt, and vanilla bean seeds and pod (or vanilla extract). Simmer gently until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.
2. Remove from heat, cover, and steep 30 minutes. Take out the vanilla pod if using (you can dry it and use it to flavor sugar, or steep it in vodka for several weeks to months to make homemade vanilla extract). Return mixture to just barely a simmer.
3. Put the yolks in a large bowl and beat them lightly. Slowly whisk in the hot milk mixture to make a custard.
4. Pour the custard back into the pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
5. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. (If your custard is not visibly lumpy and you are impatient like me, you may skip this.) Whisk in sour cream. Chill at least 3 hours or overnight.
6. Mash red currants with sugar to taste (sweeten it a little more than you would otherwise, because when it’s frozen it will taste less sweet). Chill at least 3 hours or overnight.
7. Churn the custard in an ice cream maker according to the machine’s instructions. When the ice cream looks like it’s a hair’s breadth away from done, pour in the red currant mixture while the machine is running. Turn off the machine after a second or two, so that the red currant mixture is swirled into the ice cream but the swirl remains distinct.
8. Pack the ice cream into containers and store in freezer.

Peach Raspberry Crisp

We made this crisp twice in the last week. I almost never cook the same thing twice in one week, for reasons that are unclear to me, so this is saying something. It’s quite amazing with fresh local peaches.

I used the Apple Krisp recipe in the original Moosewood Cookbook, but I changed almost everything at least some. For some reason I have this problem where all the crisp recipes in my cookbooks call for pan sizes that I don’t own (either a rectangular 8-by-something pan or, in this case, a “large, oblong pan”). And yes, crisps are flexible, but the topping is my favorite part and I’m never sure how much will make a good thick layer for whatever size pan I actually have. So now I have actually written things down! Hooray. If you also lack these size pans (or even if you don’t): enjoy.

This is how much was left after the potluck we took it to

Peach raspberry crisp

Makes one 9×13 pan


6 large fresh peaches
1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup brown sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup flour


1 1/2 sticks of butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp plus a pinch of kosher salt


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. To peel the peaches, bring a large pot of water to boil. Fill a large bowl with cold water. Slip the peaches into the boiling water for 30-60 seconds, then transfer to the cold water. When cool, cut an “X” into the pointy end of the peach and slip the skin off.

3. Pit the peaches and cut into slices. In a 9×13 pan (supposedly this should be buttered, but I forgot and it was fine), mix them with the other filling ingredients.

4. Melt the butter. Stir the sugar into the melted butter. Add oats, flour, and salt and mix thoroughly. Using your hands, sprinkle/crumble the topping over the fruit in the pan.

5. Bake 40 minutes, uncovered, at 375 degrees. Cover with foil if it browns before the cooking time is up.