Higher callings

First off, Andrea, you were right:

Black raspberries have two higher callings, and one is definitely, without-a-doubt, ice cream. Embarrassingly enough, I was actually very surprised to discover that when you make your usual ice cream recipe and add black raspberries, it tastes like black raspberry ice cream. This might not sound like a revelation, but somehow, it never occured to me that the purple color and distinctive flavor you find when you get black raspberry ice cream at the store might have actually come from a plant once upon a time. I always assumed it was sort of like blue raspberry popsicles—completely made up—not a rare, delicious find.

At any rate, now that I know, I have made two batches. Two! I will never doubt black raspberries again, or ice cream flavors, or any of you.

And speaking of you, I have something else to thank you for today. Thanks to your suggestions about how to make a homemade hummus, I've been spending a lot of time recently working on my black bean dip. The peppers are in, and the celery, and the carrots, and when they're this pretty, it only seems right to have something properly homemade to dip them into.

And so I'm proud to announce that based on your suggestions, I think I've finally come up with something worthy of the title Black Bean Hummus. The version I made today—the third version of a turtle bean, garlic, and sesame oil riff—I'm pretty sure is it. It's the simplest I've tried, and also the best. The key is the ingredients: good, cooked-to-creamy-mush black turtle beans from our CSA, fresh roasted garlic, chives from the back deck, and a glug of top quality sesame oil. That's it.

I've been eating it on carrots, and those lovely, sweet, purple-with-a-tinge-of-green peppers you see up there (from Matt's Organic Garden in Dennis). It's been magnificent. If I were you, instead of trying to turn on a burner or a stove—as a sort of survival tactic to Beat The Heat!—I would make a batch right now. And maybe some black raspberry ice cream, too.

I hope you're enjoying summer, everyone.


The base for this ice cream uses no eggs, which I like because it means you hardly have to turn on the stove. Also, with the exception of the vanilla, this can be an all-local ice cream. I got our milk and cream from Paskamansett Farms, the honey from Mel Hammond down the street, and the black raspberries from our very own yard. Hip-hip, hooray!

1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup honey
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups black raspberries, crushed
chocolate chips (optional)

Heat the milk and honey up over low heat in a small pot, stirring constantly. They don't need to get hot—just warm them up enough that the honey melts into the milk. Pour the mixture into a small bowl along with the vanilla and the cream, and chill for at least 2 hours. When the mixture is cool, pour it along with the black raspberries into an ice cream machine, and freeze/churn as directed. If you like, at the very last minute, stir in a cup or so of good, dark chocolate chips. Spoon the ice cream into a container and freeze for several hours before serving—the ice cream will be very soft when you first make it, and it needs this time to set.


This is not so much a hummus as a black bean dip, but since black bean dips are usually more of a nacho/football thing and this is much more of a carrot/green pepper recipe, I think the hummus deserves its place in the name. This should last for at least a few weeks in the fridge, and is perfect as a summer veggie dip.

2 cups cooked black beans
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup chives, chopped fine
3 big heads garlic, roasted (that's a link to a roasting technique that works just as well with a toaster oven, so that you don't have to warm the whole house up)
salt to taste

Put the black beans, sesame oil, and chives into a food processor. Squeeze the soft roasted garlic cloves from the heads in, too, and puree. Season with salt to taste, and refrigerate.


Gary said...


That ice cream recipe sounds yummy! We have a big growth of wild black raspberries in our yard, and they're delicious (just tough to get at, with the nasty prickers). I've been eating them "on" my ice cream, looks like it's time to use them "in" my ice cream! Looks like this recipe will make about a quart, maybe a little more?

Elspeth said...

Hi Gary,

Lucky you to have a wild crop! Yes, the prickers can be tough, but the fruit is well worth any scrapes. I'd say yes, this does make about a quart.



andrea said...

Ooo - looks like now I need to try out another black raspberry ice cream recipe! I've been making mine for about a decade and look forward to it every July (although I've never made it this early before - usually our plants are just starting to produce now). Unfortunately, we lost more than half of our crop to the birds (and most of our early blueberries).

I like the use of honey in yours - I'd like to make that switch. And I agree, no custard here either, but I do add eggs. After all that, I think I need to put those last berries in the fridge out of their misery.

For comparison:

1 pt. black raspberries
1.5 c. sugar
1/2 lemon - juiced
2 eggs
2 c. heavy cream
1 c. milk

Mix raspberries, half the sugar and the lemon juice - place mixture in fridge and stir every half hour for about 2 hrs. Whisk eggs ~2 minutes. Add remaining sugar to eggs and whisk. Pour in cream, milk, and juice from raspberry mixture. Freeze in ice cream maker adding raspberries near end of freeze time.

Elspeth said...

Andrea, I like the lemon juice idea. If we get another crop, I might try a combo of your recipe and mine—keep your proportions and steps, but substitute honey for the sugar. I'm trying to keep that New Year's resolution I made about getting rid of sugar wherever I can!

Thank you, as always, for the inspiration.

All the best,

Emily said...


Carl and I made this the other night. I think the honey really adds to the flavor (in addition to being better for the environment)! It didn't totally freeze, which I'm blaming on a very old and not very cold freezer, but it was DIVINE regardless. Thank you!!!


Elspeth said...

Hi Em!

I'm so glad you made it. Where did you get black raspberries? I'm curious...I know they can be hard to find.

I'm also curious as to whether you let it set for a little while in the freezer after freezing with the ice cream machine. I find that that is key to getting it solid.

And yes, the honey is great, isn't it?


Emily said...

They were actually blackberries, now that I think about it. We picked them in my backyard. They're still going crazy, so I think we'll be able to get in at least one more batch before the season ends!

Elspeth said...

Aha! That explains it.

I will have to go check our patch...I hope it hasn't escaped me already!

davis said...

Most of the recipes in the blog are easy to make. But I wonder of getting the perfect taste in first attempt.

chris said...

i love roasted garlic paste with bread

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