Blueberry Jelly Tip Ice Block w/ Dairy-free Vanilla Ice Cream
Blueberry Jelly Tip
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup or liquid honey
- small squeeze of lemon
Dairy-free Vanilla Ice Cream
- 3 [approx. 300g once peeled] frozen banana cut into 2 cm pieces before freezing
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup or liquid honey
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup coconut cream OR dairy cream
- 100 g dark 70% chocolate check it is dairy-free if required
- First make the blueberry jelly: Blend the blueberries, maple syrup and squeeze of lemon in a blender until smooth. Divide evenly between the ice block moulds. Place in the fridge for 1 hour to set.
- Make the vanilla ice cream: In a food processor or blender combine the frozen bananas, maple syrup/ honey, vanilla extract and coconut cream. Blend for 1 minute until smooth. If needed scrape down the sides half way through. Remove the ice block moulds from the fridge checking the blueberry has set - it maybe a little wobbly that is OK. Top up the moulds with the ice cream, tapping gently to release any air bubbles. Insert an ice block stick into each one. Freeze for 4 hours or until frozen solid.
- Once frozen remove the ice blocks from the moulds by holding under running warm water for 10 seconds. Lay the ice blocks on a lined tray and place back in the freezer until ready to dip.
- Make the chocolate coating: Break up the chocolate into a glass or ceramic bowl and sit this over a pot of gently simmering water. Once melted remove from the heat and cool [warm chocolate will melt the ice cream resulting in a cracked chocolate coating]. Pour the chocolate into a jug or large mug for easy coating. Dip the ice blocks one at a time into the chocolate. I found holding the ice block until the chocolate set, about 10 seconds, prevented cracking. Place on the lined tray and chill until ready to eat, or of-course you could eat them straight away!
- *If you do put the ice blocks back into the freezer I do recommend removing them from the freezer 5 - 10 minutes before ready to eat to soften slightly, or the jelly tip will be on the icy side.
Every year a few weeks before Christmas the blueberry season begins in Nelson. And not just with a few measly punnets on produce stalls, but whole market stalls dedicated to only blueberries selling up to 1kg bags! Blueberries are my husbands all time favourite fruit. As he puts it, strawberries are wasted on him happily leaving our strawberry patch to be raided by little fingers, but blueberries are a whole different story. For the first weeks of the arrival of blueberries at the market we buy 2 x 1kg bags, one just for him (to be devoured within 24 hours) and the other for the rest of the week.
Last year we planted 2 blueberry plants. One almost died, to be rescued and now tended to lovingly in a pot by the back door (and thriving), and the other is slowly growing with a small handful of berries on its limbs this summer. In spring I will replant both plants in a sunnier position in the garden next to the other berries for easy access. I have heard from friends who have planted blueberries they take about 3-4 years to get established and then you are home free with a bucket load of blueberries to eat and freeze. I (and most particularly my husband) look forward to this day. Until then I will keep buying the kg bags of plump blueberries from the market.
Other than eating fistfuls at a time I have been playing with adding blueberries to muesli slices, muffins, and making into jelly. Did you know that blueberries have an extremely high pectin content – a natural setting agent – and when blended raw and set into glasses they become a jelly? (I am not joking, check out this photo.) So I had this idea of making a healthy version of the kiwi favourite ‘jelly tip’ ice block. To get the jelly consistency you have to chill the pureed blueberry first to set before freezing. You can skip this step if you are pressed for time but the tip will be more icy than icily jelly-fied.