Blackberry ice cream

  (Patrick Downs / Los Angeles Times)

 

Note: Charity Ferreira's love affair with creme fraiche began when she tasted it as a topping on a brownie at a Paris restaurant when she was 18. Though creme fraiche is taken for granted by French cooks, it is overlooked by many American cooks.

But Ferreira, a former Times Test Kitchen intern and now a pastry chef at Greens in San Francisco, would never make such a mistake now. And after her April cover story on creme fraiche, readers who tried her recipes won't overlook the tart cream either. Certainly the staff in the Food section will never forget what creme fraiche did for this blackberry ice cream -- it was our overwhelming top recipe of the year's Top 10.

2 pints blackberries

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar

4 egg yolks

2 1/2 cups milk

2 cups creme fraiche

Puree blackberries in food processor or blender. Add 6 tablespoons sugar and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar. Set aside.

Heat milk with remaining sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved.

Whisk little of hot milk mixture into yolks, then whisk yolk mixture into rest of hot milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Stir in creme fraiche and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Just before freezing, combine blackberry puree with custard mixture. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

7 cups. Each 1-cup serving: 531 calories; 72 mg sodium; 247 mg cholesterol; 28 grams fat; 63 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 3.37 grams fiber.