We had dinner with friends recently, and went out for ice cream afterward. We started talking about how Baskin Robbins was THE place to go for ice cream back in the day, and started to wax nostalgic over our favorite flavors. Pink Bubblegum (with ACTUAL bubblegum pieces) was a fave, but no one agreed with my assertion that Blueberry Cheesecake was up there too.
A “seasonal” flavor (which probably contributed to its special appeal), blueberry cheesecake was not cheesecake flavored ice cream with a graham/blueberry swirl. It was more vanilla, but with actual pieces of cheesecake – graham cracker crust and all – mixed in with the blueberries. I LOVED this ice cream, and it served as the inspiration for today’s recipe.
I decided on my go-to milk/cream base, layered with – you guessed it! – little pieces of cheesecake (graham cracker crust and all). I scaled (WAY back) my mini cheesecake recipe, and quickly cooked down some blueberries and raspberries to swirl in between.
(No, still no kitchen yet. And yes, I made those cheesecakes in my toaster oven….)
You may be tempted to skip the cooking of the fruit – don’t. While you could just drop the berries right into the popsicle molds, it will freeze up rock hard – making the pops less pleasant to eat. This quick-cook method takes just a few minutes, and makes all the difference. Trust me.
What’s your favorite childhood ice cream flavor (Baskin Robbins or otherwise)?
For the base:
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
pinch of kosher salt
For the cheesecakes:
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sour cream
For the purees:
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons honey, divided
Make the base: Combine the milk, cream, condensed milk, brown sugar and salt in a measuring cup and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir to combine and refrigerate for at least an hour (or up to one week).
Make the cheesecakes: Pre-heat oven to 325; place liners in 5 muffin cups. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Remove pan from heat and mix in graham cracker crumbs and 1 tablespoon sugar. Divide mixture evenly among the muffin liners; use a flat-bottomed measuring cup or small glass to press mixture in firmly but evenly. Bake for 5 minutes; let cool in pan on a wire rack.
Beat cream cheese, remaining 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla till well blended. Beat in egg, followed by sour cream. Divide evenly atop the crusts. Bake till set, 10 – 15 minutes. Let cool completely in tins on rack. Freeze till ready to use.
Make the purees: Combine the raspberries and 1 tablespoon honey in a small saucepan – place over medium heat and cook till bubbly. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, till fruit breaks down and mixture thickens slightly. Transfer to a small bowl and wipe out the saucepan. Repeat with blueberries and remaining honey. Let cool to room temperature.
Cut the cheesecakes into small pieces; keep frozen.
Pour a bit of the milk/cream mixture into the bottom of each mold. Add a few cheesecake bits and a little raspberry puree. Add another layer of milk/cream, some more cheesecake bits and some blueberry puree. Repeat layering till filled. Freeze for an hour, add your popsicle sticks, and freeze overnight.
To release the pops, hold molds briefly under hot water.
This delicious recipe brought to you by Sheri Silver