Corn-Tarragon Ice Cream with Blackberry Sauce

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I just jumped down the most wonderful Wikipedia rabbit hole! Why don’t we yet have a name for that thing where you keep reading and reading Wikipedia until you have a dozen tabs open and can’t remember how you got to reading about weird ancient medicine/extinct species of Eurasian bulls/that drummer from Def Leppard who lost his arm in an accident? I’m sure you know what I mean.


I was about to launch into a tirade about pumpkin beer and how I’M NOT READY. And then, I decided I need to demand corn beer from the Universe, for exactly this transitional summer-to-fall period, when we’re too anxious for pumpkin everything to appreciate late-summer bounty.

Long story short: corn beer exists in many forms already. Sometimes corn is a cheap substitute for barley in macrobrews. Then there’s chicha, a South American fermented beverage, often made from corn, that may or may not be alcoholic.

In other words, I need Dogfish Head to make this again and send it to me.

Or I need ice cream…  The perfect alternative to everything else.

This is a creation of Jeni Britton Bauer, of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams fame. Her version is just sweet corn and black raspberries, but I am in love with the corn-tarragon combo, and it’s just how things are gonna be around here. It’s just a slight touch of…  something, to keep things interesting.

Overall the ice cream is pleasantly just-sweet-enough, a little complex. You are more than welcome to skip the tarragon, though–it is a delicious, creamy, summer sweet corn base flavor either way.

Also, there are bright juicy purple ribbons running amok throughout. Your summer is not complete without berries, right?

Jeni’s version uses black raspberries–but blackberries are a jolly good alternative. I bet this would also work well with blueberries… Think blueberry cornbread.

…And now I’ve made us all (especially me) hungry for cornbread.  I’m sorry.  It’s coming!

Meanwhile, I’ll be sitting outside eating ice cream until September 20thish, exactly. Please bring me a blanket… And a 40 of corn beer in a paper bag. I’m not picky.

Happy summer’s end, gang!


Corn-Tarragon Ice Cream with Blackberry Sauce
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Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
12 hr
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
12 hr
For ice cream base
  1. 2 cups milk
  2. 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  3. 1 ear of corn
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh chopped tarragon
  5. 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  6. 2/3 cup sugar
  7. 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  8. 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  9. 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
For sauce
  1. 1 cup blackberries
  2. 1/2 cup sugar
  1. Combine 1/4 cup of the milk and the cornstarch until smooth and set aside. Slice the kernels off cob of corn and cut cob into large chunks--set aside. In a large saucepan, whisk together remaining milk and the cream along with the sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Add the corn kernels and cob as well as the tarragon, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes, then stir in cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  2. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl and discard corn solids and tarragon.
  3. Pour 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture into a small bowl with the cream cheese and whisk until completely smooth, then whisk this into the rest of the milk mixture. Cover mixture and chill completely.
  4. To make the blackberry sauce, combine berries and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 8 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh, discard seeds, and chill.
  5. When both mixtures are completely chilled, churn ice cream according to manufacturer instructions, then alternate layers of ice cream and berry sauce in a storage container before freezing. Makes a quart.
Adapted from Jeni Britton Bauer
10th Kitchen
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    • Danguole says

      I really like those together! I first tried it in a Tom Colicchio recipe for “creamed” corn. Delightful, I highly recommend!

  1. says

    OK, so you keep reminding me of all the things that tell myself I need to try – as in tarragon. I’m sure I must have had it in a chicken salad here or there, but I can’t identify the flavor from memory, and it is, in fact, one of the flavors on my list of those to get around to. Eventually! So. . . . kale, and tarragon, and I’m sure many I can’t remember but have saved to come back to. Inspiration, my dear – that’s what you are to me!!

  2. says

    Okay, we definitely need to do a herbal dessert blog week next summer or something. I’m a little obsessed with cramming herbs into sweets and I think you are too! (Obviously this is the foundation upon which our friendship shall be based.) Love the idea of a sweet corn ice cream base–I’ll have to try it!

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