Graeter’s Black Raspberry Chip Ice Cream

Blackberry Chip Ice Cream

This is, perhaps, the BEST ice cream on the face of the planet, and I know my ice cream.  It is Graeter’s Black Raspberry Chip ice cream, which is a famous chain I was introduced to while living in Ohio.  It’s their most popular flavor, and for good reason–it is amazing.  It’s deep purple, perfectly sweet-tart and their chocolate ‘chips’ are really giant boulders that melt in your mouth despite the freezing temperature.  The only recipe I’ve ever found was a recreation Pioneer Woman made and is published in her second cookbook, but not on her website.  I swear, in the time it took me google and NOT find hers’ or one that someone–anyone–else had typed up already, I could have typed it up myself!  I’ve made it myself twice, (read about it here) and have even experimented with tempering (or untempering) the chocolate to ensure it melts in your mouth.  In fact, I have some homemade in my freezer right now.  Greater’s does ship, in case anyone is interested.  Now, without further ado (just take enough time to grab your ingredients), here is PW’s recipe:

2 pints blackberries

1 1/4 C sugar

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 1/2 C half-and-half

5 egg yolks

1 1/2 C heavy cream

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

1.  Combine blackberries, 1/4 C sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan.  Cook over low heat for 20 minutes, or until blackberries are syrupy.

2.  Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl.  Force as much as you can through the sieve and discard the rest.

3.  Heat half-and-half and remaining sugar in saucepan over med-low heat.

4.  Whisk egg yolks until pale yellow and thick in a separate bowl.  Temper egg yolks by splashing a small amount of the warm cream and sugar mixture in and whisking constantly.

5.  Pour tempered yolks into saucepan with the rest of the sugar and cream mixture and cook for about 5 minutes, still on low heat, until thick.

6.  Pour heavy cream into bowl with blackberry mixture, then add custard and stir to combine.

7.  Freeze mixture according to your ice cream maker’s directions.  After frozen, add chocolate chips* and incorporate.  Store in freezer and let harder for four hours.

*It is preferable to buy a block of chocolate and melt it, then spread on parchment and allow to harder in freezer.  Once solid, break into small pieces and use that to incorporate into ice cream.  I believe this helps lower the melting point of the chocolate, thus allowing it to ‘melt in your mouth’ despite being just out of the freezer.

one happy (valley) girl

Well, where did I leave off?  (I realize I’m two days behind… I’ve been a busy, traveling girl!)

When I woke up Sunday morning, this is what was waiting for me on the table:

Awwwww 🙂  When Adam had asked me what I ate pre-race, I mentioned toast, peanut butter and banana.  And he got organic–double awwwww 🙂 🙂

Here we are, before:

I got the tank to match the neon pink trim on my shorts!

And can I just say that it was like 90% humidity and that State College has WAY MORE HILLS than I remembered?  Like, a ton.  It was as I was rounding the golf course hill that it all came back to me…

(Check out the building behind me in the above picture–that totally was not there when we went to school!)

And here we are, after:

Adam was DRENCHED and I was pretty sweaty, too.  Hot and steamy, it was!

And guess who WON her age group?  YOURS’ TRULY!  A 10k in 46:56.  Not too shabby.

I’d love to say I was shocked, but I wasn’t.  Perhaps surprised is more accurate.  I definitely wasn’t feeling fast that morning and was, as usual, intimidated by the field.  I have to admit; all this winning is still really new to me (let’s just say running wasn’t my sport of choice for, like, my entire life), but I’ve placed in my age group enough now that I feel like I can’t leave a race until they’ve posted the results.  It’s weird.  Awesome, but weird.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to it.  I mean, I don’t even really look like a runner.  At least not the fast ones.

And I have a theory: I’m in what I’m calling a “sweet spot” right now.  I’m in the 20-30, or sometimes 25-29, age group, which is just older than the super skinny, super fast high school/college ‘elite’ runners, but I’m younger than the ‘been-running-for-twenty-years-post-kids-competitive’ group.  More times than not, I’ve noticed that the ladies finishing just ahead of me are older, but don’t win THEIR age groups.

Apparently, my 15 minutes of fame is limited.  Or I’ll just have to get faster.  (I think I’ll take the latter.)

And the perfect end to a fantastic weekend, a great run and a win?  The Waffle Shop!

It’s a State College mainstay and super famous.  It now has three locations–the original being right on College Ave.–and always has a line around the building on weekends.  I’ll admit that Andrew and I weren’t regulars here while we were students, but it is the first place I had chocolate chip pancakes, and for that I will be forever thankful.

Adam, Andrew and I met up with Abigail and waited outside as the temps started rising.  We made it into the air conditioning just in time!

I ordered the “mini platter” and was able to request chocolate chip pancakes instead of plain.  Thank goodness for substitution-friendly establishments!

After our delicious and very traditional PSU breakfast, we all parted ways and I headed toward Philadelphia, while Andrew and Abigail went north back to New York.  I’ll be on the road through Thursday–more photos and updates on my travels soon!