pick-your-own-berry ice cream

For those who would like a bit of an adventure in celebrating National Ice Cream Month, we have just the ticket.

How about an outing with the grandkids to pick fresh berries at one of our area’s bountiful farms and create your own very berry ice cream! The sweetest part: time with your grandkids.

Only 7 Ingredients:

1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered

1/3 cup sugar

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups heavy cream

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

optional: cones


Line a 9-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap leaving a 4-inch overhang. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine berries and sugar; cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until jam-like consistency. Transfer cooked berry mixture to a bowl, stir in lemon juice and chill in freezer (for about 30 minutes – give it a stir at the 15-minute mark). After berries have cooled, in a separate large bowl, mix together the condensed milk and vanilla. Put to the side. In a large mixer bowl, beat heavy cream and salt on high until stiff peaks form for whipped cream. With a rubber spatula, stir about 1 cup of the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture to lighten it up. Gently fold remaining whipped cream in. Gently swirl in the cooled berries. Pour mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Fold plastic wrap over the top. Freeze until firm: at least 6 hours. Let the grandkids lick the bowl.

Note: For simple vanilla ice cream, skip the jam mixture. And for chocolate ice cream, simply substitute 1 can of chocolate flavored sweetened condensed milk for the regular condensed milk. Also, try swapping in raspberries or another berry for strawberries to create a different flavor. Be creative!

Where to Pick Your Own Berries in Westchester County

Here are some suggestions as to where to go berry picking for your home-made ice cream treat. Be sure to call before heading out to any of these farms to check on picking times and which fruit is available. Right in our own backyard is North Salem’s  Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard, where you will find blueberries and raspberries: 914.485.1210. Or head to Secor Strawberries, about an hour north of White Plains in Wappinger Falls, for blueberries and strawberries: 845.452.6883. At Fishkill Farms in Hopewell Junction, the pick your own season kicks off in June with strawberries, while July brings cherries and blueberries: 845.897.4377. And just a bit further north, in Tivoli, is Mead Orchards, where each weekend brings a different fruit to pick: strawberries, blueberries, cherries: 845.756.5641.


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