Lemon Ice Cream Sandwiches with Blueberry Swirl

There’s no denying it now.  Summer is coming to a close.  My morning drive to work is slowed down by school buses, I have more ripe tomatoes than I know what to do with, and most of the time, I can turn off the a/c at night.  And, obviously, it’s labor day.  But, and this is a significant but… it’s not over yet!  Fall’s waiting in the wings, but it’s not Autumn’s time to shine juuuuuust yet.  And thank goodness.  Because I have to have time to make these ice cream sandwiches at least one more time before it’s too chilly and I’d rather be sipping apple cider and snuggling in a toasty sweater.
There is something about ice cream sandwiches that can make even an 80 year old feel like a kid again.  They’re generally drippy, ooey-gooey, and are really best eaten outside, preferably on the steps of the front porch.  Sticky fingers seem to be like a fountain of youth for me… they immediately make me feel 20 years younger.
But these are special ice cream sandwiches- a little more  grown up than you might be used to.  A little more… what’s the word?  … fancy!  The sandwich layers are sweet, dense vanilla blondies- chewy, but tender and packed with flavor.  Vanilla ice cream gets revved up with a little lemon zest and juice.  This is pure genius, if you ask me, and I can’t wait to try this with other flavors- orange, lime, whatever.  And of course, the superstar of the ice cream bar (yes, it rhymes, I’m very cute like that) is the blueberry compote.  It’s so simple, but it’s what makes these little sandwiches.  I’m sure you’ll still be able to find some beautiful fresh blueberries at the market , but if not, I personally wouldn’t object to using frozen.  (Seriously, you’re going to FREEZE them anyway.)
I will add one little disclaimer here: These might not be the best thing to bring to a barbecue that’s say, more than 20 minutes away by car.  Because, um… they melt.  Yes, duh.  But I can tell you that frozen, melted in the car, re-frozen, and then served, they will still be the life of the party.  I can’t imagine how good they would have been in all their originally frozen glory.  I might just have to make them again to find out. 

Lemon Ice Cream Sandwiches with Blueberry Swirl

adapted from Gourmet
For lemon ice cream:

  • 2 pints vanilla ice cream
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For blueberry compote:

  • 2 cups blueberries (10 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 (3-by 2 1/2-inch) strips lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

For sandwich layers:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Make blueberry compote:
Cook blueberries, sugar, and zest in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat, thoroughly crushing blueberries with a potato masher (or fork), until juices are released and sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes.

Stir together lemon juice and cornstarch, then stir into blueberry mixture. Boil, stirring, 1 minute (mixture will thicken).

Transfer blueberry compote to a bowl and chill until cold, about 1 hour. Discard lemon zest.

Make sandwich layers:
Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle. Butter a 9 x 13 baking pan and line with foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang on each side, then butter foil.  (The original recipe calls for using two 8 x 8 pans, but I only have one, so that wasn’t going to work. I found that using one 9 x 13 worked great, and I only had to clean one pan, instead of two!)

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Beat together butter and brown sugar in another bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. At low speed, add flour mixture in 2 batches, mixing until just combined.

Divide batter between baking pan(s) and spread into thin, even layers with offset spatula. Bake until golden-brown but still tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely in pan(s), about 30 minutes.  If you used one 9 x 13 pan, once the cake is completely cooled, cut in half  to make two even pieces of cake. 

Make Lemon ice cream:

Transfer ice cream to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 30 percent power in 10-second intervals, stirring, until softened, about 50 seconds total.  (Or, if you’re patient, let the ice cream soften at room temperature.) Stir in lemon zest and juice. If it’s too soft for assembling the sandwiches, put it back in the freezer for a while to firm up.

Assemble sandwiches:

Spoon ice cream over 1 sandwich layer (in pan) and spread evenly using clean offset spatula. Dollop blueberry compote over ice cream, then swirl is gently through the ice cream using a spoon or butter knife.  Invert second sandwich layer over ice cream, pressing gently to form an even sandwich. Wrap baking pan in plastic wrap or foil  and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.

Transfer sandwich to a cutting board using overhang. Trim edges if desired, then cut into 8 pieces.



Filed under Baking, Dessert

2 responses to “Lemon Ice Cream Sandwiches with Blueberry Swirl

  1. Makes me wish I had gone ahead and picked up the blueberries at the grocers! Awesome blend of flavors in the ice cream. Then add the the fact these are sandwiches-simply delicious. Great post.

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