Blackberry & Cinnamon Ice Cream
In 1990, I made my first trip to Ireland. I was fortunate enough to go along with my maternal grandparents, my mother and my sister. My grandparents went to Ireland about every two to three years beginning in 1985 and by 1991, I wanted a turn, too.
We have always gone to Ireland to visit family. My maternal grandfather’s family came from a small townland called Derrytresk which is near Coalisland in County Tyrone. It’s also near what’s known as the Washing Bay on the southwestern shore of Lough Neagh. In more recent years, my mother (the family genealogist) has also found some family connections in Mayo and Donegal. More to explore!
In early summer each year, my grandparents drove from their home in south Florida to Sea Isle City on the New Jersey shore to open their beach house for the season. Although they would stop to visit us on both the northbound and southbound trips (returning to Florida), it’s the southbound trips I remember better. They would arrive in mid to late June when the wild blackberries were ripening, so sometimes I’d make my grandfather blackberry ice cream. I think his favorite flavor was actually black raspberry, but he was always happy with blackberry, too.
During the summers in which a trip to Ireland was planned, they’d drive back up from Florida in mid August and we’d all fly to Ireland together – usually from Dulles. In my mind, I associate making blackberry ice cream with preparing to go to Ireland as whenever I was making this ice cream, it seemed there was a trip on the horizon in eight weeks or so.
And that’s the case again this year. In early September, I’ll be going again and this time, my sister, brother-in-law, nephew and mother will also be there. My grandparents will be there, too - in spirit. Although my nephew has been to Ireland once before, he was under the age of two and surely does not remember! This time, he’ll be a month shy of five years old and we’re all looking forward to sharing the experience with him.
I may try to make this ice cream while in Ireland as the blackberries (or brambleberries as they are sometimes called) will be in season. But with no ice cream maker, it’s a bit trickier!
Blackberry and Cinnamon Ice Cream (click for recipe)
I hope you enjoy this ice cream as much as we all have. The recipe is slightly different than the one I used back then, and the cinnamon is a new addition. Although the recipe may be different, the memories are the same.