BERRIES HAVE THE BEST MOUTHFEEL, the way you can feel each one individually in your mouth—like tapioca, or really well-cooked sushi rice. But people have lost some important berry vibe. These days everybody wants them to be sweet. I think they should be sour. That’s what I liked about saskatoons when I first encountered them in Newfoundland, where they call them serviceberries. I also like how the harvest window is so small. They’re not exactly rare. But commercially, you don’t see them that much. The last thing is that they’re really good for you—rich in anti-oxidants and very healthy. —J.C.
- 750 ml (3 cups) rolled oats
- 250 ml (1 cup) yogurt
- 125 ml (½ cup) flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 225 g (½ lb) cultured butter, room temperature
- 125 ml (½ cup) light brown sugar
- 500 ml (2 cups) 2% or whole milk
- 500 ml (2 cups) 35% cream
- 150 g (½ cup) glucose (or corn) syrup
- 100 g (½ cup) granulated sugar
- 350 g (about 18) egg yolks
- 300 g (1¼ cups) saskatoon berry purée
- 450 g (1 lb) overripe Damson plums, pitted
- 50 ml (¼ cup) granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp glucose syrup (or corn) syrup
- 1 tsp perilla salt*
- Lemon juice
Combine oats and yogurt in a bowl, mix well, cover, and leave on countertop for 24 hours. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor, add the flour and salt, pulse for 20 seconds, and set aside. Combine butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and cream until fluffy and pale—about 5 minutes. Add the oat mixture, and mix on low speed until combined. Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F). Spread oat mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Transfer to oven until oats are bronzed and crisp— about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Crumble into pieces, and reserve. To make the ice cream combine milk, cream, syrup and sugar in a saucepan on medium heat. Stir occasionally, bring to a simmer, then set aside. In a large bowl, combine a few tbsp of the hot milk mixture with the eggs, and whisk. Gradually whisk in the rest of the hot mixture, a little at a time, until homogenous. Combine with the berry purée in the jug of a blender, whiz, then strain into a bowl. Chill thoroughly.
Then churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Reserve in freezer. Meanwhile, combine plums, sugar, syrup, salt and one squeeze of lemon juice in a saucepan, cover, and cook on medium until the fruit softens—about 5 minutes. Purée in a blender and strain through a fine mesh into a bowl. Taste, and adjust with more salt or lemon juice as necessary. Set aside. To serve top one scoop ice cream with a generous dollop of plum purée and a scattering of oat crumble. *Perilla salt can be found in specialty stores. Or mix sea salt with crumbled dehydrated perilla leaf (or shiso).
FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF CHRISTOPHE JIVRAJ; INTERIOR PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF TONY LANZILLOTTA