Marionberry (Blackberry) Swirl Ice Cream

We've been living in Seattle for almost a year, and it took me this long to mention the word marionberry on the food blog! Blackberries are common in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) and grow everywhere. But people in the PNW are obsessed about a particular type of blackberry called the marionberry.
Marionberries are a special Oregon blackberry.  Over half of blackberries grown in Oregon are marionberries, and they are a product of cross breeding between the Chehalem and Olallie blackberries. The marionberry came from its namesake Marion County, Oregon in 1956 (source).
People describe the marionberry to have a tart-yet-sweet flavor, or a cross between raspberries and blackberries."  Apparently, in 2009 Oregon "proposed making it the official state berry but withdrew legislation after a Kotata blackberry farmer objected." Who knew that the competition would be so stiff to become the state berry! (source)

Oregon grows 28 to 33 million pounds of marionberries a year but it isn't really found outside the state. It's so soft so shipping if difficult and most are eaten locally (source). 
I have tried for a long time to buy fresh marionberries, in every single grocery and farmer's market in Washington but I haven't had any luck. Someone told me you can't buy them fresh as a private consumer, but only companies and restraurants to commercial products, which is a bummer.
Luckily I was very excited to find frozen marionberries at our local grocery, even if I can't eat them fresh, I can enjoy them in recipes. The first recipe I made was ice cream to celebrate the start of warmer weather, sunshine, and daylight savings, so we aren't always seeing grey rain!

Adapted from House of Natasha Eats.


Marionberry (Blackberry) Swirl Ice Cream

Ingredients
1 cup milk  
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup white sugar
2 large eggs 
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup marionberry (or blackberry) jam 
1/3 cup frozen marionberries (or blackberries), defrosted 

Directions
Combine milk and heavy cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stir until heated for about 5 min. 

Whisk sugar, eggs, and egg yolk in a separate bowl. Slowly pour 1 cup hot milk mixture into egg mixture; mix thoroughly to warm it (this is called tempering).  Pour the entire egg-milk mixture back into the saucepan. Whisk your egg-milk mixture in your saucepan over medium-low heat until heated through; do not let the eggs curdle. It will be ready when it is thick enough to coat a spoon.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until chilled.

Pour chilled custard mixture into your ice cream maker. While it's a soft serve consistency,  stir in your marionberry (or blackberry) jam and marionberries (blackberries) gently to make the swirls. Freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

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