Soapberries (soopolallies) were traditionally crushed, mixed with water and whipped up into “ice cream.” To make soapberry ice cream, place 1 cup (250 mL) soapberries and 1 cup (250 mL) water in a wide-topped ceramic or glass mixing bowl. Do not use a plastic bowl or utensils, and make sure that nothing is greasy, or the berries will not whip properly. Whip the mixture with an electric eggbeater or hand whisk until it reaches the consistency of beaten egg whites. Gradually add 4 tbsp. (60 mL) sugar to the pink foam, but not too fast or the foam will “sink.” Serve immediately. Even with sugar this treat will have a slightly bitter taste, but many people quickly grow to like it. Soapberries are not always readily available, so if a craving for ice cream strikes, try this saskatoon berry ice cream instead.
In heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat milk, cream and vanilla bean until just before boiling, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, take out vanilla bean, scrape out seeds and add them to milk. Set aside. In mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow and thickened. Slowly pour about 1 cup (250 mL) of hot cream mixture into egg yolks, whisking constantly. Add yolk mixture back into remaining cream and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and coats back of spoon. Do not let mixture boil at any time or it will curdle. Pour through fine-mesh strainer into bowl. Add saskatoon berries and freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Makes 4 cups.
Whole milk 1 cup 250 mL Heavy cream 3 cups 750 mL Vanilla bean, split lengthwise 1 1 Egg yolks 5 5 Sugar 3/4 cup 175 mL Saskatoon berries 2 1/2 cups 625 mL