While most regional ice creams tend to stay in their, well…regions, blue moon ice cream has left it’s midwestern American roots for worldwide fame. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but this toxic blue hued ice cream has definitely made a name for itself in the ice cream world. This recipe might prove controversial, but for fans of blue moon you’ll appreciate the attention to artificiality.
Blue moon ice cream is one of those you love it or you hate it foods. Many people love the nostalgia of this artificially flavored, chemically tasting, ice cream truck provided frozen treat. Others, understandably hate it for that same reason. But my goal is not to judge, my goal was to make an ice cream that was as accurate to tradition as possible.
In this recipe guide for blue moon ice cream I’m going to go through the exact steps to make this bright blue dessert. This recipe uses a few unusual ingredients, but the use of additives in ice cream is something I am a fan of, and you should be too once you learn the science behind why certain things are used.
What Is Blue Moon Ice Cream?
Blue Moon ice cream is a unique and whimsical frozen treat that captivates ice cream enthusiasts with its vibrant blue hue and distinctive flavor. Originating in the Upper Midwest of America, Blue Moon remains a mystery when it comes to its precise ingredients. Its sweet taste is often described as a combination of fruity and citrus flavors, with hints of vanilla and almond. This delightful ice cream stands out not only for its striking appearance but also for the sense of nostalgia and joy it evokes, making it a beloved and sought-after flavor for those craving a delightful, whimsical dessert experience.
The flavor is considered similar to the popular European ‘smurf’ ice cream. Smurf ice cream, called puffo in Italian, schtroumpf in French, and Schlumpf in German, is basically Blue Moon with the addition of mini white marshmallows (smurf clothes).
What You’ll Need
As with all of my ice cream recipes on Scoops of Delight, you need an ice cream machine. The exact style and brand does not matter too much but you do want one that is decent quality. I personally use the Smeg ice cream maker. The only issue with it is that you need to already have a Smeg stand mixer – which can be quite pricey. While there are plenty of recipes for no-churn ice creams, I often find a properly churned ice cream magnitudes better.
Some other things you will need for this homemade ice cream recipe are:
- Mixing Bowls
- Steel Pans (I personally find steel the best for making ice cream, but you can use any as long as you are careful about the temperature.
- Rubber Spatula
- Sealable Container (The best thing to use to store homemade ice cream is plastic in my opinion. You want something that is more flat than tall as it provides more surface area to quickly freeze in a home freezer).
- Kitchen Scale (optional, but recommended as almost all of my recipes use metric as it is more precise than imperial for most home cooks).
How To Make Blue Moon Ice Cream At Home
This recipe has quite a few ingredients, so I wouldn’t recommend it for first time ice cream makers. If you want something simple, my amazing chocolate ice cream, or the even easier cookies and cream ice cream are great beginner choices.
450 ml Heavy Cream
250 ml Milk (3.5% fat or higher)
200 grams Sugar
5 large Egg Yolks (I used eggs because I was out of powdered lecithin, but if you don’t want to make an egg based ice cream you can substitute this ingredient for 8 grams of powdered lecithin or 10 ml of liquid lecithin. To be honest I actually would recommend lecithin over eggs because you will need less food coloring and the egg won’t mute the other flavors)
1 Tonka Bean (I know many people say the original Blue Moon ice cream is made with vanilla, but on research it seems that castoreum was originally used. I find tonka to be a better match with castoreum than vanilla. It’s also a great flavor in its own right and the star of my Tonka Bean ice cream!)
1/3 tsp Lemon Aroma (These are flavored propylene glycols which are used in plenty of baking and dessert recipes. I buy mine from Criamo, but if you prefer to buy something on Amazon then this LorAnn Citron Bakery Emulsion is a great option)
1/3 tsp Raspberry Aroma (These are flavored propylene glycols which are used in plenty of baking and dessert recipes. I buy mine from Criamo, but if you prefer to buy something on Amazon then this LorAnn Raspberry Flavor is a great option).
0.8 grams Xantham Gum
Blue Food Coloring (as needed. I use AmeriColor 160 Electric Blue)
Propylene Glycol? What Is That?
Propylene Glycol is a liquid that is food-safe and has a variety of uses. From cosmetics to pharmaceuticals, to it’s use in ice cream as an ice crystal inhibitor. This gives your homemade ice cream a smooth and creamy consistency.
A great thing about propylene glycol is that it can be infused with a variety of natural and artificial flavors. To the point where a few drops (I use 8 drops of each flavor in this recipe) can greatly enhance your homemade ice cream – especially unique and ‘artificial’ ones like blue moon.
Making The Blue Moon Ice Cream Base
The first thing to do is to make the tonka bean infused milk. If you just try to add grated tonka bean to the base when you add the lemon and raspberry flavorings, it will not work. Tonka needs to be steeped in the warm milk for full effect.
Place the milk and cream in a pan and put on a gentle, medium flame. Whisk in the grated tonka bean and 100 grams of the sugar and bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat. Let sit for 15 minutes.
In another bowl combine 50 grams of the sugar with the egg yolks. This will assist in tempering the yolks and preventing the yolks from being cooked hard.
Add a few tablespoons of the hot tonka milk to the eggs and whisk. Add some more liquid and continue to mix until the egg bowl is emulsified and warm. Then pour the eggs into the pan and whisk completely. Turn on the heat to medium and whisk until thickened.
Move your custard to a bowl and whisk in a few drops of food coloring. I use AmeriColor 160 Electric Blue for that signature Blue Moon ice cream color. Depending on how yellow your custard is thanks to the eggs will affect how much food coloring you will need. At this stage you should also whisk in the two flavors of propylene glycol
Finally mix together the last 50 grams of sugar with the xantham gum in a small bowl. This will help prevent the gum from forming clumps when it hits the ice cream base. Sprinkle the sugar/gum mix into the blue moon ice cream base and use a stick blender to fully combine everything. The mix will still be warm so you might not see the gum working immediately, but don’t worry, it will absolutely work.
Move the blue moon ice cream base to a jar or container and place in the fridge to chill completely. You will notice it thickening as it cools.
Churning The Blue Moon Ice Cream
Prepare your ice cream maker of choice and pour in the blue moon base. Run your machine according to its instructions.
Once your ice cream achieves soft serve consistency you can move it to a sealable container. Place the container in the freezer to set before serving.
I normally serve my blue moon ice cream by itself, or with added marshmallows. However recently I found these star sprinkles which I absolutely love for this ice cream. But as it is your homemade ice cream you can serve it however you see fit. Enjoy!
Blue Moon Ice Cream
- 450 ml Heavy Cream
- 310 ml Milk 3.5% fat or higher
- 200 grams Sugar
- 5 large Egg Yolks I used eggs because I was out of powdered lecithin, but if you don’t want to make an egg based ice cream you can substitute this ingredient for 8 grams of powdered lecithin or 10 ml of liquid lecithin. To be honest I actually would recommend lecithin over eggs because you will need less food coloring and the egg won’t mute the other flavors
- 1 Tonka Bean I know many people say the original Blue Moon ice cream is made with vanilla, but on research it seems that castoreum was originally used. I find tonka to be a better match with castoreum than vanilla.
- 1/3 tsp Lemon Aroma These are flavored propylene glycols which are used in plenty of baking and dessert recipes. I buy mine from Criamo, but if you prefer to buy something on Amazon then this LorAnn Citron Bakery Emulsion is a great option
- 1/3 tsp Raspberry Aroma These are flavored propylene glycols which are used in plenty of baking and dessert recipes. I buy mine from Criamo, but if you prefer to buy something on Amazon then this LorAnn Raspberry Flavor is a great option.
- 0.8 grams Xantham Gum
- Blue Food Coloring as needed. I use AmeriColor 160 Electric Blue
- In a pan add your milk, cream, 100 grams of the sugar, and the grated tonka bean. Bring the heat to a simmer while whisking, then turn off and let sit for 15 minutes minimum.450 ml Heavy Cream, 310 ml Milk, 200 grams Sugar, 1 Tonka Bean
- In another bowl whisk together the egg yolks with 50 grams of the sugar.5 large Egg Yolks, 200 grams Sugar
- Slowly trickle some of the hot infused milk into the yolk mix while whisking. Once the yolks are tempered pour the bowl contents all back into the pan and turn the heat back to medium. Whisk constantly for about 6 minutes, or until the liquid gains a custard-consistency.
- Move the contents to a large bowl and add the two aromas. In a small bowl whisk together the xantham gum with the remainder of the sugar.1/3 tsp Lemon Aroma, 1/3 tsp Raspberry Aroma, 0.8 grams Xantham Gum, 200 grams Sugar
- Add the sugar/gum mix and hit the bowl with a stick or immersion blender until everything is fully combined. Here you can also add the food coloring. If using a good gel food coloring you will only need a few drops to significantly alter the color so add them slowly.Blue Food Coloring
- Place bowl in the fridge to chill completely.
- When ready to churn place the chilled blue moon ice cream base into your ice cream machine and run according to its instructions. Once you are at a soft serve consistency you can pack the homemade ice cream in a sealable container and place it in the fridge to set.
Blue Moon Ice Cream
This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through the links it allows the site to make money at no additional cost to you. For more information please see Scoops of Delight Policy.