Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream ~ dessert, gluten-free ~ Savory Simple

I attended Eat Write Retreat last weekend and it was a joy to meet so many food blogger friends in person. The workshops were incredibly informative as always and every detail was thoughtfully planned out. Last year, Eat Write Retreat was my first conference and it set the bar very high for every conference I’ve attended ever since. I made great connections and gained new insight into the world of food blogging.

As with my recent post about last week’s California Strawberries Farm & Culinary Tour, I feel like I could easily write a novel trying to rehash all of the fun details from the event. I’ll try to summarize some of the most memorable moments for me without going on too long. If you’re just here for the recipe, feel free to scroll to the bottom!

Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream + Eat Write Retreat ~ Savory Simple

Photo provided by Eat Write Retreat

We stayed at the DoubleTree Hilton in downtown Philly. I really need to spend more time in this city. It’s so close to DC; I have to excuse!

Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream + Eat Write Retreat ~ Savory Simple

My travel buddy was Sherron from Simply Gourmet. I love this gal! She’s fascinating to talk to and the car ride was never boring. Please go visit her awesome blog, especially if you’re gluten free!

Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream + Eat Write Retreat ~ Savory Simple

Photo provided by Eat Write Retreat

As soon as we arrived we got to meet Joanne from Fifteen Spatulas. Another incredible blog worth checking out.

Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream + Eat Write Retreat ~ Savory Simple

Photo provided by Eat Write Retreat

We received a swag bag with tons of goodies! Eat Write Retreat always has the best swag. Thanks to all of this year’s sponsors.

One thing I love about this conference is that it encourages everyone to mingle and network. Upon arrival at the event we were all given the name of a seemingly random dessert (mine was dark chocolate cake). When we arrived at dinner it was revealed that these were the names of the tables at which we would be sitting for our meal. Each table had a tiered stand containing miniature versions of our dessert. I was lucky enough to enjoy dinner with many cool people including Veronica from OXO. I love working with OXO and they’re always a big supporter of these conferences.

Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream + Eat Write Retreat ~ Savory Simple

Photo provided by Eat Write Retreat

After dinner we were encouraged to get up and try the desserts at different tables.

Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream + Eat Write Retreat ~ Savory Simple

Photos provided by Eat Write Retreat

Our two fearless leaders in action, Casey Benedict and Robyn Webb.

Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream + Eat Write Retreat ~ Savory Simple

Photo provided by Eat Write Retreat

Keynote speaker, the always inspiring Monica Bhide. I just started her food writing workshop!

Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream + Eat Write Retreat ~ Savory Simple

Photo provided by Eat Write Retreat

Someone I immediately connected with was Kelly Vass from the blog Kelly Bakes. A native to Philadelphia, she was always on hand to assist during the event and I really loved hanging out with her. Hilarious and adorable. This is a good look for her, isn’t it?

Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream + Eat Write Retreat ~ Savory Simple

Photo provided by Eat Write Retreat

One of my favorite workshops was all about networking. Joy Manning was fascinating to listen to and I really learned a lot from her. One of the best tips she offered was an obvious one but it’s so important to keep in mind. Be nice. Always. You never know when you’re going to suddenly reconnect with someone down the road under any number of circumstances.

Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream + Eat Write Retreat ~ Savory Simple

Photos provided by Eat Write Retreat

I also really loved listening to Carolyn from All Day I dream About Food, Valerie from Feastie and Jesse from Simply Recipes as they discussed some of the more complicated technical details behind blogging. SEO, Google Analytics and site optimization are all areas I’m trying to improve on. Two tips that really stood out: always customize title tags in blog posts and save Photoshop files at 60% as opposed to 80% (different, better technology at 60%).

After a long day of workshops, we had some downtime to prepare for dinner and cocktails at R2L, a beautiful restaurant located near our hotel on the top floor of a high rise.

Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream + Eat Write Retreat ~ Savory Simple

Photo provided by Eat Write Retreat

The wine was delicious as were the small bites from several of our sponsors. Prizes were awarded for to many bloggers in attendance and it was my final chance to connect with as many people as possible. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to stay for the final day of the conference but I don’t feel like I was deprived at all. The 2 days that I spent in Philadelphia were exciting and useful. I can’t wait to go back next year!


Now onto the food…

web-blueberry-buttermilk-ice-cream_3827A few important notes about this recipe:

  • The recipe includes optional powdered buttermilk, which is a new favorite ingredient of mine. It did wonders for my buttermilk ranch french fries and I believe it can be used to add a lot of flavor to any buttermilk recipes in addition to regular buttermilk. This may sound weird but I really enjoy the sour taste of buttermilk. Not by itself, but IN recipes. And I’m often disappointed when it completely fades into the background of a recipe. If you whisk just a small amount of this powder into any standard buttermilk recipe, it brings back some of that sourness in a mild way and helps to balance out the other flavors. I recommend it but it’s optional. I’ve seen it at many grocery stores and it’s also available online.
  • It’s important to cook the blueberries before adding them to the ice cream base. If you don’t, you’ll wind up with frozen berries and those aren’t very fun to eat. The more you cook them, the more they’ll soften and release juices. You can even cook them down to a puree, which will result in a very different looking ice cream from what you see in these photos. I’ve made several batches of this ice cream now and in all honesty, the version you see in these photos contains blueberries that I didn’t cook quite long enough. More cooking = better ice cream.


Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream
Prep time
Total time
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 yolks
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1½ cups blueberries with splash of water
  • 1½ cup buttermilk
  • optional: 1 tablespoons powdered buttermilk
  1. In a small saucepan with a splash of water, heat the blueberries over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. They will begin to turn a deeper blue and release liquid. Continue stirring and cooking under the blueberries are very soft or a complete puree, depending on how much texture you like.
  2. Heat the heavy cream and vanilla extract on medium heat in a medium saucepan. While the cream is heating, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together. Once the cream is simmering, slowly pour it into the egg yolks and sugar while whisking.
  3. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and turn the heat down to medium low. Stir in a figure 8 motion for several minutes until the ice cream base is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the buttermilk. If using, whisk the powdered buttermilk into a small amount of the liquid and then incorporate it into the ice cream base.
  4. Stir in the cooked blueberries.
  5. Allow to chill completely in the refrigerator.
  6. Prepare in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions.


More Blueberry Recipes

Savory Simple – Blueberry Buttermilk Cookies
Savory Simple – Blueberry Passionfruit Cheesecake Parfait
Savory Simple – Blueberry Bourbon Crisp
Gimme Some Oven – Blueberry Milk
Inspired Taste – Blueberry Mojito Cocktail
Ambitious Kitchen  – Lemon Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks

    I just made ice cream on my blog today too! Yours looks healthier than mine :) And powdered buttermilk is a fun ingredient to keep around – I always have some. You never know!

    Awesome recap of the event. That wine/cityview shot from the rooftop. I want to be there. Like right now :)

  • Kelly @ Kelly Bakes

    It was so wonderful to finally meet you, my dear!! I had such a blast hanging out with you and texting across the table. Thanks for the laughs and the fun times! Please come back to visit Philly soon (after you’ve relaxed and enjoyed some time away from traveling, that is :) Thanks for making EWR so much fun!

  • Kelly @ Kelly Bakes

    And ps this ice cream sounds phenomenal!!

  • kristy @ the wicked noodle

    I’m so bummed I missed EWR this year! I’ll have to make your ice cream to console myself – looks delicious!

  • Tieghan

    This looks amazing! I love the idea of blueberry ice cream!

    Great recap! Look like a lot of fun!

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    Gorgeous ice cream! Sounds like such a fun weekend!

  • Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen

    Fabulous post, m’lady! Enjoyed the recap and photos. So happy you had a great time at the conference and had several helpful blogging takeaways. But! I really love this recipe and the great tips! Just posted my blueberry cobbler yesterday and I have extra blueberries to use. Thanks for sharing! Pinning to all group boards at Pinterest! xo

  • Sue/the view from great island

    Wow, those bit plump blueberries look fabulous!

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    I’ve never played around with powdered buttermilk before! I think it’s time that I stock up on this.

  • Marie @ Little Kitchie

    Oh, this ice cream, be still my heart! Gorgeous photos Jen!

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    You folks in the states have such wonderful opportunities to network. In Australia we pretty much have one small event a year – max 70 people. I love it but it’s nothing like it is there.

    I’ll make your buttermilk blueberry ice cream and feel sorry for myself. :)

    • Jennifer Farley

      It’s too bad Australia is so far away. You all are a super talented group of bloggers! I would love so much to meet everyone.

  • Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers

    The retreat sounds like fun!! But yourice cream sounds amazing! Love the flavors that you used!!

  • Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

    Mmm, I could eat this ice cream for dessert every day this summer (oooh, I like that plan, actually ;)). EWR looks like a great time!

  • Jennifer @ Licious Food

    I love hearing about EWR from others. It was so great to attend this year! Your pictures make me want to reach through the screen! I, too, am looking to come back to Philly to explore.

  • Valerie

    Wow! Sounds like a lot of helpful information to take in – with all the fun swag, and the flow of wine, my head would be spinning. I really need to a crash course in the technical stuff behind blogging – that’s an unending sea of red waste for me (thank you for the helpful analogy, Game of Thrones!). :D

    This ice cream looks scrumptious! I love the twang of buttermilk too.

  • Jenny @ BAKE

    this ice cream looks incredible! sounds like you had a great time

  • Deanna Segrave-Daly

    What a fun recap and bonus – this blueberry buttermilk ice cream recipe! It was so great to finally meet you in person and now I know the genius behind the Savory Simple blog (looking forward to hearing about your strawberry trip, too!)

    • Jennifer Farley

      It was really great to meet you and I’m sorry I missed your workshop on Sunday! My last post is all about the strawberry trip, they’re all out of order :}

  • Veronica

    Jen, it was so great to spend more time with you at Eat Write Retreat — hope you had a wonderful time in California touring the strawberry fields. You were missed on Sunday! Hope we cross paths again soon.

  • Kiran @

    This is a yummy treat! Love the use of buttermilk! Love meeting Joanne at Food Blog Forum this year, such a sweetheart :)

  • Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet

    These ice cream look amazing! Love the addition of buttermilk! Thanks for sharing your EWR recap. Looks like tons of fun!

  • Nik@ABrownTable

    I am totally jealous of your retreat. You used one of my favorite dairy products in the ice-cream, buttermilk, I will have to make this soon at home.

  • Renée J. (RJ Flamingo)

    Great recap, Jenn! I’m still writing mine. :) It was great to see you at EWR13!

  • Alyssa (Everyday Maven)

    I loved reading this! I am from Philly and miss it. I was so sad not to attend EWR with it being hosted in my home city but I hope to go next year. If you start making day trips up there, I have a list of “must-eat” places for you!

  • Tracey

    EWR has been on my to-do list for a few years, I love that it’s on the east coast – I could even drive there. Looks like it was a blast :) And this ice cream sounds phenomenal. I just scored a ton of blueberries and have been trying to figure out what to do with them.

  • Kristen

    I can’t get over this recipe – and those pictures!
    EWR looked like so much fun! Thanks for sharing about your experience.

  • Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

    Oh, wow! This looks amazing, Jennifer. So icy cold, sweet and refreshing for a summer day. Thanks!

  • Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel

    Powdered buttermilk?! Where have you been all my liiiiiiife? I’m dying over this. Blueberries in the summatime are seriously amazeballs.

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen

    Mmm…ice cream and blueberries sounds really good right about now. Send me a scoop?

  • Caroline

    Wow…you’ve sold me on Eat Write Retreat! It sounds like a really fun, informative and productive weekend! I need a whole lot of that! :) As for this beautiful ice cream…you’ve pretty much covered some great flavors that I LOVE! I really like that tartness from buttermilk too, but I’ve never used powdered buttermilk before. I’m intrigued. I’ll have to go on a hunt for some! Gorgeous photos…as always!

  • Lizzy (Good Things)

    This sounds so simple and so delicious!

  • Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas

    I’m so glad we got to hang out a bunch!! This ice cream looks absolutely killer. I just bought some blueberries today…tempted to go back out and get some buttermilk!

  • Laura Dembowski

    The conference sounds like a lot of fun and very informative. And this ice cream. Forget about cereal or granola, I want this for breakfast!

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook

    Awesome recap of the conference! I’ve never been to one, but it’s always fun to read bloggers report afterwards (and thanks for writing in details!). I haven’t made ice cream with blueberries this year. Your ice cream looks so delicious, Jen!

  • Nutmeg Nanny

    Your food photos are stunning as always. I love this recipe :)

  • Carla S

    This looks really good.I’ve never heard of blueberry ice cream before.I like how the blueberries are combined with buttermilk.I’m definitely going to try and make this sometime.