Adapted from Graeter’s, Cincinnati, Ohio
This ice cream was developed as a fund raiser for a young girl in Cincinnati who had cancer; the flavor was so popular that it was added to the offerings permanently. There are bits of crust to add some crunch to the creaminess; freeze one slice when you make a blueberry pie or purchase a slice at a bakery.
Combine the blueberries, ¼ cup sugar, and orange juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil over low heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer the berries for 5 minutes, or until they thicken. Purée the berries in a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in a blender, and return the purée to the saucepan.
Add the cream, milk, milk powder, and salt to the saucepan, and stir well to dissolve the milk powder.
Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
Beat the eggs and remaining ¼ cup sugar in a mixing bowl with a whisk until thick and light yellow in color. Slowly beat about one-third of the hot cream mixture into the eggs so they are gradually warmed up, and then return the contents of the mixing bowl to the saucepan. Place the pan over medium-low heat and stir constantly, reaching all parts of the bottom of the pan, until the mixture reaches about 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer; at this point it begins to emit steam, thickens slightly, and coats the back of a spoon. This takes 3–6 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil or the eggs will scramble. Strain the custard through a fine sieve, if desired.
Transfer the hot liquid to a storage container and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the mixture to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate the mixture uncovered until it is completely chilled (below 40 degrees).
Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the soft ice cream to a chilled mixing bowl and fold in the pie pieces.
Serve immediately for a soft ice cream, or transfer the mixture to an airtight storage container and freeze until hard. Allow the ice cream to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving if frozen solid.