Blueberry Swirl Key Lime Ice Cream

A bowl of blueberry key lime ice cream.

If you are a key lime pie fan, just wait ’til you try this key lime ice cream with fabulous blueberry swirl. This recipe is legit, starting with a rich ice cream custard and churned in your favorite ice cream maker. It’s my daughter’s favorite and I think this blueberry swirl key lime ice cream will be your new favorite too.

Making blueberry sauce.

The thermometer has hit 90° more than once this past week, and that kind of stifling heat practically begs for ice cream, right?

This one has been on my mind since last summer.  I was planning on making it last summer, but things got crazy and my plans for this frozen treat were waylaid until now.

Cooking down the blueberry sauce.
I was straining the blueberry sauce.

I’m so glad I got around to it this summer.  And you will be too — because this is the creamiest, richest, tastes-just-like-key-lime-pie ice cream you’ll ever have!  

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Making the key lime custard.

Frankly, it should — the ingredients are virtually identical.  

Whisking in milk.

And when I say creamy, I mean it.  You know how sometimes a homemade ice cream can get a little grainy?  Icy?  Not this one.  It’s silky smooth with ribbons of mellow blueberry running through it. 

I know, blueberry?  Well, my original plan was to make a graham cracker streusel to further mimic that famous pie, but I spied the blueberries in the fridge and my strategy went in a different direction.  

Key lime juice.

You don’t have to make the blueberry swirl, but after my official tasters tried it, their verdict was — you’ll want to

I was covering and chilling the ice cream base.

Even if you don’t swirl it into the ice cream, you can spoon it over the top like a sundae.  Umm-nom-nom!!!

Ice cream in a semi-frozen state.
freeze ice cream to a semi-firm stage
Adding ice cream to the blueberry sauce.
Add a scoop of ice cream and a spoonful of sauce

I actually came across this recipe during one of my trips to the local library.  In a tome aptly named The Ultimate Ice Cream Book by Bruce Weinstein.  

Folding sauce into ice cream.
carefully fold, but don’t stir
We are adding more ice cream.
one or two turns is all you need
Pouring swirled ice cream into a freezer container.
pour into a freezer container

There were more than 500 frozen treats in the book, but I zeroed in on the Key Lime. It’s creamy, sweet and tart all in one bite.  Don’t you just love summer?

Serving a dish of the ice cream in a bowl.

This was so good that Emily has requested I make it again this week.

More fruity ice cream recipes you might like:

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5 from 4 votes

Blueberry Swirl Key Lime Ice Cream

A sweet swirl of blueberry nestled in a tangy key lime ice cream.  This is the most requested ice cream in our household and I’m required to make it at least twice each summer!
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword key lime
Dietary Restrictions Gluten-Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 5 hours
Servings 8


for blueberry puree

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • cup sugar
  • 2 1″x3″ peels of lemon no bitter white pith — just the fragrant rind
  • juice of one lemon

for the ice cream

  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 15- ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup key lime juice – or squeeze 8-10 fresh key limes I like Nellie & Joe’s


for the blueberry puree

  • Add the blueberries, sugar, lemon rind, and lemon juice to a small saucepan and heat to a boil. Cook until the blueberries burst and have broken down into a sauce – about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Set a fine mesh strainer over a small bowl. Pour the blueberry sauce through the strainer. Use the back of a wooden spoon to press on the blueberry solids, pushing them through the strainer. Do this until the only thing left in the strainer are the blueberry skins and the lemon rinds. Discard the solids. Cover and refrigerate the blueberry puree.

for the ice cream

  • Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk them together.
  • Bring the cream to a simmer in a heavy medium-sized saucepan. When cream is hot, slowly whisk it into the egg yolks — adding the cream a little at a time so that the eggs don’t heat too quickly and scramble.
  • Pour the egg mixture back into the pot and stir constantly over medium low heat until custard thickens slightly. Remove from heat.
  • Place a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl and pour the custard mixture through the strainer. Allow the custard to cool slightly, then stir in the sweetened condensed milk and key lime juice. Cover and refrigerate until cold or overnight.
  • Make the ice cream according to the manufacturers instructions for your ice cream maker. Transfer the ice cream to a loaf pan or other storage container, cover with plastic wrap and freeze for about 20-30 minutes so that it firms up, but isn’t hard.
  • Scoop out one quarter of the ice cream and add 2-3 tablespoons of blueberry puree. Use a spatula to fold the puree into the ice cream. One or two turns with the spatula is all you want — so you get pretty swirls. If you work it too much — the whole thing will turn purple. Transfer into a new loaf pan. Repeat this process with ice cream and puree until you’ve used all the ice cream. Note: you will have leftover puree — which can be spooned over the top of ice cream before serving, or use it for other desserts or cocktails. (I had about 1 cup leftover).
  • Freeze the ice cream several hours or overnight.
  • Scoop and into bowls and serve.


Calories: 434kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 218mg | Sodium: 95mg | Potassium: 303mg | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 1020IU | Vitamin C: 9.9mg | Calcium: 211mg | Iron: 0.6mg

Don’t Forget To Pin It For Later!!!

This easy ice cream recipe tastes just like your favorite key lime pie with a luscious blueberry swirl! Put your ice cream maker to work this summer!

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  1. There’s something so utterly beautiful about a ripple ice cream (as we call swirls here in the UK) and your blueberry ripple looks so delicious. I’m liking your thought about adding in grahams crackers for crunch, making it reminiscent of a cheesecake.

    1. Actually, the graham crackers would make it more reminiscent of a key lime pie — very popular here in the states!

  2. That’s such a wonderful colour! I am blueberry obsessed and this looks like a great way to stay cool this summer.

  3. This is just what I want today! A big tub of this, cricket match on and doing nothing!! What a treat!

    1. I’m glad you like it! Its seriously delicious!

  4. 5 stars
    Homemade ice cream is the best! I bet that blueberry ribbon really sweetens the tartness of the key lime… sounds really refreshing!

    1. I think you’d like it