Cashiers Farmers Market and Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream with a Fresh Blackberry Sauce

Cashiers Farmers Market and Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream with a Fresh Blackberry Sauce

This post is my third in a series of posts about nifty little places in the Highlands, North Carolina area. In addition, I have a recipe that is berry berry good! (I apologize for that, but just couldn’t resist…)

The Cashiers Farmers Market is located in (big surprise!) Cashiers, North Carolina at what is known as the “crossroads”. Cashiers is about 20 minutes east of Highlands on Hwy. 64.

This has been one of my favorite places to stop ever since we have lived in this area. The owners, Tom and Robin Crawford, have expanded the selection of produce and specialty foods over the years. You can find wonderful homemade items here (such as jams, breads and cheeses) as well as some imported products (like pastas and olive oils).

Robin, who is originally from Florida, came to camp in Cashiers as a young girl. She and Tom loved the area so much they decided to start a business here. As with many people who come up to this mountain area as a child, they return as adults and bring their own children and grandchildren to experience life in the mountains. This is a family business that her children are involved in as well.

The market is open from April to December. Robin told me that the produce begins to arrive from Florida when they first open, then from Georgia and of course, they have those fabulous peaches from South Carolina. However, once the Summer arrives, more local produce is brought in.

One of the primary reasons I love to stop here is to see B.B. the pig and their Golden Retriever Copper what has come in that is special that day. Their market days are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, so I try to stop in on those days to see what goodies they were able to find. In addition to my usual purchases of fresh corn, heirloom tomatoes and fruit, this is the only place where I can purchase haricots verts, baby vegetables and micro greens.

I bought these fabulous local blackberries last Saturday at the Cashiers Farmers Market. They were just beautiful, so they had to come home with me. They truly are one of Summer’s special gifts! There is a recipe with them at the end of the post.

I seriously do like to stop and see the pig. What can I say…I am easily amused.

Isn't she cute?

Some of my favorite specialty foods that they sell are Charleston Favorites Stone Ground Grits (which I used in my Rosemary Pork Tenderloin with a Bourbon Glaze and Old Amsterdam Grits), local goat cheese by Dark Cove Pottery and Farm (a highly sought after local favorite) and the gorgeous desserts from Caroletta’s Cakes (which are not on my diet plan, but are fun to drool over!).

Larry operates Charleston Seafood (which was a new addition a few years ago). He brings in fresh seafood from the East Coast on the weekends. Good, fresh seafood is difficult to find in the mountains, so this is a nice addition. Besides, Larry is really neat to chat with.

Robin says that every year as the produce begins to arrive, the people come as well and then as the produce fades away so do the people with the changing of the seasons. The arrival of pumpkins in the Fall marks the beginning of the end of their season and the local people really do not like the passing of Fall because it means that Winter is not far behind. The Highlands-Cashiers plateau is home to many seasonal businesses such as this farmers market, so everything changes here when the colder months set in.

Larry is a very interesting person to chat with!

I hope that you will stop by this little gem in the mountains of North Carolina if you ever head this way. This truly is a special spot that is unlike any other farmers market that I have seen.

I also hope that you enjoy this incredibly delicious dessert recipe. I made a fresh, no-cook blackberry sauce with these beautiful, fresh berries that I picked up at the Cashiers Farmers Market. I then made homemade vanilla ice cream to go along with it. Oh my, this might just be one of the best desserts ever!

I was not planning to make ice cream, but Mr. Bunkycooks refused to eat the low-fat Haagen-Dazs frozen yogurt that I bought requested homemade ice cream. I didn’t have whole milk (as I usually make it with), so I substituted skim milk with a little heavy cream for the whole milk and it turned out beautifully. In fact, we thought this was the best version of this particular recipe that I have made.

How can any homemade ice cream not be awesome, especially with a fresh fruit sauce?!

Guests loved this dessert!

Vanilla Ice Cream with Fresh No-cook Blackberry Sauce

Makes 1 quart ice cream


Makes 1 quart ice cream

Ice cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream, plus enough skim milk to equal 1 2/3 cups
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Fresh No-cook Blackberry Sauce
1 pint fresh blackberries
Sugar to taste


For ice cream:
In a medium mixing bowl, beat the sugar into the eggs until thick and pale yellow. Beat in the flour and salt and set aside.

Bring the 1 2/3 cups of heavy cream and skim milk mixture to a simmer in a medium heavy saucepan. Slowly beat the hot milk into the eggs and sugar. Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and place over low heat. Stir constantly with a whisk until the custard thickens slightly (it should coat the back of a spoon). Do not let the mixture boil or you will have scrambled eggs.

Pour the hot custard through a strainer into a large, clean bowl. Allow the custard to cool slightly. Add the cream and vanilla. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled or overnight. I prefer to let mine chill overnight.

Stir the chilled custard mixture and then freeze in your ice cream machine, according to the manufacturer’s directions. This ice cream is delicious when it is at soft-serve stage. You can also freeze the ice cream for a firmer texture.

For blackberry sauce:
Process the blackberries in a food processor until smooth. Pour the sauce through a fine mesh sieve. Be sure to push as much fruit through as possible with a spatula or the back of a spoon, just leaving behind the seeds. Sweeten to taste. I only used a heaping teaspoon of sugar. Refrigerate until ready to use. This will hold for several days in the refrigerator. It is a delicious topping for ice cream and pancakes. It is also delightful mixed in with fruit smoothies.

40 Responses to “Cashiers Farmers Market and Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream with a Fresh Blackberry Sauce”

  1. 1

    The Mom Chef — June 24, 2010 @ 1:34 pm

    Oh my. As always, another beautiful recipe and wonderful post. You do North Carolina proud with your reviews of these gorgeous places. I hope to see them someday.

    • bunkycooks replied: — June 25th, 2010 @ 9:00 am

      Thank you so much! It really is a very pretty part of the country and it’s definitely a bit cooler at 4200 feet!

  2. 2

    SMITH BITES — June 24, 2010 @ 1:41 pm

    Love this ice cream but the pig? SERIOUSLY LOVE THAT PIG!!! What a cutie – and I would totally make any excuse to go and see her! Would love to live in NC some day – great post!

    • bunkycooks replied: — June 25th, 2010 @ 9:01 am

      Thank you for the comment. The pig is adorable and I seriously do stop just to see her! You should head our way! I can show you the good stuff in this part of the country. :)

  3. 3

    Patty Price — June 24, 2010 @ 2:14 pm

    Your ice cream and blackberry sauce look fabulous! I also love your photos and all the inspiration I always get from your posts. Thanks for sharing!

  4. 4

    VickiT — June 24, 2010 @ 3:22 pm

    Awwwwwww, I’m with you. That little pig is just too cute. Great recipe too. Thank you. It looks SO good right now too since it’s so humid outside for the past week.

  5. 5

    Drick — June 24, 2010 @ 8:32 pm

    isn’t it funny how everyplace has a crossroad – been ages since I’ve been to Cashiers, not what I remember at all – lovely ice cream with the fresh berries… can I be your guest????

    • bunkycooks replied: — June 25th, 2010 @ 9:02 am

      Come on over and get out of the heat! We can fix some of your great dishes (bring the seafood!) and I’ll make another batch of ice cream with blackberry sauce!

  6. 6

    Chef Dennis — June 24, 2010 @ 11:37 pm

    cashiers sounds like a great place!! and your ice cream and blackberry sauce looks oh so good!

  7. 7

    Magic of Spice — June 25, 2010 @ 1:11 am

    What a fun post, and that ice cream looks fantastic!

  8. 8

    howtobaker — June 25, 2010 @ 1:14 am

    I love the pig picture! Thanks for sharing the sauce recipe…it looks super easy. I love homemade ice cream but the fresh sauce would make it even better!

  9. 9

    The Duo Dishes — June 25, 2010 @ 1:26 am

    NC is full of good food. It’s amazing what you’ll find. Even though we spent several years there for college, we didn’t get to poke around the markets. It’s worth a trip back just for that.

    • bunkycooks replied: — June 25th, 2010 @ 9:03 am

      Come and visit! We can take a food tour. That would be great fun!

  10. 10

    penny aka jeroxie — June 25, 2010 @ 3:17 am

    Nice recipe for ice cream. Wish it wasn’t so cold down under.

  11. 11

    Friday Delights — June 25, 2010 @ 10:36 am

    Vanilla ice-cream and blackberries look so enticing. Thanks for posting this delicious recipe!!

  12. 12

    Cristina - TeenieCakes — June 25, 2010 @ 11:58 am

    You have some gems in your area – what a lovely looking store with fresh produce, breads, preserves and warm folks. I do think the pig is cute and I would look forward to seeing her too.

    Now about this homemade ice cream with fresh blackberry sauce…beautiful dessert, Gwen! The sauce looks luscious running down the sides of the ice cream. I’ll be thinking about it all day. =)

  13. 13

    deeba — June 25, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

    I’m LOVIN’ IT BC…drop dead gorgeous ice cream, and fab post! Oh yes, she is cute indeed!! HUGS!!

  14. 14

    Dawn Hutchins — June 25, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

    Oh my gosh the pig photo is so cute. And the blackberry sauce looks divine!

  15. 15

    sweetlife — June 25, 2010 @ 3:52 pm

    what a great place, I love the pics .. the pig, too cute and your sauce oh I could go for some of this in this texas heat!!


  16. 16

    Carla — June 25, 2010 @ 3:56 pm

    Mmm, looks fantastic! Get in my belly!

  17. 17

    Anna — June 25, 2010 @ 4:32 pm

    That sounds like a awesome market, beautiful location, The ice cream looks delicious with that sauce.

  18. 18

    Monet — June 25, 2010 @ 5:14 pm

    I just found your blog today, and I’m so glad that I did. I was immediately drawn to your stunning pictures and I thoroughly enjoyed reading your words. There is nothing better than ice cream with a fresh berry sauce.

    • bunkycooks replied: — June 27th, 2010 @ 7:18 am

      Hi Monet,

      Thank you for your nice comments! I really appreciate them and hope that you will come back often.


  19. 19

    Linn @ Swedish Home Cooking — June 26, 2010 @ 6:57 am

    Home made vanilla icecream? I am sooo jealous. And with that sauce. Mm. Better than Swedish princess cake!

  20. 20

    Deborah — June 26, 2010 @ 9:05 am

    What a cool place! Makes me want to take a trip to N Carolina! I love a good vanilla ice cream with berries and this has my mouth watering.

  21. 21

    sippitysup — June 26, 2010 @ 9:21 am

    More and more reasons to visit! GREG

  22. 22

    Laura — June 26, 2010 @ 10:10 am

    I really must get an ice cream machine! Looks divine!

  23. 23

    Kim at Rustic Garden Bistro — June 26, 2010 @ 11:39 am

    Oh, this is delicious! And I love your recap.

    The piggie is adorable.

    …and that shop you were in?! Wow, that’s beautiful, too! I want the RGB to have a little shop like that, right next to the actual bistro. And I want it stocked with all sorts of local edibles!

    I need to work on getting that restaurant dream to come true! [K]

  24. 24

    Brian @ A Thought For Food — June 26, 2010 @ 4:32 pm

    I just saw your comment on Monet’s blog and thought I’d check your blog out. It’s absolutely wonderful and I’m literally salivating from looking at your vanilla ice cream and blackberry sauce. It looks incredible!

    • bunkycooks replied: — June 27th, 2010 @ 7:17 am

      Hi Brian. Thank you for your comment and for stopping by my blog! This dessert was one of my favorites. I need to make it again before the local blackberries go out of season.

  25. 25

    Liren — June 26, 2010 @ 10:59 pm

    What a beautiful post! And such an adorable pig! The vanilla ice cream looks wonderful – we have very similar recipes! The blackberry sauce just makes it even better!

  26. 26

    Devaki — June 27, 2010 @ 1:16 am

    Gorgeous Gwen! LOVE the pig but love your ice cream more.

    You know I always make mine with all cream. Do you think it is more creamy using both? Also do you have to wage a war against icicles when you use milk?

    Hugs, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

    PS – NO COOK blackberry sauce has my name all over it!

    • bunkycooks replied: — June 27th, 2010 @ 7:16 am

      Hi Devaki,

      Thank you! The ice cream was one of the best versions I have made of this. My hubby really liked it. It was very creamy and I did not add any vodka (as I will do much of the time). It was still very rich tasting. The skim milk/heavy cream combo was basically a substitute for whole milk, so there is still plenty of fat to keep it creamy. The blackberry sauce was killer on top! We devoured all of the leftovers in one sitting! :)


  27. 27

    Christine @ Fresh Local and Best — June 27, 2010 @ 10:49 pm

    Cashiers farmer’s market looks like such a neat market with great fresh produce and wonderful specialty items. Those blackberries look incredibly luscious! I don’t blame your husband for refusing to eat Hagan Daaz given the competition.

  28. 28

    Jamie — June 28, 2010 @ 5:19 am

    What a fabulous food area! The market and the shops look stupendous and I would never want to leave! Perfect fabulous blackberries and the ice cream and the blackberry sauce are perfect!

  29. 29

    Daring Bakers Challenge – Chocolate Pavlovas with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse and Raspberry Sauce — June 29, 2010 @ 10:33 pm

    […] I decided to wait until I had company to make this since it was really expensive to whip up a very special dessert. Besides, we did not need any more rich desserts to devour all by ourselves after just polishing off this last batch of homemade vanilla ice cream with blackberry sauce. […]

  30. 30

    pegasuslegend — July 1, 2010 @ 11:04 am

    I am a huge fan of blackberry anything, and my mouth is watering for this sauce and ice cream marvelous!

  31. 31

    Roti n Rice — July 4, 2010 @ 12:35 pm

    I do so enjoy little stores like these with fresh produce and the personal touch. They are always so interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    Wish I can have a bowl of that ice cream and berry sauce. It looks so inviting.

  32. 32

    Becky — July 28, 2010 @ 10:31 pm

    I can’t wait to make your vanilla ice cream with berry sauce. My husband and I have an ice cream maker in the basement, which we are going to resurrect. We’re starting with a basic vanilla and go from there.

  33. 33

    Lindsey — July 10, 2013 @ 11:19 am

    git in ma belly!

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