Just realised it’s over 2 weeks since I last posted! I’d like to say I’d been away somewhere exotic (or even non-exotic!) but, of course, I haven’t! The weather has been wonderful and the garden calls every day so I have been busy doing houseworky things in the morning to get out in it as soon as possible. Also, shopping now takes forever with having to queue outside (not that I mind too much – I just take a book or talk (shout?) to the person in front of me). I probably shouldn’t say this but I’m actually not minding lock down too much (apart from seeing and being with my family) because everyone seems much kinder and happy to talk and help out. Silver linings and all that!
We’ve been doing a few BBQs recently as the sun has been so kind – which, obviously, means The Husband has been in charge. Teamwork – I do the prep and the salads and he cooks – leaving me time in the kitchen to make my summer comfort food – ice cream (actually, scratch that – ice cream is not just for summer, is it?). With shopping taking time and it takes longer to get through the checkout, you may be thinking ice cream would be melted by the time you get it home – and ice cream vans haven’t been seen for ages – I thought we should make our own. Not every one will have an ice cream maker so these recipes can also be made without.
All you need for this ultimate vanilla ice-cream recipe is five easy-to-find ingredients. If you have an ice-cream maker, you can churn the mixture in there until frozen, but if not this vanilla ice-cream recipe is easy to make by hand.
Simply put the mixture in a freezer-proof container and freeze for 2 hours. Turn into a bowl and beat with an electric whisk; return to the freezer. Repeat every 2 hours until the ice cream is completely frozen. Add any extra solid ingredients after the last beating.
NOTE THIS RECIPE MAKES 1.3 LITRES OF ICE CREAM
- 1 vanilla pod or 2tsp vanilla bean paste
- 400 ml double cream
- 400 ml whole milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 125 g caster sugar
Halve vanilla pod lengthways (if using) and scrape out seeds. Add seeds and pod to a large, heavy-based pan with cream and milk (or add vanilla bean paste instead). Heat gently until bubbles appear around the edge. Remove pod (if used). Meanwhile, beat yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale. Gradually mix in the hot cream mixture. Return to pan. Cook over low-medium heat, stirring, until custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (do not overheat or it will scramble). Pour through a sieve into a bowl, cover with clingfilm; cool.
Churn the mixture in an ice-cream machine until frozen or by hand using the method above. Empty into a freezer-proof container. Cover; freeze until solid.
TO MAKE STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM
Follow steps 1-3 of the Vanilla recipe (above). Cook 600g chopped strawberries with 2tbsp strawberry jam in a pan over medium heat until mushy. Blitz in a food processor until smooth; cool. Stir into cooled custard, strain custard through a fine sieve and discard strawberry seeds. Churn mixture in an ice-cream machine until frozen or by hand using method above. Empty into a freezer-proof container. Cover; freeze until solid.
TO MAKE SALTED CARAMEL ICE CREAM
Follow steps 1-3 of the Ultimate Vanilla recipe (above), using 200ml double cream and 600ml whole milk. Heat 50g unsalted butter in a pan (swirling pan frequently) until butter darkens to amber. Remove from heat; mix in 200g Carnation Caramel and 2tsp sea salt flakes. Mix 3⁄4 of this into custard (reserve the rest). Cover bowl; cool. Churn custard mixture in an ice-cream machine until frozen or by hand using method above. Empty into a freezer-proof container; marble through reserved caramel. Cover; freeze until solid.
You can also use the above basic to make Chocolate Ice cream thus – increase sugar to 175g and add 1tbsp cornflour to egg yolks. Mix 200g finely chopped dark chocolate into hot custard, stirring to melt. Cover with cling film; cool. Churn mixture in an ice-cream machine until frozen or by hand using method above. Empty into a freezer-proof container; mix through 100g chopped dark chocolate. Cover; freeze until solid.
However, I will always prefer this recipe (I’ve given it before but here it is to save you scrolling back)
- 2 oz caster sugar 4 tablespoons water 6 oz plain chocolate
- 3 egg yolks (freeze the egg whites individually for later or make some meringues)
- 1/2 pint double cream
Melt the sugar and water together till a light syrup. Break up the chocolate into a bowl and pour the hot syrup over. Mix to smooth and add yolks. Whip the cream until stiff, fold in the chocolate and freeze. Simples!
Sun’s out; sunglasses on; book. Kick back and enjoy a taste of summer.