Ice cream, you scream…..

When it comes to procrastination I could give Hamlet a good run for his money!
I have been threatening to do a blog post for months but strangely enough there was always something else that had to be done!

In anticipation of the promised heat wave I was on Midlands 103 this morning talking about how to make your own ice cream and Will Faulkner extracted a promise from me, on air, that I would post some recipes this evening.  Well you can’t break a promise, can you? So hence I have made myself sit at my computer and type. Oh look the sun is out, maybe I should go to the garden…..

No I’ll be good 🙂

Those of you who were listening this morning would have heard me describe four methods of making ice cream:

  1. the ‘cheat’s’ method
  2. the ‘meringue’ method
  3. the ‘ mousse’ method
  4. the ‘custard’ method

Let’s start with the first two as they can be made without the need to purchase an ice cream machine. The easiest way is ( you guessed it!) the cheat’s way when you add your flavourings to softly whipped cream and leave to freeze.  Try this method for strawberry ice cream and see what you think.

Strawberry Ice Cream

What you need:

  • 8 oz /200g strawberries
  • 3 oz/ 75g  icing sugar, sieved
  • lemon juice
  • 1/2 pint/250ml cream

What you do:

  • roughly chop the strawberries (after removing the green tops!) and liquidise with the sugar and good squeeze of lemon.
  • Whip the cream until thick(ish) then fold in the strawberry mix.
  • Place in a plastic container and freeze (overnight is best)

The variations on this are endless! You could add crushed meringues to the above recipe and viola you have Eton Mess ice cream.  Other favourites here include lemon curd ice cream and mango ice cream. I made a chocolate ganache version for today’s show and I’m waiting to hear the verdict from the tasters.

Once you’ve mastered the easy version it’s time to progress to the meringue method – be warned Will, it involves separating eggs!

Vanilla Ice Cream

What you need:

  • 6 eggs
  • 8 oz/200g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 pint/500ml cream, softly whipped

What you do:

  • Separate the eggs, putting the whites in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat until stiff then add in the sugar and continue to beat in  (as if you were making meringues)
  • In another bowl whisk the egg yolks with the vanilla paste and then fold it into the meringue mixture – a metal spoon is always recommended for this.
  • Finally fold in the whipped cream working quickly but gently to maintain a light consistency.
  • Transfer the ice cream into plastic containers (you might need two for this one) and freeze for 6 -8 hours or overnight

So now you have no excuse not to make ice cream to get you through the heatwave. The mousse and custard methods are slightly more complicated but worth the effort. My favourite mousse one is Darina’s Ballymaloe Vanilla Ice Cream and when I use the custard method, which differs from the others  in that it involves milk as well as cream, my favourite is cinnamon ice cream

In terms of ingredients I would recommend using organic eggs and my favourite cream is our local Glenisk.

But if all this talk of making ice cream exhausts you can I recommend that you check out Cul Cow   ice cream – it’s ‘Offaly Delicious’ and they deliver for special occasions!

Phew ! I’ve kept my promise and now I can finally go to the garden…except it’s too dark!

Happy Cooking !




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