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Archive for the ‘Ice Cream-Sorbet-Sherbet’ Category

Chinese cuisine, as a rule, is not known for having an extensive dessert repertoire.  I remember one of my first visits to a Chinese restaurant where there was a choice of pineapple or banana fritters, sticky stem ginger with vanilla ice cream or ‘chow chow’, a mixture of candied fruits in ginger syrup.  It is a long time since I have seen any of those on the menu.  Whatever happened to chow chow – can anyone shed any light?  (I mean the dessert of candied fruits in ginger syrup that used to be part of the dessert menu in UK Chinese restaurants 30 or so years ago – not the mixed pickled vegetable or the Chinese dog!)  It was one of my favourites but it has completely disappeared with just one reference to it on the web, also by a puzzled enquirer.  These days mostly there is a selection of ice creams and sorbets that have been bought in ready made: my favourites are the hollowed half coconut shell filled with coconut ice cream or the similar pineapple version.  One other dessert I remember from days gone by is a simple bowl of lychees, probably ready stoned and tinned in syrup. Light and fragrant, lychees are a perfect fruit to end a chinese meal so when I came across this recipe it seemed to fit the bill very well.  This sorbet would also be refreshing served after a spicy curry.

The original recipe for lychee sorbet came from food writer Nigel Slater, published in the food and drink pages of the Guardian Newspaper online.  I used fresh lychees from our market, which are readily available in the Autumn and around Christmas.  Tinned lychees are available as well and Nigel Slater suggests substituting a 400g tin, using both fruit syrup.  The result will be good but the flavour less delicate than if you use fresh lychees.  On the plus side, you will avoid having to peel the fruit, but it is not much of a hardship.   This is a delicious and simple recipe with the lime juice a necessary addition as it cuts through the extreme sweetness of the lychees.  Be sure to liquidise the lychees thoroughly.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Lychee Sorbet
(Serves 4)

500g/1lb 1oz lychees (unpeeled & unstoned weight – see note on using tinned fruit)
100g/30zs sugar, granulated or caster
400ml/14fl ozs water
2 tbsp lime juice
To serve:
250g/8ozs lychees, peeled & stoned

1.  Peel the lychees and count them.  Without removing the stones put them in a pan with the sugar and water.

2.  Add the sugar and water.  Bring to the boil.  Once the liquid is boiling and the sugar has all dissolved, turn off the heat and leave to cool.

3.  When it is cool enough remove the stones from of the fruit and discard them.  Reserve the syrup.

4.  Return the lychee flesh to the syrup and add the lime juice. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.

5.  Liquidise in a blender or food processor until smooth.

6.  Pour the mixture into an ice-cream machine and process until it starts to freeze.  Transfer to a box and place in the freezer.  (Alternatively the mixture can be placed straight into the freezer, removed once or twice and stirred well as it starts to freeze, until it has set properly.)

7.  Peel and stone some of the reserved lychees.  Serve alongside scoops of the soft-frozen sorbet.

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The simplest recipes are often the best – I think I may have written this line before …  This dessert is a quickly made citrus flavoured cream, to which fruit pulp can be added, which is then served with or without additional fruit.  It would certainly be worth substituting lemon or orange (possibly tangerine too) for the lime and then partner the mousse with other fruits.  I intend to experiment with this idea and add variations on this page as they arise.  I have already combined lemon and strawberry in another recipe and know that to be a delicious combination.

This first recipe is a variation on the original, Mango Lime Mousse by chef Nick Nairn found on the BBC Food website.  The earthiness of the mango certainly complements the lime beautifully.  Although called Mango Lime Mousse, it was actually a lime mousse served with mango.  When I made it my mango was very soft and I ended up with pulp rather than recognisable pieces.  I decided to combine the fruit with the lime mousse and then to cut up another mango, which was firmer, to serve alongside.  The original recipe called for half a mango: I ended up using two, so the whole mango and lime balance of this recipe has been altered from the original.  This recipe uses half a tub of cream and generously served three people.  For four people it would be necessary to use the whole tub of cream and the proportions of the other ingredients either increased or kept the same, depending on personal preference.  For six people I would add another mango, half as purée and half as cubes or slices. I see no reason why a fruit and cream mixture could not be churned in an ice cream machine (or for those without a machine, semi frozen and then well stirred once or twice to break up the crystals before the final freeze).

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Mango & Lime Mousse
(Serves 3)

For the citrus mousse:
150ml/5¼fl oz double cream
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 lime, zest and juice only 

For a mango & citrus mousse add:
1 mango, pulped or puréed 

To finish the dish:
1 mango, peeled and either cubed or sliced
honey, to drizzle
sprig of mint, to garnish 

1.  Whisk the cream and sugar together in a bowl until thickened. 

2.  Zest and squeeze the lime.  Fold into the cream mixture until well combined. 

3.  Pulp or purée the softest mango (this is a good way to use an over ripe fruit) and whisk into the lime cream.  Place cream mixture in the refrigerator until it is to be served. 

4.  Arrange some cubes or slices of mango in each serving plate or dish. 

5.  Spoon the lime mixture on top, drizzle with honey and decorate with a sprig of mint.

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Cider ice lollies have always been one of my favourites and invariably my choice from the shop ice cream cabinet.   I was delighted, therefore, to find this recipe.  The sorbet is smooth from the apple puree and soft as the alcohol content stops it from freezing too hard.  We felt that it seemed extra cold even when soft, so it was very cooling and refreshing. 

The recipe comes from my favourite Ice Cream book: Making Ice Creams & Desserts by Joanna Farrow & Sara Lewis. I changed the title from Apple Sorbet to Cider-Apple Sorbet to indicate the inclusion of cider as some may prefer a recipe without alcohol.  The original recipe suggested that the apples were cored but unpeeled but I found removing the pieces of peel rather time consuming.  It may be that there is a nutritional, colour or flavour value from cooking apple peel, so I suggest first removing the apple peel but still cooking it with the fruit.  Peelings can easily be removed from the pan before the apple is pureed.  Originally the apples were cooked in half of the water with the remainder added before freezing, but I simplified this adding all the water at once.  Also, some green food colour was suggested to give a green tint, however I’m not too sure about additives.  Anyway I like the gentle sandy beige/pale cider colour, a similar but much paler version of commercial cider ice lollies.  If you do use colour, the book recommends making the colour just a little darker than you want when finished as Sorbet turns paler as it freezes.

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Cider-Apple Sorbet
(Serves 6-8)

500g/1¼lb Granny Smith apples (be generous!)
150g/5ozs sugar
300ml/½pint water
250ml/8fl ozs strong dry Cider
A few drops Green food colouring (optional)
Thin strips of lime rind or (reserved uncooked) apple peel to decorate

1.  Peel and core the apples.  Roughly chop the fruit and place in a saucepan with the peel, but not the cores. 

2.  Add the caster sugar and the water.  Cover and simmer for around 10 minutes or until the apples are soft.

3.  Remove the apple peel and puree the fruit (or push it through a sieve placed over a bowl).

4.  Stir the cider into the apple puree and the boiling water from the apples.  Add a very small amount of green colouring.  Omitting this will produce a soft beige/pale cider colour.  Sorbet goes lighter as it freezes so make the colour just a little darker than you want when finished.

5. Ice Cream maker:
Pour into machine and churn.   When the mixture is slushy transfer to a container and freeze.

6. By hand:
If you do not have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a plastic container and freeze until slushy.  Remove once or twice and whisk to break up the ice crystals.  Return to freezer for at least four hours.

7. To serve:
Defrost in the fridge for about 20minutes before serving. Serve garnished with the lime rind or twists of apple peel reserved from earlier.

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Cinnamon is one of my favourite spices and combines beautifully with pear.  This is a lovely creamy smooth textured ice cream which scooped well.  It was a very easy recipe and thick honey could be used as the sweetener in place of golden syrup.  It would also be interesting to try substituting pieces of stem ginger and perhaps some syrup from the jar for the golden syrup, perhaps leaving out the cinnamon.  I have made a few small changes to the original, halving the butter content and using just one egg rather than the egg and yolk suggested.

Once more the original recipe came from the book Ice Creams published by Hamlyn (there is no specified author) which contains a lots of delicious sounding and uncomplicated ice cream recipes.  I served this ice cream with some gently warmed slices of Conference pear which I sprinkled with a little lemon to prevent it browning but no sugar, before being cooked in the microwave for 1 minute on medium heat.   The ice cream starts to slightly melt over the warmed pear and I served it with a sprinkling of a little cinnamon mixed into demerara sugar, giving it a sparkly crunch!  Cinnamon Pear Ice Cream would be delicious served with French Pear Frangipane Tart, often known as Pear Pie Bordalue, something I occasionally make (recipe coming eventually).  To save work when repeating this recipe, I would make and freeze a double or triple quantity of the pear mixture, defrosting it to turn into ice cream at a later date.

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 Cinnamon Pear Ice Cream
(Serves 4)

500g/1lb ripe pears, peeled, cored & chopped (I used Conference)
2tbsp lemon juice
2tbsp golden syrup
25g/1ozs butter
1tsp ground cinnamon
1 egg (add an extra yolk if available)
150ml/¼ pint double or whipping cream
Cinnamon & demerara sugar mixture or mint leaves to decorate

1.  Place the pears in a saucepan with the lemon juice, golden syrup, butter and cinnamon.  Bring to the boil and then turn down and simmer gently and uncovered until the pears are soft.  Puree the pears in a liquidiser or food processor and return the mixture to the rinsed pan.

2.  Beat the egg (or egg & yolk) together in a bowl.  Combine with the pear mixture in the saucepan and cook on a very gentle heat, stirring well, until the mixture thickens.

3.  Ice Cream maker:
Churn the pear mixture in the machine, gradually adding the cream until thick , which should take around 10-15 minutes.  Tip into loaf tin or container, cover with cling film or a lid and freeze for at least 6 hours.

4. By hand:
Whisk the cream lightly until the whisk leaves a trail when lifted. Combine with the pear mixture.  Tip into loaf tin or container, cover with cling film or a lid and freeze until partly set.  Remove the partly frozen ice cream from the freezer and stir once before freezing until set. 

5.  To serve:
Defrost in the fridge before serving: this can take up to 1hour depending on the type of ice cream.  Dip the serving spoon or scoop in boiling water to help it cut through the ice cream if it is a little hard.   Serve with fresh or lightly cooked pear or pear tart, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar or decorated with fresh mint leaves.

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Mangoes abound on our market during the summer months: just one of the many advantages of living in a multi-ethnic area.  We love their rich flavour and silky texture, so I was delighted to find this easy recipe for Mango Ice Cream.  The resulting Mango Ice cream was delicious: smooth, rich and creamy.  I can see myself making a lot of this, especially as Mangoes are often plentiful locally.  It would be wonderful combined in a trio of tropical flavoured ice creams. In combination with Honeyed Banana Ice Cream with Nuts and/or Pineapple Ice Cream and/or Coconut Ice Cream this would be a lovely cooling Summer dessert.   The recipe specified one Mango: mine was very large, which did not affect the recipe at all.  The recipe is very quick once the sugar syrup has been made: this takes 15-20 mins and needs to be done a little in advance to allow it to cool. My first batch of syrup had to be discarded as I cooked it too long (trying to do several things at once I did not watch it carefully enough) so be warned, but please do not be put off!  I have found that a slightly overcooked syrup can be cooled slightly, a little extra water added, the syrup gently melted into the newly added water and then carefully reboiled to the thread stage.  It may be able to be rescued providing it has not started to caramelise.  I have recently made Citrus Fruit Mousse, in this instance a mango and lime cream mixture, to serve with fruit so I am sure that lime juice would be a really good substitute for lemon juice in this ice cream.

The original recipe was found in the book Ice Creams published by Hamlyn (there is no specified author).  This useful little book was found in a local charity shop and contains a good number of fairly easy ice cream recipes within its slim pages.

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Mango Ice Cream
(filled a 1litre ice cream container)

300ml/½pint water
100g/4ozs sugar
1 large ripe mango, peeled
2tbsp lemon juice (alternatively lime juice)
150ml/5fl ozs double or whipping cream

1.  Put the water and sugar in a small saucepan.  Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.  Bring to the boil and cook steadily until the liquid is reduced to a syrup, reaching 107oC/225oF on a sugar thermometer.  (This is called thread stage. If you do not have a sugar thermometer then let a small amount of syrup fall from a spoon onto a saucer.  It should form a fine thin thread.)  Leave to cool.  Take care it does not over cook (see note above).  I found that, once it was at a rolling boil (after the sugar had dissolved) it took around 15 minutes for the syrup to cook.

2.  Remove the flesh from the peeled mango in rough chunks, place in a liquidizer with the lemon juice and puree.  Stir into the syrup.

3.  Ice Cream maker:
Churn the mango mixture in the machine, gradually adding the cream until thick , which should take around 10-15 minutes.  Tip into loaf tin or container, cover with cling film or a lid and freeze for at least 6 hours.

4. By hand:
Whisk the double cream lightly until the whisk leaves a trail when lifted. Combine with the mango mixture.  Tip into loaf tin or container, cover with cling film or a lid and freeze until partly set.  Remove the partly frozen ice cream from the freezer and stir once before freezing until set. 

5.  To serve:
Defrost in the fridge before serving: this can take up to 1hour depending on the type of ice cream.  Dip the serving spoon or scoop in boiling water to help it cut through the ice cream if it is a little hard.

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This ice cream is a great way to use up brown and mottled overripe bananas.  They may be past their best for eating, but they are ideal for cooking as their natural sweetness increases as they age.  Honey adds additional sweetness with the lemon counteracting this slightly.  The nuts – I used flaked almonds – add a lovely crunch.  I used runny honey rather than set, which I did not have, doubled the amount of cream (by mistake!) and used just one whipped egg white, which seemed ample.  The quantity overfilled a 500g ice cream tub.  Next time I would add just half a tub of cream as originally specified – 150ml/¼pint!

Last year I borrowed a fairly comprehensive, as I thought, ice cream book from the library and eventually bought myself a copy (Making Ice Cream & Iced Desserts by Joanna Farrow & Sara Lewis).  However, I found another book in a charity shop called, simply, Ice Creams, published by Hamlyn (there is no named author).  It contained some lovely and unusual ideas and I just had to have it as well.  This recipe is one of the first that attracted me to the ‘must-have’ slim paperback.

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Honeyed Banana Ice Cream with Nuts
(Serves 4-6)

500g/1lb bananas, peeled (a little extra is fine rather than waste fruit)
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp honey
150ml/¼pint natural yoghurt
50g/2ozs chopped nuts (flaked almonds are ideal)
150ml/¼pint double cream – whipping for Ice Cream machine (Elmlea half fat)
1 egg white

1.  Put the lemon juice in a bowl, add the banana pieces and mash together well.  The lemon stops the banana from browning.

2.  Stir in the honey and yoghurt and mix well.

3.  Ice Cream maker:
a.  Whisk the whipping cream lightly until the whisk leaves a trail when lifted but not too stiffly as it will be difficult to combine, especially if using a machine.
b.  Combine with the banana and honey mixture.
c.  Pour into the machine and churn for 10-15 minutes until thick gradually introducing the nut pieces through the hole.
d.  Lightly whip the egg white and spoon into the ice cream machine as it mixes.
e.  Tip into loaf tin or container, cover with cling film or a lid and freeze for at least 6 hours.

4. By hand:
a.  Whisk the double cream lightly until the whisk leaves a trail when lifted. 
b.  Combine with the banana and honey mixture and stir in the pieces of nut.
c.  Tip into loaf tin or container, cover with cling film or a lid and freeze until partly set. d. Lightly whip the egg white.  Remove the partly frozen ice cream from the freezer and fold into the banana mixture. 
e.  Freeze until set.

5.  To serve:
Defrost in the fridge before serving: this can take up to 1 hour depending on the type of ice cream.  Dip the serving spoon or scoop in boiling water to help it cut through the ice cream if it is a little hard.

Serve the ice cream with a sliced fresh banana and a drizzle of Dulce de Leche (pictured),  or similar toffee pouring sauce or alternatively some runny honey.

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For a special family birthday meal I was planning to serve Autumn Pudding as dessert, but also wanted to please the ice cream loving members of the family! I like the mixture of lemon and blackberry so thought this recipe sounded ideal. It was very sweet and very rich, in some ways rather overpowering the Autumn Pudding, but I would definitely serve it again as it was delicious.  The recipe uses Lemon Curd, the original version suggesting either a luxury shop bought brand or home made. To me there was absolutely no contest so I added making curd to an already busy day.  Next time – and there will be a next time – I would definitely do this job in advance!

The original recipe came from One Step Ahead by renowned cookery writer Mary Berry. The original instructions did not use an Ice Cream maker. I have given them below in addition to my machine variation. The only alteration I would make would be to use lightly whipped Whipping Cream in place of the thick double cream when using an ice cream maker as it is easier to pour through the small hole in the lid of the rotating machine.   However you will need the thickness of double cream if you are making the original method.

100_8235 Lemon Meringue Ice Cream

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Lemon Meringue Ice Cream
(Serves 6)

50g/2ozs meringues (a good use for broken meringues)
300ml/½pint Double cream – Whipping for Ice Cream machine (Elmlea half fat)
Zest & juice of 1 lemon
½jar of luxury or home made Lemon Curd

1.  Line a 1lb/5oog loaf tin or similar sized plastic freezer box with cling film.

2.  Break up the meringues into small chunky pieces (not too large, but not dust either).

3.  Ice Cream maker:
a.  Whisk the whipping cream lightly until the whisk leaves a trail when lifted. 
b.  Wash the lemons well and remove zest with a zester or a fine grater, making sure that no white pith is removed.  
c.  Stir the zest, juice and lemon curd into the cream.
d.  Pour into the machine and churn for 10-15 minutes until thick gradually introducing the meringue pieces through the hole.
e.  Tip into loaf tin or container, cover with cling film or a lid and freeze for at least 6hours.

4. By hand:
a.  Whisk the double cream lightly until the whisk leaves a trail when lifted. 
b.  Wash the lemons well and remove zest with a zester or a fine grater, making sure that no white pith is removed.  
c.  Stir the zest, juice and lemon curd into the cream. 
d.  Fold in the meringue pieces trying not to crush them too much.  
e.  Tip into loaf tin or container, cover with cling film or a lid and freeze for at least 6hours.

5.  To serve:
a.  Defrost in the fridge for about 20minutes before serving. 
b.  Delicious served on its own or with an accompaniment of simple cold stewed Autumn (or other seasonal) fruit mixture or a simple sliced citrus dish such as Sliced Caramel Oranges
c.  Decorate with a few strands of crystallised lemon zest or peel, if available. (I keep the zest used when making Lemon Sorbet.) 
d.  Any remaining sorbet can be replaced in the freezer wrapped in cling film.

Variations:
Use different flavours of fruit curd: Lime, Orange, or even Blackberry (recipe to follow if it is successful) would be lovely.

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My husband loves the combination of melon and ginger (anything and ginger, actually!) so when I found this recipe I knew we had to try it.  A jar of stem ginger in syrup is a stock cupboard item in our house as it makes a delicious addition to lots of desserts, including fresh chopped fruit and baked bananas, plus one finely sliced piece definitely improves a bowl of uninspiring plain yoghurt or tinned rice pudding. Honeydew melons are plentiful on our market at this time of year and I got a bargain with 2 large ones for £1. I cut a few corners, liquidising and reducing all the melon pulp without adding the water suggested in the original recipe, so the method given below is my version. I was a bit dubious about the unusual smell of cooking melon but I persevered and the finished ice cream smelled and tasted lovely. I also increased some of the quantities just a little, using a whole slightly larger melon than originally suggested and a full rather than a part tub of cream.  I kept the quantities of the other ingredients the same. This amount is just about the maximum my ice cream maker can manage at one go before the bowl needs re-freezing. It is suggested that you could try other types of melon. I would particularly like to try the wonderful orange fleshed Charente melons from the region of the same name in western France. Bright red/pink watermelon, liquidised with mint leaves would also, I imagine, be very refreshing (in the summer I regularly enjoy watermelon & mint smoothies at breakfast). You could make this recipe without the ginger, of course, if you wished.

The recipe has been adapted from a recipe in the book Ice Creams by Heather Lambert, first published in 1982 by Severn Valley Press Ltd as part of a extensive series of paperbacks available from Marks & Spencer.

100_4917 Melon & Ginger Ice Cream

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Melon & Ginger Ice Cream
(Serves 4-6)

1 x 1kg ripe Honeydew Melon
100g/4ozs caster sugar
2 x 15ml/2tbsp spoons lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
300ml/½pint Whipping Cream ((I used Elmlea – 55% less fat version)
25g/1oz piece stem ginger, thinly sliced
1 x15ml/1tbsp spoonful ginger syrup

1. Cut the melon in half, scoop out the pips and remove and liquidise the flesh thoroughly.

2. Pour liquidised melon into a saucepan, add the sugar and heat gently until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat and cook the melon mixture rapidly until it is thick and can run from a spoon in a thin stream. I found that this meant that the liquid was reduced to about half the original quantity. Leave to cool and then chill in the fridge. This can be frozen in batches for later use.

3. Ice Cream maker:
Combine the chilled melon liquid, lemon juice, sliced ginger, ginger syrup and cream. Pour into the machine and churn for 10-15 minutes until thick.

4. Transfer to a container and freeze.

5. By hand:
If you do not have an ice cream maker, add the lemon to the melon mixture and freeze for about 1½hrs or until mushy.

6. Whip the cream until it just starts to thicken, but is not too stiff – it should still fall from a spoon. Fold into the mushy melon mixture and return to the freezer beating twice more at hourly intervals. Cover, seal and freeze.

7. To serve:
Defrost in the fridge for about 20minutes before serving. Serve on a wedge of honeydew melon with a sliver or two more of stem ginger and a few strands of crystallised lemon zest or peel, if available. (I keep the zest used when making Lemon Sorbet.)

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This year promises a bumper crop of blackberries in our somewhat overgrown garden. What to do with a glut of fruit, especially as it comes free of charge!? Well, lots of things actually, but this recipe is well worth the effort. The most complicated and messy part is the cooking and sieving of the blackberries. (Do not be tempted to add whole fruit as the many blackberry pips will add a grittiness that will spoil the silky smoothness of the ice cream.) This Ice Cream is absolutely delicious served with some more blackberries, if you have any fresh ones, and/or fresh or puréed raspberries (see picture). A small sprig of mint as a garnish adds even more colour with a splash of bright green. For a special but easy dinner party dessert, serve Blackberry Ice Cream in a brandy snap basket or on a home made waffle with both raspberries & blackberries, or any mixed berry combination with optional pouring cream on the side.  (Yum – you will notice that I am an unashamed berry lover!)   If you are concerned about creepy crawlies in your blackberries, my mother’s old fashioned trick is to rinse them in salted water (salt water draws out any bugs), rinse in fresh water and drain well. Next time I will make several batches of blackberry purée to freeze in batch sized amounts (multiplying the quantity given in the instructions below). It will take up less freezer space and can be thawed when required. I will, of course, be freezing batches of whole fruit for other dishes – we love Blackberry and Apple Crumble in the colder weather.

The recipe comes from my newly purchased Ice Cream making book, first found in our public library, which I highly recommend: Making Ice Cream & Iced Desserts by Joanna Farrow & Sara Lewis. I notice that the authors have written more than one book on the same subject. I shall have to do some more research on the other titles. 

100_4870 Blackberry Ice Cream

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Blackberry Ice Cream
(Serves 4-6)

500g/1¼lbs Blackberries, hulled, rinsed (see above) & well drained
75g/3ozs Caster sugar
2tbsp water
300ml/½pint Whipping Cream ((I used Elmlea – 55% less fat version)

1. Put the blackberries, sugar and water in a pan. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes until the sugar is dissolved and the fruit is soft.

2. Strain the fruit through a sieve over a bowl, pressing the fruit juices and puree through with a wooden spoon. It does not matter if the finished juices are cloudy. Dispose of the seedy pulp. Leave to cool and then chill in the fridge. This can be frozen in batches for later use.

3. Ice Cream maker:
Pour chilled berry liquid into machine and churn for 10-15minutes until thick. Do not be tempted to add the cream at this stage as it will thicken and become buttery.

4. Stir in the cream and continue to churn until well mixed. Transfer to a container and freeze.

5. By hand:
If you do not have an ice cream maker, whip the cream until it just starts to thicken, but is not too stiff – it should still fall from a spoon.

6. Mix in the chilled fruit purée, pour into a plastic container. Freeze for around 2 hours, then mash with a fork to break up any ice crystals. Return to freezer for an additional 2 hours and mash again. Re-freeze for a final 2 hours.

7. To serve:
Defrost in the fridge for about 20minutes before serving. Serve with more washed blackberries, with a dusting of icing sugar if you feel they need additional sweetness. (See above for more serving suggestions.)

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Nothing is more delicious on a hot day than a serving of cooling, refreshing lemon sorbet. It was the first type of ice I made when I bought my Ice cream machine some years ago and every year it is usually the first to be made. This recipe is one of the simplest I have come across with the syrup quickly made, rather than needing the lengthy boiling required by some recipes to make a thicker syrup. I cut a few corners with the recipe, using a zester to make the lemon peel strips rather than the more laborious potato peeler method. I kept and dried the crystallised lemon zest to garnish this, and other, dessert recipes. I also used just three lemons as mine were huge, but would use 4 normal sized ones.  Delicious served with wedges of fresh pineapple, or another fruit of your choice.

I have discovered a wonderful book in the library this year, Making Ice Creams & Desserts by Joanna Farrow & Sara Lewis, packed with lots of wonderful ice cream and sorbet recipes, as well as some more complicated iced desserts for entertaining. In fact, it’s such a good book that I have just bought my own copy!  The original recipe has suggestions about using other types of citrus juices and mixtures, which I will add here if and when I try them. It also mentions that you can turn a lemon into a ready made container for serving the sorbet by removing a ‘lid’, carefully scooping out the inside and slightly flattening the bottom of the fruit ‘pot’.  When filled with sorbet the lemons can be reassembled and frozen ready for serving.  I have eaten sorbet like this in restaurants, in both lemon and orange varieties and it always looks very attractive.

100_4710 Lemon Sorbet

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Lemon Sorbet
(Serves 4-6)

200g/7ozs sugar
300ml/½pt boiling water
4 lemons, well scrubbed
1 egg white

1. Put the sugar and boiling water in a pan and stir occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.

2. Using a lemon zester, remove zest (but no white pith) from one lemon and add to the pan. Simmer for two minutes and remove from the heat. Leave to cool and then chill in the fridge.

3. Squeeze the juice from the lemons and chill in a separate container from the zested sugar water.

4. When chilled, strain the zest from the sugared water and reserve as decoration. Strain the lemon juice into the sugar water.

5. Ice Cream maker:
Pour into machine and churn. Separate the egg, reserving the yolk for another recipe (it can be frozen).

6. Lightly whisk the white with a fork and add to the machine as it churns.

7. When the mixture is slushy transfer to a container and freeze.

8. By hand:
If you do not have an ice cream maker, pour the lemon mixture (without the egg white) into a plastic container and freeze until slushy. Whisk the egg white with a fork until frothy and beat into the slushy mixture. Return to freezer for at least four hours.

9. To serve:
Defrost in the fridge for about 20minutes before serving. Serve garnished with the sugared lemon rind reserved from earlier.

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