Apparently summer’s nearly over. The sun’s going away, and he’s not coming back for a long time. It’s a darn shame, but I for one refuse to let the absence of a big ball of fire in the sky define my fun. Some of my favourite foods arrive with summer, and I’m not ready to say goodbye to them just yet.
Take ice cream, for example. It’s delicious all year round, regardless of the weather. That’s why, during a weekend family visit, my mum and I decided we’d make our own batch, thunderstorms outside be damned.
I’d never made ice cream before, probably due to my assumption that you need one of those fancy, whirring machines for it. Turns out you don’t, and you too can try your hand at this yummy recipe with a few basic ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge and cupboards.
The deceptively simple process is also incredibly satisfying, if a little time consuming. But really, what else are you going to spend your time doing on a rainy Sunday? You’ll be glad you made the effort when you pull that first tub out of the freezer, open the lid and find a perfect batch of creamy, cold deliciousness. Try classic vanilla before venturing on to more exotic flavours.
(makes approximately 16 servings)
750ml whole milk
4 large eggs
2 vanilla pods split and scraped
OR 2 spoons of pure vanilla extract
750ml heavy cream
6 trays of ice cubes
200g rock salt
1. Beat together the milk and eggs in the pan. Add the sugar and vanilla, and cook over medium-low heat. Constantly stir the mix with a whisk or spoon until it appears slightly thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
2. Stir in the cream, then pour the mixture through a sieve into a bowl and cover the surface with cling film to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for three hours (a little longer is fine, but no more than 12 hours).
3. Next comes the fun part: turning your milky mix into fully-fledged ice cream. To do this, fill a larger bowl with the ice and stir in the rock salt. While this will help to unleash the extra cold energy you need, it will also cause the ice to start melting… better act quick. Make a nest in the ice for the bowl containing the mixture to sit in, then grab an electric whisk and go at it for ten minutes, being careful not to spill too much into the ice bowl (you can cover half the bowl with a tea towel to help prevent this). The texture won’t look or feel much different yet, but the mix should be notably colder.
4. Let the nesting bowls sit in the fridge for ten minutes, before moving them to the freezer and covering with a tea towel. Leave for 45 minutes, then remove – your mixture will probably have thickened slightly to resemble a moussey pudding. Whisk for another five minutes, or stop when it starts to resemble melting ice cream (hey, it’s working!).
5. Pour the mix into a plastic tub and freeze for a minimum of two hours, overnight if you’re patient enough. Open it up to discover your icy genius, and serve up in cones, bowls or (my favourite) with chocolate brownies.
Nice, eh? Let us know how yours turned out – bonus points if you send a photo. Oh, and keep an eye out for a post on the ludicrously moreish chocolate brownies we had our ice cream with. We’ll be sharing that recipe with you quite soon. I’ve yet to find a better dessert combo.