Friday, 26 July 2013

We All Scream for Ice Cream

There are only a few ways in which I can cope with this heat.
One is to lie around the house, desperately trying to keep cool, and feeling nothing but self-pity about how I couldn't handle the heat.
The other is to just go with it, and eat/drink the coolest things to hand.
And because it is the summer, that means one thing... Ice Cream!

I've always wanted to make ice cream, and this year I finally had the chance. And it is so easy, I don't think I'll be buying shop bought again. Unless Ben & Jerry's is half price at the supermarket, because no one can resist an offer like that.
I made these ice creams the old fashioned way, without an ice cream maker. Although these recipes can be done in the maker, it's just as easy, if a bit more time consuming, to put it in the freezer, and stirring the mixture every hour.
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Pistachio Ice Cream:
125g Unsalted Pistachio Nuts
75g Caster Sugar
3 Egg Yolks
500ml Double Cream

Put half of the pistachios in a food processor with half of the sugar mixture, and blend until fine. With the other half, roughly chop them up on a chopping board.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the rest of the caster sugar, until thick and creamy.
Pour the double cream and blended pistachios into a saucepan, and place over a medium heat, bringing the mixture to the boil. Once boiling, remove from the hear, and pour into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return the custard to the saucepan, and place on a low heat, until the mixture thickens.
Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes, and place the saucepan into the bowl to cool the mixture quickly.
At this point you put the custard into an ice cream maker, adding the chopped pistachios; or pour into an airtight container, and put in the freezer. Stir after one hour, and add the chopped pistachios, and return to the freezer. Repeat every hour until it looks like ice cream.
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Lavender Ice Cream:
A Handful of Lavender Stems
2 tbsp Runny Honey
75g Caster Sugar
3 Egg Yolks
500ml Double Cream

The method is similar to the one above, except for the beginning:
Chop the lavender up, either with a sharp knife or in a small food blender.
Mix the egg yolks and sugar together, while in the saucepan, add the lavender and double cream, and bring to a boil.
Now follow the rest of the above method.

Out of the two ice creams, I definitely preferred the lavender one. It had a nice floral scent, but it wasn't too overpowering. And it was lovely and creamy, but not too sweet.
Although I liked the pistachio ice cream, I found it had a much thicker consistency. I don't know whether it was because of the ground pistachios or the chopped ones, so that might take some experimenting to be as good as the lavender ice cream. But the taste was there, which made up for it.

Overall, I would definitely make ice cream again, it was quite simple once you got the hang of it.
I think for my next one, I'm going to have a go at honeycomb ice cream, yum!

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