Dessert – Christmas Pudding Icecream
Yes, I know. I know.
In my defense, I have a reason.
I grew up with cornish ice-cream. Big, buttery, extraordinarily creamy ice-cream. Ice-cream so good I could be persuaded to eat it throughout the winter months. Cornwall you see has a proud tradition of dairy farming, using jersey cows, renowned for the fat content in their milk. This was a place where pints of milk routinely had a layer of thick cream on top. A place where it was simply taken for granted that cream would be served to you in a dollop. That same high-fat milk and cream was used to make local ice-creams. Vanilla ice-cream was butter yellow. It required devout care to eat it all. It needed no adornment, no hot fudge sauce, no sprinkles, nothing other than a crisp wafer cone to transport it to one’s mouth.
And then I moved here, to the Land of Soft-Serve.
I haven’t eaten much ice cream in the last thirty years. Having been raised on unadulterated flavours, I get rather upset to see the high amounts of fat and artificial nasties that go into our favourite brands.
And then Kambrook gave me a children’s toy to play with and I converted overnight.
The Little Chefs Ice Cream maker is part of the Christmas Giveaway package and one lucky child is going to have a lot of fun churning half a litre of ice cream in just ten minutes. It comes with a cookbook to help you make your favourite flavours. Really, all ice-cream starts with a base recipe and you flavour it from there. Kambrook uses a base recipe of milk, cream and condensed milk, similar to this recipe, but a good yellow vanilla ice cream is in fact an iced custard, based around eggs as much as it is milk and cream.
I used it to make a family favourite, Christmas pudding-flavoured ice cream. Once upon a time one could simply crumble pre-bought fruit cake and stir some booze through a tub of vanilla ice cream and re-freeze it. But of course, I won’t do that. Oh no. I’ll begin by making a custard, then adding the spices and fruit that makes this so incredibly decadent, grown up and pumped full of flavour that you will have a hard time letting the children play with their new toy. Just go easy on the booze.
Merry Christmas *hic*
Makes 500ml ice cream (enough for four serves)
3 egg yolks; 2 tbsp soft brown sugar; 2 tbsp caster sugar; ¾ cup (180 ml) milk; ¾ cup (180 ml) runny cream; ½ tsp vanilla extract; finely grated zest of ½ an orange and ½ a lemon; ½ tsp ground cinnamon; pinch nutmeg; ½ cup fruit cake or panettone or fruit bread, crumbled as finely as possible; 1 tbsp finely chopped nuts (optional) such as almonds, hazelnuts or pistachios; 1 tbsp raisins; 1 tbsp currants; 1 tsp brandy or your choice of liqueur (optional, but go easy so you don’t overpower the flavour)
Combine egg yolks and both sugars in a heat-proof bowl and whisk until sugar is blended completely.
Place milk, cream, vanilla and zest in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Pour the simmering mixture over the egg yolks, whisking continuously to combine. Place the bowl of eggy milk over a saucepan of barely simmering water and cook, stirring continuously, over low heat for 8-10 minutes or until the mixture thickens up and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg and cool to room temperature.
Strain the custard through a fine sieve into the chilled clean bowl of an ice cream churn. Add the crumbled fruitcake or fruit bread (the smaller the pieces the better), nuts, fruit and brandy, and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. At this stage you will have ice cream the consistency of soft serve, but four hours in the freezer will firm it up. Spoon it from the bowl into an airtight container and freeze for four hours before serving.
If you don’t have an icecream maker: Instead of making your own ice-cream, buy a one litre tub of the best ice-cream you can afford, one with a high fat content (this is Christmas after all). Stir through the fruit zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, fruit cake, nuts, fruit and booze as gently and as thoroughly as you can and then refreeze it. It will be a little harder than before but should come up nicely if allowed to sit at room temperature for a minute or two.
$4.40 for 500ml of perfect, rich, decadent ice-cream