Hooray - summer is almost here!!! We have had three days in a row over 30 degrees Celsius, which almost (but not quite) makes up for the fact that it will be ten degrees colder tomorrow.
A litle while ago, I made icecream for the very first time. After using a work gift voucher to buy myself a KitchenAid (which I otherwise would never own!!), my Mum gave me the money for my birthday (which seems a lifetime ago now) to buy the icecream maker attachment for my KitchenAid.
I had a surplus of egg yolks left over from one baking project or another, so I bit the bullet and forced myself to read the instruction sheet to use the icecream maker attachment so that I could use the yolks to make icecream. I know, I know - I love getting new kitchen gadgets, but then the effort of having to learn how to use them puts me off. I owned the KitchenAid for over two months before I opened it!
I selected Nigella's recipe for strawberry icecream from Forever Summer - primarily because I had all of the ingredients. Without boring you too much, I have to reiterate how much I love everything about Nigella Lawson - she's drop dead gorgeous, makes delicious food, unashamedly loves eating her creations, and can make the most prosaic of dishes seem melodic. Do check out Andrew Denton's fabulous interview with Nigella here. LOL where Nigella confesses to liking a "manly man" and a "pelt" on a bloke - I'm with her!
Anyway, back to the icecream. The end result of this icecream was interesting texturally, because real strawberries colour and flavour the icecream instead of some terrible artificial additives, so the strawbeery seeds punctuate the smoothness of the icrecream. Although it tasted good, I'll confess to having stacks of it still in my freezer, because I am impatient when it comes to icecream - I want to eat it now, whereas homemade icrecream has to be softened before eating. I'm sure this will change when the weather gets warmer, and the icecream softens more quickly, but as it has been so cool until the past few days, I have lacked the patience needed to savour my icecream.
If you like the look of my strawberry icecream and would like to try some for yourself, Nigella's recipe is as follows (I made half of this recipe, which was plenty for me):
500g hulled and chopped fresh strawberries
175g + 2 tablespoons sugar
500ml full fat milk
500ml heavy cream
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
10 egg yolks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Sprinkle the chopped strawberries with the 2 tablespoons of sugar and leave to rest while making the rest of the icecream.
Put the milk and cream into a saucepan with the vanilla pod, and bring to the boil. Immediately remove it from the heat and leave to rest for 20 minutes.
Whisk the egg yolks and remaining sugar until thick and pale, then after removing the vanilla pod from the cream mixture, pour the cream mixture over the egg yolks, whisking constantly so that you don't cook the yolks. Put the combined mixture into a saucepan and stir it over a medium heat until it thickens, then pour the resulting custard into a bowl to cool.
Puree the strawberries, then fold into the cooled custard along with the lemon juice. Pour the mixture into your prepared icecream maker and churn it according to the instructions. Scoop the resulting icecream into a lidded container and place it into the freezer to mature.
You will need to remove the matured icecream from the freezer to the fridge about 20 minutes before you want to eat it, as it is too hard to serve straight from the freezer, and it compromises the flavour.
Bring on the summer!!