Sunday, 11 August 2013

Raspberry Chambord Chip Ice Cream

This summer has, so far, been the perfect combination of good weather and good fun. We've also had the pleasure of my sweet-toothed Dad coming over from Australia to stay, giving me even more reason to get in the kitchen and rustle up some sugary treats.

Dad's visit happily coincided with our annual jaunt over to Peterlee PYO Farm, and this summer yielded a bumper haul of raspberries, blackcurrants and gooseberries. Trying to be organised, I decided to avoid the yearly temptation to chuck everything in the freezer, only to find it fused into an unrecognisable lump come the New Year, and got to work turning the baskets of berries into something delicious.

On the way home from the PYO, I couldn't resist popping in to the farm shop and buying a pot of glorious buttercup yellow, Lacey's double cream. This is, for my money, some of the very best dairy you could hope to taste; made on a farm just up the road from the milk of pedigree Guernsey cows, and so thick you have to squeeze it out of the bottle like toothpaste.

Armed with fresh fruit and fresh cream, digging out the ice cream maker seemed like the only sensible option. I initially wondered if the richness might be too much for the berries, smothering their sharp edge in a bland blanket of dairy, but the cream brings out the naturally cheesy edge in the fruit, and a good squirt of lemon stopped things becoming too cloying.

In order to treat the ingredients with the reverence they deserved I decided, for the first time in all my years of ice cream making, to use a proper custard made with cooked egg yolks and milk (and about five different pans and dishes and two sieves), rather than my favoured whole egg, no-chance-of-scrambling, base. With my ice bath and silicone spatula at the ready, it was surprisingly simple to make and provided an extra glossy and luxurious richness to the finished ice cream.

Gilding the lily I also threw in some chopped dark chocolate, for texture, and a slug of Chambord black raspberry liqueur. As well as tasting good, the Chambord also stopped the ice cream freezing too solid, a shot or two of bourbon, vodka, rum or any suitable liqueur lingering at the back of the cupboard would work equally well, too.

They say the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and with my Dad and the Ewing off to the freezer for seconds before I had even finished my first helping, I knew it had been worth using every bowl in the cupboard.

Raspberry Chambord Chip Ice Cream
Adapted from David Leibovitz 'The Perfect Scoop'

350ml raspberry puree, sieved to remove seeds
Juice of half a lemon
350ml cups double cream
350ml cups milk
200g golden caster sugar
4 egg yolks
2 tbsps Chambord
75g dark chocolate, chopped finely
To make raspberry puree:  Puree 6 cups of raspberries in a food processor, then press them through a mesh strainer with a flexible rubber spatula, or use a food mill.

Warm the half-and-half and sugar in a medium saucepan. Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Mix in the raspberry puree and lemon juice, then stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator, but to preserve the fresh raspberry taste, churn the ice cream within 4 hours after making the mixture.

Once churned eat immediately or place into a freezer-proof container(away from prying house guests) and freeze until needed.

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