Up until now, the ice cream I make at home is pretty much just that, frozen cream and milk. For me, this is easy to make and produces extremely satisfactory results, but it isn’t the softest to scoop once it’s been in the freezer for a week. Most of the world’s ice cream is based on a frozen custard, the idea is that the eggs help to keep it emulsified, so I’ve had an exploratory go myself.
I consulted with both Delia and Nigella and whilst they both agree on a basic custard recipe, it was Nigella who added the top tip of keeping the kitchen sink half full of cold water, ready to plunge your pan into it if you’re in the slightest danger of it splitting and turning into scrambled egg.
Whilst apricots and raspberries do go well together, this was more of an excuse to use a handful of fruit that had been sat around ripening for a while
Makes about 750ml
200ml double cream
3 free range egg yolks
4 ripe apricots
Start by making your custard.
Mix together the cream and milk, put it in a pan and start it warming up. You don’t want it to boil, but get close.
Whilst that’s heating, whisk together the egg yolks and 100g of the sugar until it gets visibly lighter.
Once the milk just starts to bubble, pour the hot milk over the egg and sugar mix and keep whisking.
Put the mixture back into a pan and gradually heat it up, whisking or stirring all the while. It’s safer to heat it gently, but I gave it the beans (small ring on electric hob, I wouldn’t dare do that on a gas ring) and didn’t stop whisking. After about 5 minutes of this treatment, I could just start to see little bits of colour changes within the mixture, so it was straight into the sink of cold water and in with the electric whisk. The proper way to judge when it’s done is look for a velvety smooth texture that just coats the back of a spoon, it won’t thicken properly until it cools down to room temperature. Next time, I’ll give it 7-8 minutes on a medium heat and still lots of whisking.
With your custard safe, it’s time to prepare the fruit.
Finely dice the apricots and stir them through the custard.
Pour it into a jug or tub to chill and cover it with cling film to prevent a skin forming. A skin isn’t the end of the world with this mixture, but it’s a quick way of wasting a whole lot of vanilla seeds if you’ve added a vanilla pod. Leave it in the fridge until it’s cold.
Preparing a raspberry syrup to swirl through the ice cream is easy enough, put a handful of raspberries in a pan with a couple of spoons of sugar and a couple of spoons of water. Let it slowly cook until the fruit starts to collapse, then finish the job with the back of a spoon. Some people sieve out the seeds for a purer look. Chill the raspberry syrup.
Churn the ice cream in a machine for 15-20 minutes and transfer it into your tub. Finally, spoon in the raspberry syrup and give it a swirl with the spoon or a chopstick and freeze it for a couple of hours before serving.