The mercury continues to soar to 40 degrees and I can feel the sun burning into my skin the moment I step out of doors. Our relentless summer heatwave continues. Although the kitchen is the last place I want to be, the cooking bug is nagging at me. I feel the urge to bake, to create new dishes and to try out my new cookbooks. But I don't want to turn on the stove or cook heavy, savoury dishes.
What else to turn to in such a situation but my ice-cream maker? I haven't given it a run for some time and this is perfect ice-cream weather. A container of frozen blackberries makes a great basis for ice-cream. Pulverised with caster sugar in a food processor, the rich, deep red berry juice is the colour of good wine as I swirl it into a custard base, made from milk, cream, egg yolks and vanilla extract. A churn in the ice-cream maker and we have a cool treat to enjoy after dinner.
I adapted this recipe from a recipe by Tony Bilson that appeared in the Fare Exchange column in Australian Gourmet Traveller.
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
500g berries (I used blackberries, as I love their rich flavour in ice-cream but other berries, such as raspberries, would also be OK)
240g caster sugar
Heat the milk and 200ml cream in a saucepan until hot but not boiling. Beat the egg yolks and 90g caster sugar until thick and pale. Whisk in a little of the hot milk mixture and then pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over a low heat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Take off heat, pour into a bowl (strain if necessary) and put into the fridge to cool. Whiz the berries with the remaining caster sugar in a food processor. Strain through a sieve and mix with the custard. Whip the remaining cream until soft peaks form and fold through the berry custard. Pour into an ice-cream machine and churn according to manufacturer's instructions.