Ginger Ice Cream
Ice cream is an emotive subject: people have very different ideas as to what is good ice cream, but home-made ice cream is still the best of all. This recipe is the best I know for a vanilla ice cream, but I have added some preserved stem ginger for an extra exotic dimension.
Serves 4-6 (makes about 1¼ pints/725 ml)
| 4 pieces stem ginger, chopped into ¼ inch (5 mm) cubes, plus 2 extra to decorate|
| 2 tablespoons ginger syrup from the stem ginger jar|
| 10 fl oz (275 ml) double cream|
| 10 fl oz (275 ml) single cream|
| 4 large egg yolks|
| 1 oz (25 g) caster sugar|
| 2 slightly rounded teaspoons cornflour|
| 3-4 drops vanilla extract|
|You will also need a polythene box, with a base measurement of 7 x 5½ x 2½ inches (18 x 14 x 6 cm).|
First of all, whip the double cream until it reaches the floppy stage but isn't too thick then pop it into the refrigerator to chill. At the same time, put the polythene box into the freezer to chill as well.
Now make the custard by first pouring the single cream into a saucepan and then heating it to boiling point. Meanwhile, beat together the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl until absolutely smooth. Next, pour the hot cream on to this mixture, beating with a wooden spoon as you pour. Now return the custard to the pan and continue to whisk it over a medium heat until it has thickened and come up to boiling point again. (Ignore any curdled appearance, which may come about if you don't keep stirring and have the heat too high. The cornflour will stabilise it, so don t worry – it will always regain its smoothness when cooled and whisked.)
Now place the bowl of custard in a bowl of cold water, and stir it now and then until absolutely cold. Then, fold in the chilled whipped cream, chopped stem ginger, ginger syrup and vanilla extract. Pour the whole lot into the chilled polythene box, cover and freeze for 2-3 hours or until it is just beginning to set.
As soon as the mixture is freezing round the edges, remove it from the freezer, tip it into a mixing bowl and whisk it very thoroughly with an electric hand whisk. Then return the mixture to the box, put the lid back on and replace in the freezer. Leave for about another 3 hours before giving it a final whisking. Now return it to the freezer until you want to serve it. Then, 45 minutes before serving transfer it to the refrigerator to allow it to soften to a scoopable consistency.
Serve the ice cream with a garnish of stem ginger cut into matchstick strips and a small amount of syrup poured over.
_This recipe first appeared in Sainsbury's Magazine_.