Well, if the sunshine can't come from the sky, it'll just have to come from my food instead! I have been meaning to join in Kavey's Bloggers Scream for Ice cream challenge since she started it up. I have an ice cream maker that is sadly underused. It can produce fabulous ice creams but it doesn't often get the chance because I find it a bit of a fiddle having to clean everything very thoroughly before I start and then again when I finish too. This slight obsession comes from reading one of my ice cream books that emphasises very strongly the importance of keeping everything sparkling clean whilst making ice cream. Update: this seems to be me just being neurotic - Kavey has kindly commented that she does no such thing with her ice cream maker and since she makes much more than me I bow to superior knowledge! Please don't be put off making ice cream - it's fun and delicious! So I rather lazily don't bother very often. Which is why participating in Kavey's challenge is such a good idea for me!
So after reading the amazing round ups from previous months (for example March, April and May) I was determined that I would participate too. The theme for this month is Fruit, which gives a pretty wide choice! I had a look through my ice cream books (I have The Ice Cream Machine Book and Lola's Ice Creams and Sundaes) and as ever wondered why I don't make ice cream more often - there are some seriously delicious sounding recipes in both of them.
I decided to use Lola's Ice Creams and Sundaes this time round. It's a really lovely book to read - there's an introduction to the author and how she started making ice creams after buying a 1970s Mr Frosty Bedford van off eBay for £500! I wish I had the courage to do random things like that! There is a really interesting chapter on the composition of an ice cream and its components and how they all interact. The next chapter is on flavours and then a chapter on the principles of making ice cream, followed by sorbet, sherbet and granita. All very interesting reading. And then onto the recipes which are divided into:
Speedy Ices (for those who can't be bothered with custard - that'll be me then!)
Fruit (perfect for this month's challenge)
Vegetables (yes, you did read that correctly - we're still talking about ice cream!)
Nuts, herbs and spices
Celebration and dinner party
and finally, Sundaes
Then there is a brief chapter on Equipment and a final chapter of Questions and Answers - very helpful for troubleshooting if something goes wrong.
Mmm, starting to meltFor a quick idea of some of the amazing recipes in this book, here are a few that I'd really like to try:
- fresh mint ice cream with chocolate brownies
- dark chocolate, apricot and stem ginger ice cream
- seville orange marmalade ice cream
- sweet potato sorbet
- cosmopolitan sorbet
- pear sorbet, poached pears and chocolate sauce
but so many more besides!
The perfect size of container!
In the end I didn't quite follow the recipe I chose exactly. I decided to make mango and passionfruit sorbet, but didn't quite have the correct quantities of the ingredients. I had one large mango (weighing about 600g before peeling and stoning) and four very wrinkly passionfruit to use up. I made up a stock syrup as instructed and allowed it to cool and then chopped up my mango as best I could. I didn't weigh it after chopping but I guess there was probably about 400g or so. I seemed to lose quite a lot of flesh to the skin and stone. The amount of passionfruit pulp was also specified in the recipe but I just used the passionfruits I had - probably not quite as much as there should have been. When the stock syrup was cold, I blitzed the mango and passionfruit juice together to a smooth puree and added stock syrup (again the recipe gives exact quantities, but for mine I used 170g stock syrup) I then churned until smooth and nearly frozen. This took quite a long time, about 30 minutes. The sorbet was then decanted into a very practical (but not very photogenic) lock and lock container and returned to the freezer to harden up.
Practical but dull..... apologies!
The photography in the book is lovely - and the shot of this particular recipe shows the sorbet in a vintage metal container with a long scoop taken out and some lovely halved passion fruit by the side. The reality in my kitchen is that the sorbet is stored in a lock and lock container which is more practical, and the passionfruit were used to make the sorbet rather than being photographed by its side. Hmm, practical rather than photogenic. My apologies!
I am the first to admit that I am not a mango connoisseur - I know that many people say that Alphonso or Keitt mangos are the best for flavour and texture in the UK, I'm afraid mine was just a standard supermarket mango. However, it was still delicious - more mango flavour than passionfruit - next time I will up the passionfruit component. But for one of my rare attempts at an iced dessert this was very successful - smooth, refreshing and fruity. I think having the ice cream machine definitely made it smoother, but ice cream can be made by hand too. Sunshine in a glass for when the sun in the sky isn't co-operating! I will have to resolve to enter Kavey's challenge more often.