Sunday, 25 January 2009

Requiring a dose of summer

It's been a rather hectic weekend what with one thing and another. So hectic in fact that I forgot to take any pictures of Sunday lunch - Oxtail casserole with spicy parsnip mash and buttered cabbage. A shame really, as it went down bloody well.

I did however remember to snap a shot of pudding. This is gooseberry & elderflower ice cream with damson and sloe gin coulis and cracked sugar. I'm pretty pleased with the result, especially as the coulis came from a bottle in the back of the cupboard. I think my mother-in-law brought it round a while ago and I'd forgotten it was there until a recent clear out brought it to light.

The ice cream combines a basic custard with a good slug of elderflower cordial (found in the freezer from a batch I made last year), around 300g of frozen gooseberries from the local farm shop and just under half a pint of double cream, whipped into stiff peaks. I let it chill right down before mixing it all together and putting it into the ice cream maker.

I chucked far too much mix into the frozen bowl, but it seems to have frozen fine.

The coulis comes from Chatsworth preserves and is marvellous. I can't see it being too difficult to make your own and I have a quantity of 2004 vintage sloe gin in the cabinet to use so may make my own attempt this summer, when I can get my hands on some damsons.

the cracked sugar is simplicity itself. Take some caster sugar, bung it in a frying pan and put in on a medium heat. Wait until the sugar has melted and turned golden brown, without touching it. Tip onto baking parchment, let cool and then break it. The only thing to remember here is that stirring the sugar turns it cloudy, so leave it well alone.

So, one good pudding and an opportunity missed. All in all, not a bad Sunday!

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