Saturday, January 7, 2012
Deliciously simple home-made icecream
It's that time of the year when you just crave icecream. And I very often make my own, without any special equipment of any sort, from a recipe I invented years ago(and even won a prize for in the Australian Women's Weekly at the time!) A simple mixture of egg whites, sugar and cream, it works every time, is cheap to make, super-easy, is completely natural, has a beautiful texture and taste, with no crystals forming at all despite not needing any icecream churn or anything like that. And it's ready in a few hours(if made early in the morning for that evening) or best still frozen overnight. And you can make all different sorts of flavours, depending on what you fancy.
The really important thing to remember with it though is never to put anything with water in it. This is what forms ice crystals. So no syrups or anything like that. Fruit icecreams work well as long as you don't add any water to the juice--in fact don't use commercial juice but just crushed fresh fruit, or jam(which works even better.) You can make a delicious fudgey one by melting some unsalted butter with cream and brown sugar, which will make a thick caramelly sauce which mixes in well to the basic mixture(when it's cool). You can melt chocolate and add to it, and make a milk or cream coffee mixture for coffee icecream(just don't make the coffee with water).
So, for one litre of vanilla icecream, you need:
Two egg whites
200 ml cream(single cream--whipping cream is best, not thickened cream or double cream)
1/2 cup of caster(fine) sugar.
Drop or two vanilla essence(you can use vanilla-flavoured sugar instead--either bought or homr-made, by putting a vanilla bean inside a pot of caster sugar and leaving for a few days. Use this them instead of the plain caster sugar.)
Beat the egg whites till peaks form, add most of the sugar, beat again till thick and glossy, as for a meringue mix. In a separate bowl, beat the cream and rest of the sugar, till thick and gloosy too. Mix the cream and egg white mixtures together,folding in till well-incorporated. At this stage add the vanilla essence(or any other flavouring you're using). Put this in a 1 litre icecream container and freeze several hours or overnight. Serve on its own or with fresh fruit(in my photo, it's a blackcurrant icecream with fresh peaches from our orchard)
Et voilà! It's as easy as that! Enjoy!