Blackcurrant ice cream and elderflower sorbet
I have been busy stocking the freezer with some delicious frozen treats. I don’t make ice cream too often, as it needs to be eaten quite quickly after it’s been made to retain its freshness. But it is such a treat when I do.
Today, I’m bringing you two of my all-time favourite ice cream recipes; blackcurrant ice cream and elderflower sorbet. Blackcurrants are at their peak right now, and elderflower lovers may have just bottled cordial at the end of the season. You can always use a quality shop-bought cordial to make this sorbet. Belvoir is my preferred brand.
I don’t believe in using a gadget in the kitchen for the sake of it, but an ice cream machine is really worth having if you make ice cream occasionally. It is perfectly possible to make ice cream without a machine, but having one makes life easier. I have been using a simple Cuisinart machine, which has a detachable bowl which needs to be frozen and placed into the machine, which churns the ice cream. It doesn’t freeze it solidly, but it cools down and churns it to the point where the ice cream or sorbet can be frozen without ice crystals forming. The churning process takes around half an hour, and then the ice cream can be frozen in a plastic box until it is firm without needing further attention.
These two frozen treats are delicious served at the same time for a special summer pudding. My family and guests rather enjoyed a ball of each, in turn.
Blackcurrant ice cream
Makes around 1 litre
300g blackcurrants, washed and stalks removed
2 tbsp water
275g caster sugar
250ml whole milk
250ml double cream
3 egg yolks
2 tsp lemon juice
Place the blackcurrants, water and sugar in a pan. Cover and cook for around 15-20 minutes until the currants have softened and become syrupy. Set aside and allow to cool. Once the fruit is cool, puree until smooth and then sieve the puree so it’s velvety smooth.
Now, make the custard base. Warm the milk and cream together in a small pan. Once the milk is blood temperature, add the yolks and whisk well. Cook gently over the heat, whisking continuously for 2-3 minutes to cook the egg. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Once the custard is cool, stir in the puree, followed by the lemon juice and place the mixture into the ice cream machine. Churn for 30-40 minutes until very cool, and then pour into a plastic container and freeze until firm. Before you serve the ice cream, remove it from the freezer around 20 minutes before you wish to serve it so that it softens enough to be able to scoop it.
It will keep for up to 4 weeks in the freezer.
Makes around 750ml
175g caster sugar – I use unrefined
250ml elderflower cordial
Simply place the water and sugar into a saucepan and heat gently, stirring regularly until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool. Once cool, add the cordial to the syrup and place both into the ice cream machine. Churn for 30-40 minutes until very cool and place in a box and freeze. Remove from the freezer around 15 minutes before you want to serve it so that it softens enough to scoop. It will keep for a month in the freezer.