Basic vanilla ice cream with variations
(makes 1.2 litres)
Prep time: 45 mins Ingredients 500ml full-fat milk 500ml thick cream 2 vanilla pods 12 large egg yolks 100g caster sugar Method: 1. Pour milk and cream into a pan over a medium heat. Cut vanilla pods open lengthwise and scrape out seeds. Add pods and seeds to milk and cream. 2. Meanwhile, beat egg yolks and caster sugar together until light and fluffy. 3. Remove cream and milk mixture from heat as soon as it starts to boil and pour a third of it into egg yolk mixture while continuously beating. Pour everything back into leftover cream and milk mixture and cook on a very low heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until custard starts to thicken. (To know when it is ready, dip spoon into custard and draw a line across back of spoon with a knife. If line holds its shape, it’s ready.) 4. Once cooked, remove pan from heat and pour custard through a sieve into a clean mixing bowl. Leave to cool over a bowl of ice water, then refrigerate until cold.
Freezing time: at least 4 hours 5. Once cold, pour custard into a shallow container and place in freezer. Remove from freezer and beat mixture to break ice crystals at least three times during freezing (this ensures a smooth, creamy consistency). Freeze for at least 4 hours or until hard enough to scoop. Variations: Chocolate ice cream Break 200g good-quality dark chocolate into pieces and heat with cream and milk, then follow original recipe. Add 150g of finely chopped chocolate to custard just before freezing. Fruit ice cream Blitz 500g chopped fruit – such as strawberries, mango, apricots and berries – in a blender. Follow original recipe and add fruit purée to custard just before freezing. Raisin and nut ice cream Soak 175g raisins in 100ml pineapple or apple juice for at least 1 hour. Follow original recipe and add fruit and 75g roasted chopped peanuts to custard just before freezing.