Treat me: Passionfruit Ice cream

Passionfruit must be the best thing about autumn. Just when you think there are no more fruit treats to be had until strawberry season starts again, these dimpled purple eggs start appearing. About this time four years ago I remember the Boy Wonder coming home from work with a small brown paper bag under his arm. In it were six passionfruit and they made our London flat smell like the tropics. At £1 a pop, we savoured each one like they were made of gold.

Easy No-Churn Passionfruit Ice Cream Recipe/Photo Credit: Lucy Corry/The Kitchenmaid

Passionfruit Ice cream
This is another iteration of this ice cream recipe – possibly my most favourite yet. It takes minutes to make and tastes almost good for you. This uses about six passionfruit – if you’ve got lots of them then you could make a simple syrup (two parts passionfruit pulp to one part caster sugar, bring to boil, simmer for five minutes) and drizzle it over the top.

150ml (about 1/2 a cup plus 2 Tbsp) passionfruit pulp
175g icing sugar
500ml cream

Mix the passionfruit and icing sugar together in a large bowl. Pour in the cream. Whisk until soft peaks form.
Pour into a lidded plastic container and freeze for at least four hours. Let soften for five minutes out of the freezer before serving.

Have a great weekend, everyone x

Treat me: Lemon meringue ice cream

I don’t know what is wrong with me but all of a sudden I have become the world’s worst maker of meringues.
I’ve made two batches now that have gone from fluffy peaks of snow-white mixture to dull beige piles and I’ve lost my nerve completely.
It might be my oven, which doesn’t do low temperatures very well (surprising, given that the door has taken to falling open of its own accord). Anyway, the good thing about this is that I’ve worked out a really good way to use up my meringue disasters.

Lemon meringue ice cream
Don’t worry – you don’t need to go through the trauma of making a deliberately bad batch of meringues to make this ice cream. In fact, you don’t need to make them at all. But you do need meringues of some sort (I won’t judge you if you buy them) to fold through this tart, marmalade-streaked frozen wonder.

110g icing sugar
140ml (1/2 a cup plus 1 Tbsp) lemon juice
300ml cream
1/3 cup good lemon curd or marmalade
6-8 meringues, crumbled

Put the lemon juice and icing sugar in a large bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the cream and whisk until it forms soft peaks. Fold in the marmalade or lemon curd and crumbled meringues.
Pour into a lidded plastic container and freeze for at least four hours. Let soften for five minutes out of the fridge before serving.
If you want to be really fancy, pour the ice cream into a loaf tin lined with cling film. Top with a layer of marmalade or lemon curd, then a layer of meringues (obviously, you’ll need more of both if you’re doing it this way). Cover loosely with plastic and freeze as above. To serve, lift the whole contraption out of the loaf tin, whisk away the plastic wrap, and transfer to a serving platter.

Have a great weekend, everyone. If you have a fail-safe meringue recipe, especially one designed for temperamental ovens, I’d love to see it…

Treat me: Sticky red wine syrup

Of all the festive season leftovers, half-drunk bottles of wine are probably the hardest to deal with. Drinking them is the obvious solution, but there’s only so much of that you can do before things get a bit messy. Freezing them in neat containers to add to risotto is another option that only works if your freezer isn’t full of containers of stock you made from the ham bone. But in a bid to make some space in the fridge I devised this handy syrup that uses up the remains of a bottle of pinot noir and some strawberry jam. Even better, it can be poured over leftover icecream.

Red wine and strawberry syrup
This is really good poured over vanilla icecream and strawberries for a grown-up sundae, but you could also try it over pancakes or any kind of plain cake. I used strawberry jam because that’s what we had, but another good fruity variety would work well. Not sure about raspberry though, unless you don’t mind the pips. I’m quite keen to try one with white wine and marmalade, but we never seem to have any white wine left over…

250ml red wine
1/2 cup strawberry or raspberry jam
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar

Put the wine, jam and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes, until syrupy (stirring occasionally). Remove from the heat and let cool, then taste. Add the vinegar (or a few drops of lemon juice) if it seems too sweet. Pour into a clean jar and store in the fridge.

Have a great weekend, everyone x

Treat me: Ice cream balls (Chomps)

One day, when we’ve all got lots of time on our hands, I’ll tell you about my brave sister, who went off to seek her fortune in Chile with her husband and their three small children in the late 1980s. I’ll tell you all about how my mother and I went too and how I learned to shake up pisco sours, aged 12. I’ll tell you about empanadas and manjar and chasing Nick, my then three-year-old nephew, down the street in my pyjamas after he made a break for freedom.
But today I need to tell you about Chomps, the little balls of choc-dipped ice cream we discovered on subsequent visits. Tomorrow my nephew Nick is getting married and I’ve made some in his honour.

Choc-dipped ice cream balls (aka Chomps)
On one visit to Chile there was great to-do after Nick was suspected of stealing Chomps from the freezer. In hindsight, I suspect my dad may have been just as guilty, because he was just as keen on them. I wish I had thought of making these sooner; Dad would have loved them.
These aren’t hard to make, exactly, but they do take a bit of kitchen zen. If you’re making more than this amount, do it in batches so the ice cream doesn’t melt.

For eight truffle-sized Chomps:
about 500ml good quality ice cream – I used vanilla
175g dark chocolate

At least two hours before you want to eat the Chomps, line a plastic container with foil. Using a teaspoon, scoop out little balls of the ice cream. They don’t have to look perfectly round. Put them in the foil-lined container and return to the freezer until they are hard.
Melt the chocolate, either in a microwave, in a bowl over a pot of simmering water, or in a low oven. Set aside to cool slightly. Line another tray with foil.
When you are ready to dip, take the balls out of the freezer. Working quickly, dip one at a time in the chocolate. The best way to do this is to let the ice cream ball sit in the melted chocolate and use a small spatula to coat it. Don’t panic and roll the ball around – the chocolate will set and fall off. Lift out carefully and put on the prepared tray. When all the balls are done, either eat immediately or return to the freezer.

Have a great weekend, everyone x

Sweet sweet Friday: Blackcurrant Icecream

To keep my brain occupied when I’m running on Saturday mornings I often try to plan meals in my head. Last Saturday, as I waddled around the south coast, I thought about the large bottle of cream sitting in the fridge, the half-jar of blackcurrant jam in the pantry and the fact that there was nothing for the babysitter to eat that night. Then I thought about the July We Should Cocoa challenge. By the time I’d made it around the coast, up the hill and down to the village I knew exactly what I was going to do. I nipped to the supermarket, picked up a tin of condensed milk and ran home. Funny how food is a good motivator, isn’t it?

Blackcurrant Icecream
As well as qualifying for We Should Cocoa, this is also my first entry for the charmingly-titled ‘Bloggers Scream For Icecream’ challenge. You can read more about it here, but all you need to know this month is that the challenge involves making icecream with condensed milk. This recipe uses about a third of a tin, which leaves plenty for eating with a spoon while no one is looking. If you don’t trust yourself with a tin of the stuff, you can see how to make your own here.

300ml cream
125ml condensed milk
1 dsp orange/lemon juice
1/2 cup good blackcurrant jam
100g good quality white or dark chocolate, chopped

Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Fold in the condensed milk, orange or lemon juice, jam and chocolate. Pour into a container, cover and freeze. It should be ready in about four hours.

Have a great weekend, everyone. We’re off to a birthday party that’s just turned into a wedding!