Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The World's Easiest Strawberry Ice Cream

Okay, well that might be a teeny tiny untruth, because really the recipe that I adapted this from is the easiest recipe in the world. But I fiddled with it a little bit, because I am a fiddler, and also in honour of it being Julia Child's 100th birthday (thanks, Google!), to make it a bit more exciting, but still ridiculously easy. The original recipe is here if you really want it. You definitely want A recipe, because not only is this ice cream
from Good Housekeeping
the easiest ice cream in the world, it's also delicious AND you don't need an ice cream maker. It's like, 75% pure fruit so it's also (relatively) healthy (for ice cream).Trust me. Scroll down to see what you'll end up with, then go hull some strawberries.

You'll need:

  • 400g strawberries, hulled
  • 100g raspberries or other soft fruit or berries. I used 50g raspberries and 50g peach. You could just use 500g of strawberries if you want to.
  • A handful of extra berries (optional)
  • 75g icing sugar
  • 125ml double cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or seeds
  • 1 sprig roughly chopped fresh mint leaves (optional)
  • More fresh berries, to serve

Now let's dick around with nature's perfection.
Cut up your strawberries and other fruit into small pieces (remembering to keep back the extra handful). Put them into the freezer until frozen; it's probably easiest to flash freeze them spread on a baking tray, because you don't want to end up with one big solid lump of frozen berries.

While the berries are in the freezer, if you're using the mint, pour about a third of the cream into a little bowl or cup and put in the mint leaves. Leave to infuse. Obviously the longer you leave them in and the more finely you've chopped the leaves, the stronger the mint flavour will become. I'd recommend letting it infuse for one to two hours for just a hint of flavour, or overnight if you want something a bit more noticeable.

Get the berries you held back and, using a sharp knife, slice them into thin, pretty cross-sections. I used the top, larger half of three strawberries and four raspberries and ended up with about twenty small pieces of fruit, which was perfect.

Poor quality iPhone pictures will certainly
convince you to try this recipe!
When your berries are frozen through, strain the mint cream to get the leaves out and put it, the rest of the cream, the sugar, vanilla and a third of the berries into the food processor. Pulse until the berries are broken down, then add the next third, and repeat until all the ingredients are in the processor. Then blitz until mostly smooth (no one will object to a couple of leftover lumps of berry). Taste at this point to see if you want to add more sugar or cream (which I didn't). When you're happy, gently stir in the slices of fruit.

If your mixture is still firm enough, you can have at it right away. If not, pop it in a freezer-safe plastic tub and put it back in the freezer until it's hardened up/ you're ready for it. 

If you're feeling fancy and want to impress, try some or all of these serving ideas: Scoop the ice cream onto a meringue nest and add whipped or double cream, a drizzle of dark chocolate sauce and handfuls of fresh berries. A garnish of tiny mint leaves will look elegant and sophisticated.

If you don't feel fancy, eat it straight out the tub. I won't judge you.

The original recipe says this will do for 6 - I would say 4-6, depending on your portion sizes.

These gorgeous blue bowls, which are new, were £3 in the charity shop for
5 small ones and one large one. I KNOW, RIGHT
UPDATE: I made this into a froyo by swapping out the cream for low-fat plain natural yoghurt. It's a lot sharper, but instead of upping the sugar I stirred in two crushed up meringue nests (about 25g of meringue). Eton Mess frozen yoghurt! Is that a thing? It needs to be a thing. It's probably a thing, I'm not cool enough to have invented it first. Anyway, my calculations indicate that if you get 6 portions out of 1 batch, every portion will have 88 calories. EIGHTY. EIGHT. Best ice cream ever? Probably.

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