The base of many icecreams is creme anglaise or English custard cream, which appears so often as a sauce on desserts. There are many recipes for this with varying combinations of milk and cream. The more cream you use, the richer and softer the mouth-feel will be.
When making creme anglaise, if the custard gets too hot, it will curdle. This is infuriating and can happen due to you being distracted for even one minute at a critical time. The best idea is to not leave the pot. The custard thickens between 70C and 85C. At the higher temperature, the custard will become thicker.
Vanilla icecream is a wonderful partner for any fruit. Its simplicity is its gift.
The recipe below can be used in an icecream machine or, if you do not have one, it still works when placed in a flat, plastic container in the freezer and whisked 2-3 times before it freezes completely. The whisking process breaks up the mixture and the formation of crystals by introducing air so that it does not set in a complete block.
To flavour with fruit, the simplest way is to make a coulis (see recipe below) and stir though the anglaise mixture. Icecream is always best enjoyed within 2-3 days of making.
3 egg yolks
1 vanilla pod or ½ tsp vanilla essence
130g caster sugar
Step by step instructions
Step 1: In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale.
Step 2: Slice the vanilla pod in half lengthwise. With the tip of your knife, scrape out the vanilla seeds.
Step 3: Place the milk, cream, vanilla pod and seeds (or essence) into a pot. Heat until nearly at a simmer. Whisk warmed milk and cream into the egg yolk and sugar. Return to the pot to cook. Stir gently with a wooden spoon over a low heat. Do not allow to boil.
: The cream should be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. If you run your finger in a line down the back of the spoon, the line should stay there.
Step 5: Strain into a flat plastic container. Cool, then place in the freezer. After about 6 hours, whisk. Return to the freezer and whisk again in another 4-6 hours.
60g caster sugar or icing sugar (add more sugar if you want it sweeter)
150g berries or fruit such as apricots
- In a pan heat the sugar, fruit and water until soft. Allow to cool.
- Purée and sieve. The coulis should be the consistency of a thin sauce.