Meet Mabel....

Meet_mabel

As we speak dear old Mabel is shimmying her way over from The Vintage HouseKeepers Gazette. If you haven't met her you are in for a treat because here's a woman with more lives than your average cat, a scrumptious line in itty bitty pinnies and too many admirers to be decent...

As the lady in charge of The Wooden Spoon Club, Mabel Fourtune will answer your cookery questions, test your recipes and once a fortnight share the most delectable treats from her very own vintage recipe book...

This week she's showing all us hot and bothered housekeepers, how to cool down with a divine selection of ice cream recipes. Utterly scrumptious...

Over to Mabel...

***

Darlings! A combination of a coconut (won at a recent fayre), a glut of eggs and a hot spell of weather turned my attention to ice cream.

The choice of shop bought ice creams gets bigger by the day but none can compare to the richness and consistency of the home made varieties.

There are two rules with ice cream; the first, always use the best quality ingredients and second, allow the ice cream to soften before serving.

I have listed my two favourites and two more loved by friends and family, but treat them as a starting point and have some fun. Ice cream can be a broad canvas and is very forgiving if you get the blend a little wrong.

Vanilla Ice Cream

2 vanilla pods

8oz granulated sugar

½ a pint of milk

3 egg yolks

1 pint double cream

All measurements are English standard – 1pint = 20fl ozs

Split the vanilla pods lengthways, scoop out the insides and place them in a medium sized saucepan with the empty pods and sugar. Lightly mix together the milk and egg yolks, add to the saucepan and stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved, then bring almost to the boil. Stirring continuously (do not let it boil or the mix will curdle). Remove from the heat and leave until the custard has completely cooled. Strain the custard into a bowl, discard the vanilla pods and stir in the cream.(Note that the mixture will still be speckled with vanilla seeds).

Freeze the custard until it has frozen one inch around the sides of the bowl. Remove from the freezer and whisk well, this breaks down the water crystals in the ice cream and give a smoother consistency. Return to the freezer. Repeat this process four to six more times and then allow the ice cream to freeze completely.

Brown Bread Ice Cream

4 thick slices white bread, crusts removed

8 oz granulated sugar

¼ of a pint of milk

1 pint double cream

6 Tablespoons amaretto or maraschino liqueur

All measurements are English standard – 1pint = 20fl ozs

Pre heat the oven to 180C (350F, gas mark 4). Put the bread onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and dried into rusks. Remove from the oven and set aside on a rack until cool, then grind into fine crumbs with a food processor or rolling pin.

Put one third of the bread crumb into a saucepan with the sugar milk and double cream and bring slowly to the boil, stirring all the time. As soon as boiling point is achieved remove from the heat and pass through a sieve into a bowl. Set aside and allow to cool completely. Stir in the remainder of the crumbs and the amaretto or maraschino. Freeze in the same way as the vanilla.

Strawberry Ice Cream

One and a quarter pound hulled strawberries

12 oz strawberry conserve

1/2 a pint of milk

6 oz caster sugar

1 pint double cream

juice of 2 lemons

(All measurements are English standard– 1pint = 20fl ozs)

Put the strawberries and the strawberry conserve into a food processor. Blend well and then stir in the milk. Pass the mixture through a sieve to remove the strawberry seeds. Alternatively, mash the strawberries and conserve together, whisk in the milk and pass through a sieve to remove the seeds. Stir in the caster sugar, cream and lemon juice into the strawberry mixture and freeze as for the vanilla ice cream.

The fruit to cream ratio works well for raspberries and blackberries but change the conserve accordingly.

Peppermint and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

8 oz granulated sugar

1/2 pint milk

3 eggs

1 pint double cream

1-2 teaspoons peppermint essence

7 oz dark chocolate

A few drops green food colouring (Optional)

All measurements are English standard– 1pint = 20fl ozs

Put sugar, milk and egg yolks in a bowl and mix lightly together, then pour the mixture into a saucepan and stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved. Stirring continuously, bring the mixture almost to the boil, then remove from the heat and allow it to become completely cold.

Stir the cream into the cooled custard and add the peppermint essence (to taste).Chop the chocolate finely and stir it in. Add a few drops of food colouring if using. Freeze in the same way as vanilla ice cream.

If you have made ice cream for a special occasion, and particularly if children are involved, why not allow your guests to make their own Knickerbocker Glories.

Present bowls of chopped fruit, nuts and sweets. Create a melba sauce by blending 8oz raspberries with lemon juice and 2oz caster sugar and a chocolate sauce using 3 fl.oz hot water,1oz granulated sugar, 2oz plain chocolate and a small knob of unsalted butter. Warm together in a saucepan until blended (I like to add a dash of double cream just to be decadent). For toppings; use flaked almonds, chopped walnuts, maraschino cherries, wafer and more sweets.

Give your guests tall glasses and long spoons and let them get creative.

Ice cream is all about having fun!