Strawberry Ice-cream

I love this time of year with all the summer fruits. When it comes to strawberries it is difficult to beat strawberries and cream. Only one thing is better on a hot summers day – strawberry ice-cream!

Strawberry Ice-cream

Serves: 10-12

700 grams strawberries

175 grams caster sugar (plus 2 tablespoons)

500 millilitres full fat milk

500 millilitres double cream

1 tbsp. vanilla bean paste

10 large egg yolks

Hull and roughly chop the strawberries, put them into a bowl and sprinkle over the 2 tablespoons of caster sugar and leave them to steep and infuse with flavour.

Pour the milk and cream into a heavy-based saucepan, and add the vanilla. Bring the pan nearly to the boil and then take it off the heat.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk the egg yolks and the 175g / ¾ cup sugar until thick and pale yellow. Pour over the scalding milk, whisking the while. Pour straight back into the pan and return to a medium/low heat. By keeping everything hot at this stage reduces the cooking time. Stir the custard until it thickens. This should only take a few minutes if you take care. Make sure you keep the mixture moving constantly at the bottom where is comes into direct contact with the heat. When you see a very subtle slightly oily, darker yellow separation in the mixture. Immediately pour into another container to cool.

Puree the strawberries in a processor, and when the custard is cool fold in the  strawberry puree.

At this point you can either freeze the ice cream in an ice-cream maker, or in a plastic tub in the freezer. If you do the latter you should whip it out every hour for 3 hours as it freezes and give it a good beating, either with an electric whisk, by hand or in the processor. That gets rid of any ice crystals that form and that make the ice cream crunchy rather than smooth.

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Strawberries and Cream

I always know it is nearly time for Wimbledon Tennis when the first English Strawberries appear. That and the fact that it is Wimbledon Village Fair next week – come and Simon and I at the Riverford stall. We will be there all day! Anyway, I couldn’t help but add a punnet to my order this week along with some delicious Riverford double cream. Cream is also fabulous at this time of year because all of the lovely grass the cows get to eat and really there is no better combination.

If you wanted to try something new, how about Eton Mess. Just add some meringue to your strawberries and cream and make a quick strawberry coolie with a little sugar in the blender, mush it all up together and there you have it! If you have any puree left over, try it in a glass of Champagne, Cava or Prosecco for a fabulous summer cocktail. Another idea is to macerate your strawberries with a bottle of Boujolais and eat it chilled straight from the fridge. Or how about adding them to a Knickerbocker Glory. In fact, the possibilities are endless, but as I said, nothing beats just strawberries and cream.

Strawberries in a punnet