Sunday, 1 April 2007

Kitchen Diaries: Lemon Ice Cream

So when I was preparing what I was to serve on Friday night earlier in the week, it appeared as if summer had arrived. The weather was balmy and, I thought, lamb meatballs (not from Nigel I’m afraid but delicious nonetheless) followed by Nigel’s lemon ice cream would constitute a perfect meal. Perfect for late (warm) March. Then the weather turned so we ended up eating ice cream at the end of a cold, miserable pea-souper of a day. But the meatballs definitely needed the zing of a light, refreshing desert, and this definitely did what was required.

An added bonus was that making this ice cream was an absolute synch. Ten minutes of whisking and the cream lay in “slovenly folds” (a beautifully apt, and beautifully sexy description for cream don’t you think?)

The rest of the ingredients – a tiny list of lemon zest and juice, yoghurt, store bought meringues and curd – simply folded into the cream before pouring the lot into a tub and bunging it in the freezer. Nigel suggests it only needs to be left 4-6 hours in the freezer. I left it overnight. It did need to be taken out a good 45 minutes before serving, however.

The ingredients, whilst a straightforward list, all available from my local supermarket at 8pm on Thursday evening, are not for the faint of heart in the dairy department. You need a whopping 500ml of the aforementioned whipping cream. And Nigel says you need “artisan-made” lemon curd. Well sorry Nige, but Painsbury’s (nice one, Nairn) don’t really run to artisan-made food. Prince Charles’ Duchy range was the best of a mediocre bunch and I’m sure it was good enough. Essentially, I assume you need to aim for a curd that actually tastes of lemons because that’s a lot of cream that you have to influence with flavour. Although you do use an entire jar of the stuff plus the juice and zest of two actual lemons, so it’d be quite difficult for the end product not to taste of the fruit. A final note on the ingredients: Nigel mentions 4 small meringues. Don’t go by this instruction – weigh them out. I actually used 8 of the medium sized meringues I had bought.

Apparently, this makes enough ice cream for 4 people. That would be 4 people who had either not eaten for a month or particularly craved dairy products or were just greedy. 4 people who had just eaten lamb meatballs ate about a third of the entire tub and that was in generous portions.
It’s not terribly exciting to look at – sometimes no bad thing – but I added pomegranate seeds and sprigs of mint which I think looked quite pretty. And quite Christmassy. Like I said, perfect for late March.
Naomi x

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