If you like home made ice cream, and I do, it is worth investing in an ice cream maker – they are worth it as making ice cream manually is labour intensive.
There are three methods that can be utilised when making ice cream:
Mousse – ie Parfait
Puree of fruit mixed with whipped double cream
Flavours are muted at low temperatures, therefore, the mixture should be tested before freezing – the flavours in the unfrozen ice cream should be more intense, ie too fruity, too chocolaty, too sweet or too sharp. So taste before freezing and adjust to suit your palette.
Some fruits have a much stronger taste than others, ie strawberries have a much more subtle flavour than blackcurrants for example, therefore, more strawberries must be used to make a purée that would be used to make a blackcurrant purée.
Avoid metal implements when using acidic fruits, ie citrus fruits or raspberries (that is don’t use metal bowls, sieve or spoons) as these can discolour the fruit and also ruin the flavour.
Some fruits, such as some sour plums, gooseberries, blackcurrants need to be cooked before being made into ice cream.
Always sieve and cool cooked fruit before adding it to a mousse base.
Use icing sugar or sugar syrup to make the mix sweeter or lemon/lime juice to adjust the acidity.
Making home made ice cream is not difficult, but well worth the effort – and you can use your imagination using either sweet or savoury ingredients – just practice, it’s fun!
The best sorbets have a soft texture that comes from tiny ice crystals and these are achieved by the getting the right balance of sugar syrup to fruit juice or fruit purée (one third sugar to two thirds other ingredients) and then constantly churning the mixture as it freezes. Fruit pulp, such as raspberry or blackcurrant purée, enhances this softness, as does alcohol, which inhibits freezing – two tablespoons of alcohol to 1 pint of liquid sorbet
To make life easier, and a better sorbet, use an ice-cream machine and just churn until the sorbet holds its shape – something like whipped cream
Granita is the Italian version of sorbet but is roughly mixed using a fork as it freezes so that it forms larger ice crystals
The more simple recipes are based on three ingredients – cream, sugar and crushed or puréed fruit – allow 30 per cent sugar to 70 per cent double cream and fruit purée.
Whisking the cream into soft peaks before folding in the fruit purée to add volume
Adding alcohol helps to give the ice cream a softer texture
Allow about 2 fluid ounces of alcohol to a pint of liquid ice cream
Ice creams with a custard base have a more unctuous texture than those made with pure cream
For a rich custard base, suggested ratio – 4 egg yolks, 10 fluid ounces of double cream, 4 ounces of caster sugar. Either infuse the cream with flavouring such as vanilla or mix in fruit purée before churning
A mousse form of ice cream that does not require churning, instead, a hot sugar syrup is whisked into egg yolks to form a light mousse, whipped cream and a flavoured fruit purée are then folded in and the mixture is frozen until set.
There is an alternative version which involves using the same technique as used by the Italians when making Semifreddo – hot sugar syrup is whisked into egg whites before the whipped cream and a fruit purée is folded in and frozen
This is made by simmering milk with cardamom – or other flavourings – until it has reduced by two thirds, then mixing in the sugar, chopped nuts or fruit purée before freezing