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Our erratic summer – freezing cold followed by heatwave – seems to have suited our raspberry plants, as they have been fruiting in abundance with sweet and tasty fruit.  The individual raspberries have been quite small, but the number and flavour have more than made up for it. So, even though they are best eaten within 24 hours, there have been days when we’ve had some left over.  This ice cream is the result, and even if I say so myself, it is one of the best ice creams I’ve ever tasted!  I tried to keep the amount of sugar down and that allowed a little of the citrusy taste to shine through.  I just used up the amount of raspberries we had, so I think you could be a little flexible with the amount here and still get great tasting ice cream!

RaspICSm

Raspberry Ice Cream

1/2 pint / 300 ml double cream
2oz /50g caster sugar
4oz / 100g raspberries
1 dessertspoon icing sugar
A drop of water

Heat the raspberries, icing sugar and water gently until the raspberries break down.  Remove from the heat and press the raspberries through a fine sieve to remove the pips.  Put the juice back in the pan and heat again for about 10 minutes to reduce slightly.  Cool.

Heat the cream and sugar gently until the sugar has dissolved.  Remove from the heat and cool.

Pour the cream mixture into an ice cream maker.  Churn the mixture for about 25 minutes.  Gently stir in the raspberry juice, without stirring it in completely to get a slight ripple effect.  Eat immediately or pour into a container and store in the freezer.  Before serving the ice cream,  bring it out of the freezer for 5 – 10 minutes.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a tub and put into the freezer.  When the mixture has started to freeze bring it out of the freezer and whisk thoroughly.  Do this again, then stir in the raspberries.  Put back into the freezer and repeat until frozen.

Elderflowers have the most amazing scent and a flavour somewhere between vanilla and champagne!  They are in season usually around the end of May and into the middle of June.  They grow in abundance near me in West London, and it’s great walking to a nearby park, or even to the end of my street, to pick a handful to add to jam, cordials and this gorgeous, indulgent ice cream!

elderflowers
Elderflowers

The wild strawberries for this recipe, I actually grow in the garden!  They are absolutely bursting with flavour even though they are tiny, and would spread all over the garden if I liberated them from their pot!

 
If the exact ingredients for this are unavailable, you can use ordinary strawberry cut into quarters and use a tablespoonful of elderflower cordial.
 
Elderflower and Wild Strawberry Ice Cream
 
1/2 pint / 300 ml double cream
4oz /100g caster sugar
Juice of a small lemon
Handful of elderflowers
Handful of wild strawberries
 
Wash the elderflowers carefully and tie them in a piece of muslin or cotton.   Mix the milk, lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan.  Add the elderflowers and gently heat the milk mixture until just starting to bubble.  Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
 
Remove the elderflowers and pour the milk mixture into an ice cream maker.  Churn the mixture for about 25 minutes.  Spoon out the ice cream into a bowl and stir in the wild strawberries.  Serve immediately, or put in the freezer in a suitable container.
 
If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a tub and put into the freezer.  When the mixture has started to freeze bring it out of the freezer and whisk thoroughly.  Do this again, then stir in the strawberries.  Put back into the freezer until frozen.
 
Elderflower and Wild Strawberry Ice Cream

Elderflower and Wild Strawberry Ice Cream

All this hot weather is, naturally enough, inspiring thoughts of ice cream.  And as I’m into the history of food, I started wondering when the first published recipe for ice cream appeared in Britain.  This is credited as appearing in 1718 in a book called ‘The Compleat Confectioner’ by Mary Eales.  So here is that recipe if you fancy a bit of icy history!

Ice Cream

Yummy, cooling ice cream

To Ice Cream, by Mary Eales 1718.

Take Tin Ice-Pots, fill them with any Sort of Cream you like, either plain or sweeten’d, or Fruit in it;

shut your Pots very close; to six Pots you must allow eighteen or twenty Pound of Ice, breaking the Ice very small; there will be some great Pieces, which lay at the Bottom and Top:

You must have a Pail, and lay some Straw at the Bottom; then lay in your Ice, and put in amongst it a Pound of Bay-Salt;

set in your Pots of Cream, and lay Ice and Salt between every Pot, that they may not touch; but the Ice must lie round them on every Side; lay a good deal of Ice on the Top, cover the Pail with Straw, set it in a Cellar where no Sun or Light comes, it will be froze in four Hours, but it may stand longer;

than take it out just as you use it; hold it in your Hand and it will slip out. When you wou’d freeze any Sort of Fruit, either Cherries, Rasberries, Currants, or Strawberries, fill your Tin-Pots with the Fruit, but as hollow as you can; put to them Lemmonade, made with Spring-Water and Lemmon-Juice sweeten’d; put enough in the Pots to make the Fruit hang together, and put them in Ice as you do Cream.

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