Sunday, 10 July 2011

The Idle Cheat's Blackcurrant Coulis Icecream

Ok, so this shouldn't strictly be included in my idle baking journal as there's neither cake nor oven in sight, but the weather is beautiful, the living is (relatively) easy, and the first of our blackcurrants have been picked from the fruit patch. We only started the fruit and herb patches this January, so you can imagine my excitement this week when it came to picking our first ever produce. I decided there was nothing for it but to make my first ice cream as well, featuring the blackcurrants as the stars of the show.

But I hadn't counted on how quickly they would age. Even with refrigeration, the blackcurrants only lasted 3 days before they were about to turn bad. So, without the right ingredients in the house to make the icecream I had planned, I turned to plan B: a blackcurrant coulis. That way I could cook up the berries quickly and then integrate the sauce into the shop bought icecream that was already in the freezer. Voila the idle cheat's Blackcurrant Coulis Icecream. A lot less work than actually making icecream, and delicious to boot.

Serves 4
Inspired by Nigel Slater's recipe at BBC Food Website

1 bowl of blackcurrants or another berry fruit
3 tbsps water
2 tbsps caster sugar
450ml or 500ml tub of vanilla icecream (or a dairy free alternative, such as Worthenshaw's Freedom dessert range)
small carton of single cream to serve, plus extra blackcurrants, both optional

1. Take the icecream out of the freezer and leave it in its tub, with a plate underneath, to start melting.

2. To make the coulis, first wash the blackcurrants and pull the stems off them.

3. In a small saucepan over a high heat, bring the blackcurrants, sugar and water to the boil.  Then simmer for 5 minutes. Once the blackcurrants are bursting their juices, bring the pan to a boil for another 2 minutes.

4. Next take the saucepan off the heat and leave it to cool.

5. When the icecream has almost melted, spoon it carefully into a large mixing bowl.

6. Pour two thirds of the blackcurrant coulis into the icecream, and stir them together, which will turn the mixture a lovely marbled pink colour.

7.  Spoon the pink coulis icecream back into the icecream tub. Then pour the remainder of the coulis on top of the mixture, before stirring it in gently.

8. Put the lid back on the icecream tub and place back into the freezer. Use within 1 month.

9. Serve with extra blackcurrants, and some single cream if you're that way inclined.

If you'd like an even quicker dessert, just make the coulis, leave it to cool, and then drizzle it over the shop bought icecream scoops when you come to serve them, perhaps with some fresh berries and madeleines.

This coulis icecream was idly made to the sounds of PJ Harvey's album Let England Shake

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