Christmas Pudding Ice Cream
**Edit** This photo above is now a proud winner of DMBLGIT January 2011! Does My Blog Look Good In This is a monthly photography event for food bloggers and for the first time, I came in overall first place. Yay! Christmas Pudding Ice Cream.
10 days to go till Yuletide mayhem! One thing I’ve noticed is that with each passing year, I seem to have less time for my favourite holiday. And to think, I use to be such a Christmas dork and carol enthusiast. Cue the sad face! I haven’t even planned my Chrissie menu or done any shopping yet. Now cue the panic face!
It’s definitely going to be a frantic mad dash to the finish line but ho ho ho, I’m ready to sweat!
And sweat I did with all this awesome weather that has blessed Sydney! We may not get to enjoy a white Christmas like our Northern Hemispheric counterparts but our Aussie alternative of beer, beach and seafood ain’t too shabby either. And then there’s ice cream! Oh how I love thee! I love Chrissie pudding but it feels slightly out of wack eating it in scorching weather so ice cream comes to the rescue!
Simply put, it’s a basic egg-based ice cream fragrantly spiced with as much cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg to your heart’s desire, studded with an array of dry fruits and finished off with brandy. Because you just can’t have a Chrissie pudding without brandy. Normally you can add broken pieces of pudding to give it a ‘cookies n cream’ feel but since I barely have the energy to shower much less bake, I used a cheat shortcut by adding cubes of toasted spiced raisin bread.
It’s the perfect summer recipe to kick off Yuletide proceedings in Candy Land. Better late than never right? *Smile* I’m hoping to throw away the shackles in the next day or two for a mini holiday so I can get back into the kitchen. After all, there’s still a menu to be planned…
Christmas Pudding Ice Cream
50g spiced raisin bread or christmas fruit cake, cut into small cubes
1/2 Tbl butter, melted
300ml pouring cream (35% fat content)
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
1 large strip of orange or lemon rind
1 cinnamon stick
6 large egg yolks
70g caster sugar
50g light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 Tbl brandy
1 cup of mixed dried fruit (such as raisins, currants, cranberries, cherries, apricots, apple, peach, take your pick!)
Preheat oven to 180°C. In a bowl, mix the raisin bread or fruit cake cubes with the melted butter to lightly coat. Scatter on a baking paper lined tray and lightly sprinkle with the raw sugar granules. Toast bread in oven for about 5-10 minutes until lightly golden and crispy. Do not burn or over-bake. Set aside to cool completely.
Over medium-low heat, gently heat the milk, cream, halved vanilla bean (with the seeds scraped into the milk mixture), orange rind and cinnamon stick. Mixture is ready when tiny bubbles appear on the sides (but do not boil). Remove from heat and infuse for 10-15 minutes.
In a large bowl, gently whisk the yolks, sugars, ground cloves, nutmeg and brandy until just combined and sugar has dissolved.
Temper the eggs by pouring in a little of the hot milk (about a cup) while continuously whisking. Pour the egg mix back into the remainder of the milk in the pot and whisk to combine.
Gently heat the custard over a low flame while gently stirring with a wooden spoon, making sure to scrape the bottoms and sides. Do not stop stirring. Custard is ready when it has thickened and the back of the wooden spoon is coated.
Note – this might take a while but do not be tempted to turn the heat up and take a shortcut otherwise you’ll end up with a curdled mess. The custard is ready when it is around 76-78°C. Do not let it go above that!
Strain the custard into a bowl/container over ice, stirring occasionally as it cools. Once it’s mostly cooled, wack it in the fridge and chill for at least 6 hours (preferably overnight).
Fold through the raisin bread croutons and dried fruit and churn according to your ice cream machines manufacturer’s instructions.
Freeze for at least a few hours before serving.
Citrus and Candy http://www.citrusandcandy.com/