|Gooseberry, ginger and lemongrass ice cream with ginger and lemongrass biscuits|
The last few days we have been trying to paint the few wooden outside windows we have, the weather has not cooperated and it has been a struggle to get them prepared, primer on where needed and one coat of paint on most of them. The second coat required in the last few places will have to wait. It is pouring with rain again!
A couple of weeks ago I managed to miss the few hot days in the south west as I helped my parents move house in Cumbria (see the story of the gingham cushion). Dad’s gooseberry bushes were dripping in fruit and as they were leaving their freezer behind and a new one would be a few days he said I could have as many gooseberries as I wanted. So I braved the prickles and picked most of them, leaving a good crop of small fruit to ripen for the new owners!
As soon as I was home I open froze them on trays ready for crumbles in the winter. It is very easy to top and tail a pound when frozen, they never make the freezer if you do that job first, I find.
It was still hot for another day so I thought ice cream could be good. The making custard bit is a faff (nice but a faff!) and cream is gorgeous but a bit naughty for every day. So I experimented with low fat fromage frais. I do have an ice cream machine which makes it easier but no problems making this without a machine. It was delicious. Then I got a bit cheffy and decided to make some biscuits too, the results were very satisfying, the biscuits are based on this recipe but I have adapted it. The ice cream is a cross between ice cream, gelato and a sorbet but more of an ice cream than a sorbet!
Gooseberry lemongrass and ginger ice cream with ginger and lemongrass biscuits
Before you start, make sure the ice cream maker bowl has been in the freezer for 24 hours first (if using) and poach the fruit in advance as it has to be fridge cold.
For the gooseberry ice cream:
500g (1lb) gooseberries
100g (4oz or more to taste) sugar
2 tblspns Ginger and Lemon grass Cordial (Bottle Green is the best and local to us, or use the stem ginger syrup and a touch of lemon grass paste)
1-2 balls stem ginger chopped finely
300ml carton low fat (or full fat if preferred) Fromage Frais
For the ginger biscuits:
110g (4oz) butter
225g (8oz) Self Raising flour
225g (8 oz) caster sugar
½ tsp baking powder
1tsp ground ginger
1 ball stem ginger chopped finely
½ tsp lemongrass paste
- Poach the gooseberries, cordial, sugar and stem ginger in a covered dish in the microwave for 5-8 minutes on 75% power (or until cooked) stirring half way. If you poach in a pan be careful it doesn't catch as no water is used. Break up lightly with a fork, you do not want whole gooseberries and add more sugar if needed, I like chunks rather than a purée and a tart taste. Cool and refrigerate until needed.
- In a large jug mix the chilled gooseberries and fromage frais.
- Turn on your ice cream maker and slowly pour the mixture into the bowl (that’s why it is in a jug) and leave the machine to churn until done, 30-45 minutes.
- Turn ice cream into a freezer proof container and freeze until needed.
To serve: remove from freezer and leave at cool room temperature for 30 minute (or in the fridge for 60-90 minutes) before serving. It should be quite soft to maximise flavour.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker pour into a large freezer proof container and freeze for an hour. Mix well with a wooden spoon to break up the ice crystals and freeze again. Repeat 2-3 times and then leave to freeze thoroughly. Follow serving instructions above
- Pre heat oven to 150deg fan oven
- Melt the butter over a low heat, cool slightly and whisk in the egg then mix in the chopped stem ginger and lemongrass paste.
- Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and add the butter/egg mix.
- Mix thoroughly, using your hands if necessary.
- Roll the dough into small balls about 2cm across.
- Space the balls WELL APART on thoroughly greased trays, I used 3 trays (or line with reusable baking tray liner), and bake for 20-25 mins. If they are still a bit pale after this, turn the oven up a fraction to brown them slightly.
- Leave to cool completely on the tray. I love the way the surface cracks like ginger snaps, but they are very slightly chewy.
You can either serve the ice cream formally with biscuits on the side or make an ice cream sandwich with the cookies. It was so good that I made to take to lovely friends who had invited us for dinner. Now they know I didn't spend hours slaving in the kitchen!
Today is not ice cream weather…the middle of the day in the middle of August, in Gloucestershire, and the lights are on and I am making soup for lunch. The dog is not getting a walk in this weather!