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Saturday, 11 June 2011

the big freeze...

Good News! There is a new arrival in the Snug&Fat household and we are all very happy to have it as part of the family. After almost a year of having to make do with a tiny 'beer' fridge and no freezer at all during our building works, we were finally able to have our super-duper, all-singing, all-dancing fridge freezer delivered and plumbed in. To celebrate this auspicious occasion I made ice-cream and lemonade for the children and The Editors sweet tooth.

There are as many recipes for ice cream as there are flavours, I went 'old skool' for a cooked custard vanilla, gelato style, some shortbread biscuits and a strawberry sauce. The biscuits are a very basic type that take other flavours well... lemon, chocolate and almond are all good.

The Cookies

250g butter, softened
140g caster sugar (I tend to use golden for a more 'butterscotch' flavour)
1 egg yolk (you can freeze the whites until you have enough for a nice meringue)
2 tsp vanilla extract
300g plain flour

Cook 15 mins approx - but don't forget to peek in at them.

1. Mix the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a wooden spoon or mixer, then add the egg yolk and vanilla and briefly beat to combine. Sift over the flour and mix until the mixture is well combined - you might need to get your hands in at the end to give everything a really good mix and press the dough together. Make two round, rolling pin shaped 'sausages' of dough and refrigerate till you near the ice cream serving stage.

Since these quantities make about 30 cookies, and we are only four, I nearly always put one in the freezer for cookie emergencies. It makes one look like a very sorted lady indeed if you can put some biscuits warm from the oven on the table when company comes to call.

The Vanilla Ice Cream

200g white sugar
235ml milk
2 eggs
475ml double cream
A vanilla pod

Stir together the sugar, milk, vanilla pod and eggs. Cook over a low heat, stirring continuously, a whisk is great for this, until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and leave to cool and the vanilla pod to infuse.

Some recipes say whip the cream - don't whip the cream. Stir into the cooled custard. Chill in refrigerator for a few hours. Then either freeze in the freezer breaking up any crystals with a fork periodically or in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

The Strawberry Sauce

Don't mess with the strawberries, stick them in a blender and check for tartness, adding sugar to taste and keeping in mind that this ice cream is plenty sweet already. If you have someone to impress - sieve out the pips, if tis only yerselves leave them in. It's a bit of texture and too much 'smooth food' makes children fussy about food, which we don't really buy into around here.

So thats it! Plain ice cream (vanilla) and a mineral (lemonade) which I will deal with later, and the start of an Irish summer with a fridge and freezer. I could not be happier.


  1. Why not whip the cream? I just bought an ice cream maker so am totally new to the wonders of ice cream making :)

  2. Hello Umbrella Lady!

    Just a personal preference really with a vanilla ice-cream. If the cream is whipped it tends to go from the gelato side of the ice cream world, more to the airy 'Mr Wippy' end of things, which is a pity when you've gone to all the effort. I think that some flavors benefit more from whipping the cream like a heavy dark chocolate. Either way it's still pretty good.

    Ice cream makers rock - you are going to wonder how you lived without it


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