Restaurant kitchens are not always very well equipped. In fact, I would say that there are probably many home kitchens run by enthusiastic foodies that are better equipped with gadgets and equipment. I have spoken about my best job ever before, but in that particular kitchen for instance, we were not fortunate enough to have an ice cream machine.
But, because I really wanted to make ice cream, we set about experimenting (with varying degrees of success) using recipes for ice cream that did not require a machine churning. Smooth flavoured ice creams like coffee or hazelnut praline or even rose were easy enough, but the minute I wanted to add a bit of texture to the ice cream, like nuts or chocolate chips or chopped Turkish delight, things would go horribly awry as my un-churned ice cream would never hold their weight and all the lovely bits would sink to the bottom during freezing. Unhappiness.
Then I came across a recipe that used good quality vanilla ice cream as a base and let’s just say that from then on our ice cream possibilities became endless. I still love making ice cream from scratch, and I do it often. In real life, if someone had to gift me an ice cream machine I would undoubtably screech most unglamorously with delight!
But for today, the only hard work will be seeking out the best quality store bought vanilla ice cream (not frozen dessert) that you can find. In the spirit of Cheat your way to Gourmet, I have indicated store bought meringues in the recipe, but you can always make your own plain meringues just like we did here.
- To make the lemon curd, whisk together the lemon juice, eggs and sugar.
- In a small saucepan bring the butter to the boil without colouring it.
- Pour in the egg mixture and stir continuously.
- Once it starts to thicken, be very vigilant that the curd does not come to the boil.
- As soon as it can hold its shape, it is done, this will happen very quickly.
- Soften the vanilla ice cream ever so slightly. (I find it easiest to put the ice cream into my Kitchen Aid using the K beater. The ice cream must always look like ice cream, not milkshake, so do not soften it too much)
- Blend in the cooled lemon curd to taste. For my batch I had about ¾ cup of curd left over (you know to put on my toast).
- Break in the meringues.
- Place the ice cream back into a bowl and refreeze.
A whole lot of sweet laced with a little sour, a bit like love ain’t it?
Go on then, whip up a batch for your lovely, its Valentines after all.