One of my earliest memories is of blackcurrant picking in my grandparents garden in Sweden, aged about four. This woody shrub has broad aromatic, serrated leaves. The berries are lip smackingly tart when eaten raw and they have a strong, earthy dark berry flavour. If you’re fortunate enough to grow blackcurrants, add a few leaves to the custard base, they have a wonderful flavour.
Although an ice-cream maker makes this job incredibly easy it is not essential for this recipe. The only difference is that you have to take a few trips to the freezer to whisk the semi-frozen custard, to break up the ice crystals.
Blackcurrant Ripple Ice-Cream
- 380 g blackcurrants
- 4-5 blackcurrant leaves
- 300 ml whole milk
- 250 ml double cream
- 175 g caster sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- ½ lemon juice of
- a good pinch sea salt
- Begin by heat the milk and cream with the salt in a pan until it just comes to simmering point, add the blackcurrant leaves, turn off the heat and leave to steep for 30-60 minutes. Remove and discard the leaves.
- Put the berries in a saucepan with three tablespoons of water on a low heat and cook until tender. Remove approximately 300g of the cooked fruit and place in a blender and blitz until smooth. Pass the fruit puree through a fine sieve. Add 25g of the sugar to the pan with the remaining cooked berries, heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Place the compote into a bowl, cover and leave to cool and then put it in the fridge to chill.
- Strain the infused milk and cream into clean pan; bring to a simmer. As this is heating, whisk the egg yolks and remaining sugar. As soon as the milk starts to simmer, pour, in a steady stream onto the egg yolks, whisking all the time. Pour the mixture back into the pan and on a low heat, stir until the custard reaches 82C. *See notes for thermomix method.
- Cool in a bowl of iced water. Once it is completely cold, chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Once chilled combine the blackcurrant puree with lemon juice then whisk into the custard with a balloon whisk.
- Churn in an ice-cream machine for approximately 20 minutes or until the ice-cream thickens. Pour into a lidded freezer container and swirl the compote through the ice-cream. Freeze to harden.
- If you don’t have an ice cream machine, freeze the mixture in a large deep bowl. Every 90 minutes or so, remove from the freezer and whisk with an electric whisk vigorously. Repeat three times or until smooth and thickened. Scrape the contents into a lidded freezer container and then swirl the compote through the ice-cream, then freeze to harden.
- Remove the ice-cream 20-30 minutes prior to serving.
The perfect dessert for hot, sunny days with no preparation at the last minute. For me, this is the taste of summer.
- Remove the ice-cream from the freezer 20-30 minutes prior to serving.
- You can steep the blackcurrant leaves in hot water to make an aromatic and refreshing herbal tisane.
- Blackcurrants are packed full of vitamin C and antioxidants, especially the flavonoid anthocyanin. Good reason to eat ice-cream!