A bowl full of blackcurrants from the allotment. Rohit wanted ice-cream. And the debate whether “to custard or not to custard” raged again. This time not to custard won, with an argument of “if it does not come out right, next batch, custard”!
Next issue, cooking! You could make an ice-cream without cooking the blackcurrants or you could soften them by cooking and extract the juice. If I had not got the sieving attachment for the Kenwood mixer, I would not be debating this. There is no way to hand press and sieve a whole bunch of just about ripe blackcurrants, while the machine with make short work of it. Maybe my lazy bone struck again, I choose the non-cooking method.
No custard and no cooking, now how easy can it be … very! Sieving the blackcurrants with the mixer attachment took about 3 or max 4 minutes! But it was obvious that what remained has too much juice in it which would not go through due to the thick nature of the blackcurrants. So just as we do for blackcurrant jelly, adding a little of the water, about 50 ml, mixing the remaining pips and skins in a separate bowl and re-sieving gave a good quantity of juice.
Dissolving sugar in the rest of the water over the stove till all the sugar had dissolved and just come to a boil (not sure if it needs to boil, but I brought it to a boil anyway), and cooled resolved the issue of dissolving sugar in a cold juice. Mixed the blackcurrant juice and the sugar syrup and chilled in the fridge overnight. Next day, beating the cream till light and fluffy, gently folded into the chilled blackcurrant sugar syrup. Pour into the frozen, rotating ice-cream maker and in 30 minutes it was smooth ice-cream.
With no custard to dilute the flavours, it was intense blackcurrant flavour, shocking initially. But the more you lingered it on your tongue, pressing against the palate, the more you wanted it. Suddenly the family had a new favourite ice-cream!
Homemade Blackcurrant Icecream
A brinskitchen recipe
500 gms Blackcurrants
175 gms Sugar
175 ml Water
250 ml Double cream
1. Wash the black currants, sieve in a mixer attachment. Once the fruit have broken and juiced, take the remaining solids into a bowl, pour about a third or so of the total water and mix well, then pass through the sieve again. This is important to extract a significant amount of intensely flavoured juice. If you do not have a mixer or sieve attachment, just cook the black currants with a little water over a medium low flame till soft and then press though a sieve.
2. Dissolve the sugar into the remaining water in a pan over a medium flame till all the sugar has dissolved and it just comes to a boil. Take off the heat and let it cool.
3. Mix the sugar syrup and the blackcurrant juice and chill over night in the fridge.
4. Next day whip the cream to just under stiff and fold gently into the chilled blackcurrant juice. Folding about a quarter of the whipped cream initially and then adding the rest will make mixing easier and preserve most of the air.
5. Pour into a rotating ice-cream maker and in 30 – 45 mins will give you soft ice-cream. Pour into a container and freeze for at least 4 hours to get a firmer ice-cream.