You can tell I'm no food stylist ;) but what matters to me is taste and this new flavour is superb :)
The Fig Ice-cream was toppled from the position of family favourite very quickly by fig and licorice, even the scoffers who laughed to scorn my claim that this was a great ice-cream when I sampled a professional attempt at the Gisborne food festival a few years ago were converted. But now after weeks of testing there’s a new favourite, Plum and Licorice.1 It’s made just like the fig ice-cream except a load of prunes and finely chopped licorice are used instead of figs. As you will note the name is a marketing ploy, since some of the testing panel were hesitant about prune ice-cream, even the thought of prune and licorice failed to impress :(
However, under its marketing name “Plum and Licorice”2 this brand new, and according to a Google search world-first ice-cream is now an established favourite.3
Recipe: Plum and Licorice Ice-cream
Sugar to taste
Cut the licorice into small chunks, the smaller the better. Put the licorice, prunes and egg yolks into a food processor and zap them.4 In one bowl whip the egg whites till stiff, in another whip the cream to firm peaks. Fold the fruit mix into the cream and add the egg white.
Freeze. It may help if you stir with a fork when the mix has begun to freeze but frankly the fruit and licorice content should stop large crystals forming.5
The favourite ice-cream is judged on the basis of a litres/person-day score. Plum and Licorice now beats all previous contenders. [↩]
Despite initial consumer resistance, spouses are often a chef’s toughest critics. Which is quite fair because they also suffer the chef’s toughest meats ;) [↩]
Actually to be 100% transparent, Google books does suggest that one ice-cream company may have tried prune and licorice, but this depends on an abstruse point of exegesis, and the absence or disuse of an “oxford comma” in the report. If they did actually reject prune and licorice, and not both prune and licorice separately, then they missed a fine and delicious ice-cream. But I’m claiming the report was written suggesting the rejection of each of the single flavours and not of the combined delight! [↩]
The longer you can bare the noise the smaller the licorice lumps in the final ice-cream, though the initial cutting actually has even more effect on this, so for small nuggets cut small! [↩]
Having all the ingredients really cold before you start really helps the freezing process. [↩]
It won’t win any ice-cream beauty contests, the texture is rough cast, parents will look askance at any spills, but Fig Ice-cream is just delicious. Of our table of four yesterday Fig was the clear winner of the taste competition, one wife had chosen Passion Fruit but on hearing her husband’s raving about the fig stole his.
Fig Ice-cream is simple to make and tastes both addictive and sophisticated.
Fig Ice-cream Recipe:
Ingredients (for about 1 litre):
6-10 dried figs (I’m sure fresh would be better, but on the rare occasions I get fresh figs I will scoff them all in other ways, and for ice-cream dried figs are pretty good) I suggest about 6-10 but do experiment.
4 eggs (you won’t be cooking them, so free range are definitely best as well as kindest to the chooks ;)
sugar to taste
I do everything except final mix and freezing in my food processor bowl so the order matters, but if you like to use several gadgets just be sure the one you use for the egg whites is clean and dry.
Chop the figs fairly small, remove the stalks. Separate the eggs, whip the whites till really stiff (I then put them in the ice-cream container), whip the cream when the peaks are stable put the cream also in the ice-cream container. Now zap together the figs and egg yolks, add sugar till it is nicely sweet. Add to the ice-cream container and using a spatula fold the three mixtures together.
Freeze (if you are a perfectionist control freak who does not want a figgier layer at the bottom, or is afraid that despite the eggs ice crystals will form you will take it out of the freezer after an hour and fork it to mix again – however, I caution you not to, there won’t be crystals, the figgier layer is so tasty, and thirdly this extra beating just removes air and makes it more hard and solid – yuck!)
We got some frozen blueberries the other day, so I decided to make muffins.
We bought them for making our breakfast porridge (they make a nice change from dried apricots with the nuts) and the frozen ones are cheaper than even the high season price though in porridge not quite as good. They are brilliant in muffins :)
Slightly burned blueberry muffin from our turbocharged oven
Muffins 1½ cups flour ¾ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg (beaten) 1/3 cup non-fat yogurt
1 cup frozen blueberries
¼ tsp each of cinnamon and nutmeg
DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 175°C (our oven) or 200°C /400°F (the original recipe since 400F > 200C our oven must run VERY hot). Grease muffin tray or use paper cups. Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Combine wet ingredients (egg, yogurt, oil). Mix this with flour mixture. Gently fold in blueberries. Fill cups to the top.
Stir crust ingredients together and sprinkle over.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven till done.
If anyone has experience of substituting ground oats for some of the flour in muffin mixes I think that would make them nuttier and healthier, so can you suggest quantities. Otherwise I plan to experiment ;)