By Louise Liebenberg
IT’S usually around this time of year that I kick myself that I didn’t put my ice cream maker, arguably one of my best Christmas presents from Salvelio ever, to better use this summer.
Sadly, it’s one of those appliances you covet for years and then, once you have it and the initial crazed frenzy of ice cream making has worn off, tend to stash away and forget all about.
Yet every time I do trot out the old Krups – and end up with a batch of creamy, home-made ice cream that everybody raves about – I realise exactly what I’ve been missing.
That shop stuff just isn’t ice cream, I tell you. There’s a reason they call it frozen dessert – it’s usually made with artery-clogging vegetable fat instead of real cream.
Home-made ice cream is laughably easy to conjure up – especially if you have a machine.
My Krups yields around 1.5 litres, just enough for respectable side servings for a dinner party of six – and at a fraction of the cost of the mostly inferior shop stuff.
Gone are my days of following convoluted recipes though – especially ones that involve making a custard base on the stove and then having to wait patiently for everything to cool down before cranking up the machine. No, this kitchen cheat follows Mum’s basic “instant” vanilla ice cream recipe from the 1960s. You whip up a batch using condensed milk, cream, milk and vanilla extract, then craftily add whatever ingredients you fancy for some interesting and exotic flavours.
Using the vanilla base I’ve made everything from cranberry ice cream to dreamy mounds flavoured with pistachio, preserved fig, halva, nougat, Turkish Delight, preserved stem ginger or even lavender.
Scroll down for my late mother Rosa’s fabulously fool-proof, lightning-fast basic vanilla ice cream recipe – it’s almost too embarrassingly easy to share!
Basic Vanilla Ice-Cream – The Recipe
If you don’t have an ice cream maker it’s not the end of the world, simply pour the mixture (once beaten) into a freezer dish; stick in the freezer until semi-solid, then whip it out and beat it up again (or mish-mash with a fork) before refreezing – you can even do that two or three times during the freezing process as the idea is to work away the ice crystals so the ice cream ends up being completely smooth.
1 tin condensed milk; 250ml cream; 500ml milk; 1 tsp vanilla extract
Plus: any of the ingredients you want to add to flavour the base (best stick to one at a time!): Cranberries, chopped; pistachio nuts; preserved fig; halva; nougat chips; Turkish Delight; preserved stem ginger or even lavender!
Mix together all the ingredients with a beater, then pour into your ice cream maker and churn for about 45 minutes. Transfer to a freezer dish and freeze. When it’s still slightly soft mix through any of the suggested additions of your choice – if using Turkish Delight or nougat it’s usually best to get the pieces extra fine by putting them in a blender with the milk before mixing with the rest of the ice cream ingredients. Now continue freezing till solid, thawing slightly before serving.