Damson ice cream

This is like one last glorious taste of summer.  It`s one of my favourite ice creams, but then I say that about most of my ice cream recipes as I love ice cream. It has an intensely rich plum flavour and velvety texture and tastes even better if eaten the day after making.  You can buy Mirabelle and other delicious eau de vies from http://www.thedrinkshop.com

Serves 4

400g-450g damsons

285ml double cream

1 vanilla pod

4 medium egg yolks

115g caster sugar

3 tablespoons Mirabelle (plum eau de vie)

1 Wash the damsons and place, stalks and all, in wide non-corrosive saucepan with 2 tablespoons water.  Cover and set over a low heat. After about 5 minutes the damsons should start to release some juice.  Increase the heat slightly and stir regularly until the damsons have collapsed into a soft mush.  This will take about 20 minutes.  

2 Place a sieve over a bowl and pour in some of the damson mixture.  Using a wooden spoon, push the mixture through the sieve until you have a puree in the bowl and just the stones, stalks and some skin in the sieve.  Discard the debris and repeat the process until you`ve strained all the damsons.  Measure out 225g damson puree - it doesn`t matter if it`s a little more or a little less - and place in a large mixing bowl. 

3 Place the double cream and vanilla pod in a heavy bottomed saucepan and set over a medium heat. Bring up to the boiling point then remove from the heat.

4 In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar.   Slowly whisk in the hot cream, then return the mixture to the pan.

5  Set the pan over a low heat and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens enough to liberally coat the back of the spoon.Do not let the mixture boil or the egg yolks will scramble.  If the liquid becomes too hot, remove the pan from the heat and continue stirring until it cools.   The time it takes to thicken will vary according to how cautious you are – between 10 and 20 minutes.

6  Strain the thickened custard into the damson puree.  Stir in the Mirabelle and lightly cover with cling film. Once cool, chill until cold and then either churn in your ice cream machine, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, or transfer to a covered freezer container and freeze, stirring with a fork every hour or so.  



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