Making Ice Cream And Sorbets

Ice cream and sorbets are delicious and easy to make at home. Ice cream is basically a custard enriched with fresh double cream and a sorbet is a water ice, a sugar syrup flavoured with fruit juice or puree. The right sugar content is important for the consistency of the ice cream or sorbet, and you must freeze it quickly.

Dairy Ice Cream

275 ml (½ pt) fresh single cream

75 g (3 oz) caster sugar 2 eggs (size 1 or 2)

5 ml (1 teaspoon) vanilla essence

275 ml (½ pt) double cream

Turn refrigerator to the coldest setting or the freezer dial to ‘quick-freeze’ about 1 hour before proceeding. Heat single cream. Cream together sugar and eggs and add cream. Cook over hot water until thick. Stir in vanilla essence. Strain mixture into ice-cube tray or loaf tin. Freeze for 45 minutes or until it has frozen about 1 cm (¼ in) around the edges of the tray. Pour mixture into bowl and beat thoroughly. Add double cream, lightly whipped. Return to tray or tin and refreeze for 2 hours or until firm. Transfer to the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.

Basic Sorbet

275 ml (½ pt) water

100 g (4 oz) caster sugar

225 g (½ lb) fresh or frozen fruit (blackcurrants or similar)

2 egg whites

Heat sugar and water gently, until sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes until you have a concentrated sugar syrup. Set aside to cool.

Prepare fruit and cook over low heat, with 30-45 ml (2-3 tablespoons) of water, for 10 minutes. Rub through a sieve into a bowl to form a puree. Make up to 575 ml (1 pt) with sugar syrup and, when cool, place in a freezer container in the freezer compartment until firm.

Whisk egg whites until stiff. Put the frozen puree in a bowl and break up with a fork, before folding in the whisked egg whites. Return to the container and freeze until firm. To avoid separation of the egg whites the mixture may have to be re-whisked at intervals throughout the freezing process. Serves 4-6.