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Cool ideas for summer treats

PUBLISHED: 14:31 28 July 2015

Charlotte Smith Jarvis's home made ice cream.
Strawberry Sherbert Ice Cream.

Charlotte Smith Jarvis's home made ice cream. Strawberry Sherbert Ice Cream.

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When it comes to home made ice cream Charlotte Smith-Jarvis has it licked

Charlotte Smith Jarvis's home made ice cream.
Twister Ice Cream.Charlotte Smith Jarvis's home made ice cream. Twister Ice Cream.

I’m not one for kitchen gadgets. Apart from my trusty Kenwood food processor (used daily) there is just one piece of kit I’ve splashed out on – my Gaggia Gelatiera ice cream machine. At over £400 (gasp) it was a luxury purchase. My husband snarled as I opened the box, muttering something about it being a waste of money.

But, over the last five years he’s eaten his words, and my frozen treats, of course. Throughout spring and summer I’ve used my trusty Gaggia to make flavours the children dream up, to deliver silky milkshakes, and even to put together frozen cocktails. Why make your own ice cream? Homemade iced treats don’t have additives or excessive sweeteners, you can make your own flavours, and the texture of just-made gelato is incomparable. Here are six recipes to try at home. Each makes about 1litre. See the panel on churning instructions to decide how to make yours.

SIMPLE

Charlotte Smith Jarvis's home made ice cream.
Earl grey and lemon balm sorbet.Charlotte Smith Jarvis's home made ice cream. Earl grey and lemon balm sorbet.

Strawberry sherbert

A sherbert is a type of sorbet made with milk, buttermilk, yoghurt or crème fraiche. Combined with fresh fruit it has a zingy, fizzy flavour. I often make this with blackberries in the autumn. Any berries, or even rhubarb, work well.

Ingredients

175g caster sugar

150ml water

350g strawberries, hulled, pureed and sieved

250ml semi-skimmed milk

250ml crème fraiche

Juice ½ lemon

Optional – 100g strawberries, hulled and 2tbsp caster sugar

Method

Simmer sugar in water in pan on gentle heat to dissolve. Boil for three minutes and cool. Add strawberry puree to syrup and chill for one hour. Add milk, lemon juice and crème fraiche to strawberry puree and churn according to instructions (see panel). If you like, crush 100g strawberries with 2tbsp caster sugar and stir these in at the end of churning for extra flavour.

MORE EFFORT

Tea and lemon balm sorbet

Ingredients

200g caster sugar

300ml water

Lemon zest and juice of half a lemon

2 Earl Grey teabags

450ml boiling water

1 egg white

3tbsp finely chopped lemon balm (optional)

Method

In a pan simmer the sugar and 300ml water until sugar is dissolved. Boil then simmer gently for five minutes. Add lemon zest and leave to cool. Place 450ml boiling water, lemon juice and teabags in a bowl. Cool, remove teabags and strain in sugar syrup, discarding the lemon zest. Churn according to instructions (see panel) and add the egg white at the end, giving a final churn to combine. Stir in the lemon balm before freezing.

REQUIRES MORE TIME

Twister ice cream

Surely one of the best retro ice creams! With its pineapple, lime and strawberry swirls, I always choose a Twister from an ice cream van – unless they have multi-coloured toffee-flavoured Zaps. Have a go at this homemade version. There’s no mucking about making custard and the actual ice cream only has three ingredients.

Ingredients

Strawberry sauce

150g strawberries, hulled, pureed and sieved

Juice ½ lemon

75g caster sugar

Pineapple ice cream

350g pineapple flesh, pureed

50g caster sugar

300ml double or whipping cream

Lime sorbet

200g caster sugar

300ml water

juice of 8 limes and zest of two

1 egg white

Green colouring

Method

Make the strawberry sauce. Place sugar, lemon juice and strawberry puree in a pan. Boil then simmer to a spoon-coating consistency and set aside to cool in a bowl.

Make the pineapple ice cream. Churn the pineapple and sugar for 20 minutes in an ice cream machine or in a tub in the freezer for 30 minutes. Add the cream to the mix in the ice cream machine and finish churning according to instructions, or add the cream to your tub in the freezer, following instructions for churning by hand.

To make the sorbet boil the sugar, water and lime zest for five minutes and leave to cool. Once cool add the lime juice and strain to remove the zest. Churn according to instructions adding as much green colouring as you fancy and adding the egg white towards to end to combine. In another tub alternate scoops of lime sorbet and pineapple ice cream and swirl with the strawberry sauce.

Churning instructions

There are a few ways to make your ice cream. You can use an ice cream machine with a built in freezer unit. They are big and cost around £300 to £400, but will give you silky ice cream or gelato in about 30 minutes. Let the bowl chill for 20 minutes, add the mixture, turn on and leave for half an hour. You can make lots of ice creams, one after the other without waiting using this machine.

There are ice cream machines for around £30 to £50 where you pre-freeze the bowl. Typically they come with one or two bowls so you are limited as to how many flavours you can make at one time. Follow box instructions on churning times.

Mix it by hand. If you don’t have any fancy gadgets you can still make good ice cream. Prepare your ice cream base and chill it in the fridge for an hour. Give it a whip then place in the freezer in a container. Every hour for three hours whisk with a balloon whisk to break up any ice crystals.

Three of a kind – ice cream parlours

I Scream, St Peter’s Street, Ipswich: typically around 40 flavours of ice cream and sorbet to try from top dairies. Their ice cream sundaes are legendary in Ipswich and come smothered in sauce, cream, chopped nuts and marshmallows or popcorn.

The Little Ice Cream Co, Felixstowe: opposite the leisure centre and right near the beach and pier, this is the place to go for ice cream made with milk from a herd of cows up the road. Flavours are ever-changing and other treats include milkshakes and brownies.

Ives Ice Cream Parlour, Aldeburgh: the queue is worth it at this seaside spot where flavours include new peppermint lush, praline and cream, lemon curd and fudgy crunch.

The East of England Co-op kindly provided all the ingredients for my icre cream adventure. Your local Co-op is the ideal place to pick up everything you need to make delicious ice cream. There’s award-winning Marybelle crème fraiche, cream and milk, local free-range eggs, Hadleigh Maid chocolate, British sugar, Suffolk Strawberries and even curds and preserves that can be warmed through to pour on top.

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