Happy Christmas everyone - I hope you are all enjoying a lovely day with your families, and enjoying good food on your tables. This year is a quiet Christmas for me, my partner being away in Australia for work, and finances being such that travelling to spend time with family or friends was just not an option this year.
Nevertheless, I am having a lovely relaxing day, and will certainly be enjoying my share of festive fare. Dinner tonight will be a salad of crispy-skin, five-spice duck, with watercress, mango, sweet potato & crispy noodles, with a tamarind and sesame dressing. Dessert will be this rolled almond meringue filled with a fruit mince ice cream. The great thing about a dessert such as this is that I can cut off a slice (or three), and keep the rest frozen for another occasion.
This is an adaptation of a recipe from Jan Bilton's Fresh & Fancy Fare, a book I've had for about 25 years and haven't used nearly enough, so I thought this would be a great submission for this week's Cookbook Sundays. The original recipe calls for a filling of whipped cream mixed with shredded coconut and oranges, but since I wanted to create something less perishable the ice cream filling instead of cream seemed the way to go. And besides, who really needs an excuse to make ice cream?!
As luck would have it, I just happened to have half a jar of Christmas fruit mince left over from last year. It was however looking a bit dried out and sad, but I remembered that it had been particularly good, so I felt sure that if I gave it a bit of love I could resurrect it and use it as the base for my ice cream. I added a heaped tablespoon of my home-made Seville orange marmalade, 50g of chopped chocolate (I used Whittakers Dark Ghana), and a hefty slosh of my Damson gin. Not only did that breathe new life into my old Christmas mince, but I think I successfully improved it. Any good quality Christmas mince that you happen to have on hand will suffice here.
For my ice cream custard, I used David Lebovitz's base for his Brown Bread Ice Cream - well, him being the God of all things ice cream in my opinion, where else would I turn?
There is brown sugar and sour cream in the ice cream base which gives it a lovely caramel base flavour, with a hint of tartness, all of which married beautifully with the spices, bitter orange, chocolate and almond flavours coming through from the Christmas mince - utterly divine. You can be sure there will be more than one batch of this whipped up over the summer - actually beautiful flavours for a winter ice cream too, which is not to be sniffed at since ice cream is (hands down) my favourite dessert all year round.
The meringue is beautifully chewy and marshmallowy (is that a real word? - you know what I mean), and the hint of almond adds yet another layer of flavour to those coming through from the ice cream.
Rolled Almond Meringue with Christmas Mince Ice Cream
Adaptations from recipe by Jan Bilton
from Fresh & Fancy Fare
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe
For the ice cream:
1 cup whole milk
1-1/2 cups cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
pinch of salt
225g (8 oz) sour cream
5 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup good quality Christmas fruit mince
For the meringue:
5 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar (mine was vanilla infused)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons cornflour
Begin by making the ice cream, and I suggest that you start this at least 24 hours before making the meringue.
First of all make an ice bath by putting ice cubes and a bit of water into a medium bowl. Then put the sour cream and 1 cup of the cream into another medium sized bowl. Stand this bowl in the ice bath and set everything aside.
Put the egg yolks into yet another bowl, whisk slightly to break up the yolks, and then set this aside also.
Put the milk, the remaining 1/2 cup of cream, the sugars and the salt into a medium-sized saucepan, and heat over a gentle heat. Stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved completely and the mixture is warm. Test by sticking your little finger into the mixture and when it is too hot to hold your finger there it is ready.
Remove from the heat, and gradually pour some of the milk mixture onto the egg yolks. Whisk constantly as you pour - this is important or you will end up with scrambled eggs. Once about half of the milk mixture is incorporated into the eggs, scrape the whole lot back into the saucepan, again whisking constantly.
Set the pan back over low heat, and stir constantly until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spatula.
Remove from the heat, and strain the mixture over the top of the cream and sour cream mixture resting in its ice bath. Whisk constantly until the mixture is smooth and has cooled completely. Stir in the vanilla.
Cover with cling film, pressing it right down onto the surface of the custard. Refrigerate for several hours at least - ideally overnight.
Next day, churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Remove the churned ice cream to a cold bowl, stir through the Christmas mince, then freeze until firm.
Now make the meringue. Begin by preheating your oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F). Lightly butter a Swiss-roll tin and line it with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a scrupulously clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Add the sugar, a little bit at a time, and continue beating until all the sugar is dissolve and the mixture is stiff and glossy.
Fold the almond extract, vinegar and cornflour gently into the meringue.
Spread the mixture into the prepared tin, and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, spread another sheet of baking paper out onto your kitchen bench and dust it liberally with icing sugar.
Remove the cooked meringue from the oven, and turn it out onto the icing sugar dusted baking paper. Allow to cool completely.
Spread ice cream over the centre of the meringue (soften your ice cream first if necessary), roll up from the long edge. Wrap in parchment paper and freeze until you are ready to serve.
Enjoy and have a happy Christmas - for those of us here in New Zealand it's nearly over, but I know that for many of you it is only just beginning.
Earlier I mentioned Cookbook Sundays. What is that all about, you are perhaps wondering. Well, if you're anything like me you have dozens of cookbooks gathering dust on your bookshelves, some of which have never even been cooked from. Sure I spent hours browsing through them when I first bought them, marking all the recipes I was going to make with little post-it notes, and yet still those books languish in the bookcase and never make it to the kitchen. There are others from which I have made but one recipe which was such a resounding success that I've made it over and over again, and yet somehow I've never made anything else from that book. Sound a bit familiar?!
Take comfort - you are not alone, and now Cookbook Sundays is your opportunity to change that. Every Sunday I'm going to share with you a recipe that I haven't made before from one of my ever expanding collection of cookbooks. And, because I know that if you have read this far then you are guilty of this too, I'm inviting you to join in with me. Each week my Cookbook Sundays post will have a linky for you to share something you've cooked from one of your cookbooks.
The rules for joining in are simple:
- Your post must state the author and the title of the book your recipe has come from.
- Your post must mention Cookbook Sundays and link back to this post. Including the Cookbook Sundays badge is optional, but always appreciated.
- You may submit as many entries as you like, and you may use the same cookbook as many times as you like. Old posts are also welcome.
- Lastly, remember that what goes around, comes around - one of the reasons you are participating in this is because you want people to read your posts, so do the right thing and go and visit a few of the other participants.
Now, go and dust off those cookbooks and get cooking! Use the linky tool at the end of this post to submit your entry/entries - simply scroll down to where it says "You are next ... Click here to enter", and then follow the instructions. The linky will be open for one week.
Lastly, if you would like to use the Cookbook Sundays badge in your post, simply copy the code in the box beside the badge below and paste it into your post. Feel free to also use it in your sidebar if you wish.
I am also sharing this post with Sweet New Zealand, a monthly blog event created by the very lovely Alessandra Zecchini, and which this month is hosted by the equally lovely and incredibly talented Bron Marshall. This is an opportunity for all Kiwi bloggers (whether you are living in New Zealand or overseas), as well as for non-Kiwi bloggers living in New Zealand, to connect and share some of those sweet treats from your kitchen. So, head on over to Bron's and share something sweet.
I'm also sharing this at Bake with Bizzy.
I'm also sharing this at Bake with Bizzy.