If you've been in London this past week, you would have witnessed the weather succumbing to bipolar tendencies - bouts of wind, rain and hail interspersed with intense sunshine. As if decision making wasn't already hard enough, now there's another factor thrown into the process. Do I wear a turtleneck sweater or a linen shirt? Should I carry an umbrella or sunglasses? Am I going to order a soy chai latte or an iced lemon tea? Choices, choices, choices...
One thing is crystal clear to me, though; the perfect dessert or snack, be it rain or shine, is undoubtedly ice cream. Chilly, stormy night? Hop under the duvet with an army of pillows, your favourite chick-flick and a tub of chocolate gelato. Humid, blue skies? Run over for a lemon-lime popsicle when you hear the ice cream van's jingle echo in your neighbourhood. There never isn't an appropriate time for this frozen delight, that must be why we all scream for ice cream. And in case you didn't already know, I'm crazy for ice cream. My flavour of choice alternates between Cookies & Cream and Strawberry Cheesecake. Albeit rather vanilla*, they are sinfully indulgent.
I found it pretty funny (and a tad bit sad) that I've never actually thought about making my own ice cream, especially considering that entire tubs get cleaned out in the span of a few days. That is, until I came across this recipe by Mimi Thorisson for strawberry ice cream and got inspired.
I never realised how easy it was to make ice cream at home, that too without any fancy equipment. All you need to make your base is double/heavy cream, condensed milk and sugar. Beyond that, whatever you put into the mix will determine the flavour - and here's where it gets fun, because the possibilities are endless. Fruits, flowers and herbs (raspberries, rose, lavender, mint) will give you a fresh and subtle flavour, while confectionaries, beverages and plain old essences (cookies, cakes, cake icing, tea, liquor) will give you sharper, distinct flavours. So get going, experiment with this recipe and find out what your summer flavour is going be.
* Pun very much intended.