Sunday, 10 April 2011

Strawberry Ice Cream with Lemon Infused Meringues

This is made with a custard base which makes for a very creamy ice cream.  The egg whites, instead of being thrown away, make great meringues

 Ice Cream (adapted from Nigella
300g strawberries
500ml double cream
90g caster sugar
5 egg yolks
1 vanilla pod
lemon zest
2 tbsp caster sugar and 2 tbsp lemon juice for marinating the strawberries
5 egg whites
290 grams caster sugar
Lemon zest (1/4 teaspoon)
Cut the strawberries then marinate in the sugar and lemon juice
Split the vanilla pod down the centre and scrape the seeds out.  Place this and the pod in a saucepan with the cream.  Heat the mixture until it comes to the boil then allow to cool slightly.

While the cream is cooling, separate the yolks, place in bowl with sugar and whisk until combined. 
Strain the slightly cooled cream then add to the egg and sugar mixture, whisking constantly.  Clean the saucepan then pour the combined mixture in and out on a low heat, stirring constantly until it thickens.  If it appears to be curdling, don't worry because you will be straining it again.
When thickened, strain through a sieve then allow to cool.
Pulse the strawberries in a food processor and add to the custard when the mixture has cooled to room temperature and place in the fridge for at least an hour. 
If you have an ice cream maker, complete as per manufacturer's instructions.  If not, put in a plastic container and take out every half an hour to whisk (to avoid ice crystals).  Do this until it becomes ice cream consistency.
While you are waiting for things to cool or freeze, whisk the egg whites until soft peak stage (fluffy) then gradually add the caster sugar and the lemon zest.  Keep whisking until you reach stiff peak stage.

Preheat the oven to 140 degrees centigrade.  Line 2 large baking sheets, place large spoonfulls of the mixture onto them and place in the oven for approx an hour, (times will vary depending on the size of the meringue - i used tablespoon sized amounts and it took an hour).  They are ready when the top is hardened and the middle is marshmallowy.  Place on cooling racks.

Ice cream and meringues!

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