Home-made Lychee and cinnamon ice-cream
You know that feeling when your head swells a little and eyes lose focus…for an instant when you are neither here or there. I am feeling awkwardly poetic as I write this, but you know how there is just a moment, when a surge overcomes you and a sensation that feels so rousing that it sinks and then very quickly elevates your heart. That is what happened to me today, when I tasted this ice-cream and I have so say, I am pretty proud.
Imagine. I knew that it would taste good when I was warming the custard base with the cinnamon going through it; it filled the house with festive Christmas essences but really, I didn’t know it would be quite this good. It was almost midnight when I stood at the ice cream maker with a dessert spoon, turned it off and planned to scoop it into a clean tub. But what happened? I had a little taste and then another, then another and now I can feel the cool lychee in my throat and the cinnamon on my skin and let me tell you…mmmm….
I am quite an ice-cream person so the cold weather out there doesn’t put me off. It did my friends who visited last week but when they tasted the star anise and amoretti number, they polished it off saying it was the best ice-cream they had tasted. I blushed, but you know that I love it. Anyway, it’s Christmas and if you are serving ice-cream on the side of a warm pudding or dessert, maybe a chocolate fondant or brownie, then make it this one.
I used my froothie, the optimum 400 to blitz together the lychees and grind the cinnamon (not together) and found that there were no clumps of cinnamon or lychee in my ice cream and this is important because clumps of frozen lychee just don’t work because it is such a wet fruit. It is important to achieve a really smooth lychee pulp and this machine does a mighty fine job. I have also used Tesco’s extra thick double cream because the lychees are pretty wet.
Ingredients to serve 4
300ml double cream (I used extra thick double cream)
300ml whole milk
4 egg yolks
1 ½ tsp. of corn flour
1 ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- Beat the egg yolks, corn flour and sugar until they are smooth and have achieved a pale yellow colour from a deeper, egg-yolk colour.
- Warm the milk, cinnamon and cream together until they are just under boiling point, but do not allow them to boil.
- Add the milk and cream to the eggs and sugar little by little. Start with a very small amount and gradually build it up, whisking as you go. If you pour too much of the milk and cream in, you could curdle the eggs if they get too hot.
- Return the pan to the heat and stir on a gentle flame until the custard has thickened. Check that it is ready by drawing a line on the back of the spatula. If it doesn’t fade out, the custard is ready.
- Leave the custard to cool to room temperature and in the meantime, blitz the lychees smooth to a thick juice. There should be no chunks.
- Once the custard is at room temperature, mix in the lychees and then refrigerate for about four hours.
- Churn the ice cream in your ice cream maker or freeze it overnight. If you are not using an ice cream maker, break up any ice particles with a fork and then refreeze it.