No Hassle Honey and Vanilla Ice-Cream
It is fairly warm outside and the kids are off school so what better than an easy home-made ice-cream? This is a no-hassle ice-cream, made with very few ingredients - no stabilizers, emulsifiers, vegetable oils or any of that nonsense commonly used in mass-produced ice-cream.
There are 3 basic ingredients in real ice-cream, the proportions of which can be varied to taste: butterfat from a dairy product such as double or single cream, milk or condensed milk which gives richness and body; eggs for additional richness if required and sweeteners such as honey and sugar. To the basic ingredients, your chosen flavours can be added. The recipe below is really easy so there is plenty of scope to experiment - a note though - if you are using fruits such as raspberries, you would do well to mash these first as biting into a whole, frozen raspberry isn't great, but biting into a seam of raspberry juice is.
Traditional ice-cream depends on its fat content and regular stirring during freezing to ensure that the ice-crystals that form are kept very small to produce a smooth cream rather than a solid block. If you have an ice-cream maker then you can use that with this very simple recipe, but this recipe can be made equally well without, making it a good one for children to help.
In this recipe, there are only 3 ingredients: double cream, vanilla and honey. The cream and the honey provide the creaminess, body and sweetness while the vanilla provides the flavour. There are several methods for making ice-cream, and this one is about as simple as they get - no custards or anything remotely tricky, perfect for a school holiday treat without resorting to supermarket ice-cream. We've tried it at home a couple of times and it has been very popular with the children - although I am not sure that testing ice-cream on children is very objective - almost as popular as the Malteser and Ovaltine ice-cream that we make but takes a bit more effort.
Pour the double cream into a mixer and into it add the vanilla. We used our Totonac vanilla, which comes from the Protected Designation of Origin for vanilla, grown by small-scale farmers and really fresh (which you can tell as the pods are very pliable). The pods should be slit open and the tiny seeds inside scraped out with a knife and added to the cream. Add 100ml of the runny honey and then whisk the mixture for 2 minutes until well mixed and slightly thickened.
If you have an ice-cream maker, pour in the mixture and just as the mixture is to be transferred to the freezer container, drizzle over the remaining 50ml honey.
Otherwise, if you do not have an ice-cream maker, pour the mixture into your freezer container and place into your freezer. Over the next couple of hours, the mixture will freeze. To avoid the ice-cream becoming gritty, remove it from the freezer after an hour and give the mix a stir. At this point, drizzle over the remaining 50ml of honey - the aim is to have a thick seam of honey through the finished ice-cream so give it only the most sparing of stirs.
The result should be a subtle, honey and vanilla ice-cream which is excellent served with summer fruits.