It’s strawberry season big time in Malta now although we’re a month away from the annual Strawberry Fair held in the farming village of Mgarr in the north of the island. Prices at the farmers’ market have been steadily tumbling and a large punnet has gone from 5 to 3,50 Euro in a week. I can’t resist them so stock up each time I go. But dining out a lot this week has seen some of my well-intentioned veg and fruit purchases past their prime, unused in my fridge. What then to do with a large amount of overripe strawberries? No time to make jam, but there is time to whir the ice cream machine into action for the first time this spring.
We’ve gone once again this year from chill damp cloud and gale force winds to full-on summer within a couple of days. If you’re a northern European, then you’d find our temps here in Malta already summer highs. The place has sprung to life, and as we peel off layers, our thoughts turn to summer food. A first batch of ice cream is the perfect pick-me-up to cast off any lingering winter blues.
How come some stale scone ended up in this then? I’d baked some of my favourite (Nigella) recipe scones for Sunday tea but as you know, they really need to be eaten warm, not next day. Far to hard by day two. I adore the way plain scones complement double cream and sweet strawberries so I just grabbed a couple of my languishing bake and crumbled some in, and on, the strawberry ripple ice cream. Scone crumbs give the ice a bit more substance, and melt in almost imperceptibly.
Waste not want not! Strawberry ripple ice cream – so good yet also ‘worthy’ and almost guilt free as it has very little sugar and uses my left-overs up. OK, so not for cholesterol level watchers, but I say if you’re on for ice cream, just eat the proper stuff and eat it less often. We’ve been waiting all winter for a treat like this!
All images © Liz Ayling 2014
- 500ml thick cream
- 200ml whole milk
- 1 capful / tsp vanilla essence
- 100g caster sugar
- 300g strawberries
- 2 tbsps whole milk (for strawberry puree’)
- Wash strawberries, drain and dab dry with kitchen paper. Hull then cut any large ones roughly and whiz up in a blender or food processor with a couple of tbsps milk to make a thick puree’. Set aside.
- Whisk up the cream, 200ml milk, vanilla essence and sugar with a hand mixer until well combined. Pour into your ice cream machine (see your make’s instructions) and churn until thick, but not solidifying.
- Remove the ice cream and tip into a freezer-proof container. Crumble up one scone until fine breadcrumb consistency and stir into the ice cream.
- Take around half the strawberry puree’ and lightly stir it into the ice cream one spoonful at a time. Don’t mix in well otherwise you’ll have uniform pink ice cream. You need to just ripple it through leaving it in streaks.
- Finally, drizzle another spoonful of puree’ in lines over the top of the ice cream. Take a regular knife and just drag across the lines to create a wavy, ripple effect on the surface.
- Freeze the ice cream for a good 4-5 hours before serving. To serve, remove around 5-10 mins before required to ensure it’s soft enough to scoop. Crumble over more scones as nibs and spoon over some remaining puree’ to decorate.