We all love a good home made ice cream right? Well this one has the added bonus of being no churn, which makes it incredibly quick and easy to make. But don’t down-grade your expectations. Its simplicity is no reflection of inferior quality….. this is one of the creamiest and smoothest ice creams I have ever made! And it is stuffed full of the most British of summer flavours…… Strawberries!
Not just any old strawberries….. these ones are prepared when fresh, plump, bright and juicy by roasting in a hot oven, sprinkled with a little sugar (or honey) and drizzled with deep, dark Balsamic vinegar. The roasting process reduces the juice into a sweet, sticky syrup and intensifies the flavour of the strawberry way beyond the familiar. The Balsamic works its magic to enhance that intensity and depth even further.
Each pretty pink mouthful is rich, velvety and very very fruity…… with little pockets of strawberry fruit nestled within for extra texture and authenticity…… The scent of summer filling your nose and tantalising your tastebuds with every spoonful.
Strawberries used to have a really short season. I remember as a child eagerly awaiting the arrival of the beautiful red heart-shaped gems…… Trundling off to the Pick Your Own fields and stuffing as many ‘freebies’ into my mouth as I could enjoy before reaching the weighing scales. June seemed to be the height of their availability, but then as quick as they had arrived, they were gone again.
I sometimes think we are spoiled by the increased all-year availability of seasonal fruits….. It takes away the anticipation and excitement of the annual fruit-binge and maybe makes them a little less special. Don’t get me wrong, I indulge as much as the next person, whether summer or winter, but for flavour and scent and for accessing those childhood memories, I am certain that strawberries remain at their best between May and July.
Sainsbury’s are launching us into summer with their Get Summer Started campaign, and asked for recipes that would get the party going. Well summer wouldn’t be summer would it, without either ice cream or British strawberries? Combine the two and you have a definitive summer pud.
Although this ice cream needs nothing to dress it up, I cannot resist an opportunity to knock-together a home-made sauce and batch of gluten free biscuits.
Marry strawberry with rhubarb and you have a sauce made with one of this year’s most trendy pairings. And rightly so….. The sweetness of the red fruit mingles with the tartness of the pink and the resulting juicy tangy fruitiness contrasts against the creaminess of the ice cream, both in hue and in sweetness.
Add a splosh of (optional) special edition Strawberry Pimm’s and you have a truly grown up jug of boozy deliciousness to drizzle (or pour…. or….. no no no…. what am I thinking? It would be rude to drink the sauce!)……
The hazelnut biscuits are one of my favourite bakes and add a perfectly nutty, slightly salty crunch against the soft liquifying coldness of the ice cream. They have the ability to divinely melt in the mouth too, dissolving to leave crunchy little nibbles of hazelnut that play on the tongue.
Easy to make, these biscuits are not only gluten free, but will stay fresh for a week or two in an airtight container (I challenge you to make them last that long). Although made with a handful of flours which may seem unfamiliar, if you have or can find them, they are worth combining in ratio for the perfect bake. If you can’t source them, substitute as noted in the recipe below for a plain gluten free flour blend such as Doves, but make sure you absolutely keep the oat flour and hazelnuts in the recipe as stated.
You don’t need to go hunting for gluten free oat flour or bother buying finely ground hazelnuts…… Just grab bags of whole hazelnuts and gluten free oats and pulse them in a blender to make your own. Quick, straight forward and much less expensive. You can see how to make oat flour in this post here.
So that’s three separate amazing recipes…. all of which have the capacity to wow your tastebuds. Put them all together and you have a beautiful dessert which epitomises and celebrates the British summer through and through……. Beautiful British ingredients……. Beautiful British summer….. Right down to the Pimms!
So what are you waiting for? #GetSummerStarted!
Simple & In Season with Ren Behan
Balsamic Roasted Strawberries & Cream Ice Cream (no churn) (makes approx 1 litre)
- Place the tin of condensed milk in the fridge to chill.
- Place the cut strawberries in a roasting dish and sprinkle with the sugar. Leave to stand at room temperature for about 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas 6.
- Stir the strawberries and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar before roasting in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes. Stir intermittently. The strawberries are done when the juice has begun to turn to a nice thickening syrup.
- Remove from the oven and cool. Once cool, stir in the maple syrup and crush the fruit roughly with the back of a fork. You should now have approximately 200 ml sticky strawberry pulp.
- Mix the cold strawberry pulp with the condensed milk in a large bowl and keep cold in the fridge.
- In a separate chilled bowl, whip the double cream and vanilla bean paste until it holds its shape in soft peaks.
- Stir a spoonful of the cream into the strawberry-condensed milk mixture to loosen it slightly, then gently fold in the remaining cream, trying to work quickly and maintain as much air as possible.
- Transfer the mixture to a suitable freezer container and freeze for several hours until firm.
- Place the fruit, sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring.
- Allow to simmer on a low heat for about 15 minutes until the fruit is very soft and the liquid has reduced into a thick sauce.
- Remove from the heat and cool.
- Blend the liquid using a stick blender (or free-standing equivalent) until you have a smooth puree.
- Add the Pimms if you are using and transfer into a jug/jar. Place in the fridge to keep fresh.
Hazelnut Biscuits (gluten free)
25g tapioca flour
Note : If you are unable to source sorghum, potato starch, tapioca and rice flours separately, substitute with same quantity (135g) plain gluten free flour blend. Do not substitute either the oat flour or the hazelnuts.
- Weigh and mix the flours in a bowl, making sure any lumps are completely broken down.
- Add and stir in the hazelnuts and salt.
- Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla paste in a large bowl until pale and fluffy.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or firm spatula until the mixture comes together as a fully-blended dough.
- Shape the dough into a sausage – round or triangular (about 4 cm in diameter), wrap in baking paper or clingfilm and refrigerate for about an hour to allow to firm-up.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Line a couple of baking sheets with baking paper.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and cut into slices about ½ to 1 cm thick.
- Place the discs on the baking sheets and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the edges are beginning to darken.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking trays, before placing on wire racks to go completely cold.