Base custard: based on David Lebovitz’s vanilla ice-cream.
The rest: improvised.
ALERT: You’ll need to make the ice-cream custard base the day before you want to have the ice-cream ready, and the bowl/canister of your ice-cream maker needs to be fully frozen (which can take up to 24 hours) before you can turn the custard into ice-cream. The best solution: just store the ice-cream canister in the freezer when you’re not using it.
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup whole milk (skim won’t work; unhomogenised Jersey milk is… incredible)
2 tsp vanilla essence
Zest of 1 large orange (grated)
1/2 tsp ground clove (or a little more if you’re feeling brave)
2 cups (500 ml) whipping cream
2 tbsp spiced rum (like Sailor Jerry or Kraken)
To make the custard base:
- If it isn’t already there, put your ice-cream machine bowl in the freezer!
- In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla — stirring constantly — until it’s just about to boil.
- Add the orange zest and clove, then turn off the heat and leave to cool while you…
- Separate the egg yolks and put the yolks in a medium-sized bowl with the caster sugar. (Keep the whites for a meringue or something.)
- Whisk the yolks and the sugar together, until well combined.
- One serving-spoonful at a time, add the hot milk mixture to the egg yolks, whisking as you go. I can’t emphasis this enough: Don’t be too hasty. If you add too much of the hot liquid all at once, you’ll end up with sweet scrambled eggs. Yuck.
- Once you’ve added all the milk to the yolks, pour the mixture back into the saucepan and over a medium to low heat, stir constantly until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Pour the custard into a large metal or glass mixing bowl, add the cream and rum, and stir til combined.
- Cover in cling wrap and store in a cold fridge for several hours (overnight is best).
To churn the ice-cream:
- Take the chilled custard out of the fridge and turn on the ice-cream machine.
- Slowly pour the custard to the ice-cream machine and churn until it’s at soft-serve consistency — depending on your machine and how cold it was (and how hot it is in your kitchen) this could take anything from 15–40 minutes. (I wish I could be more specific!)
(How we churn ice-cream in Sydney in Summer. It’s all about insulation.)
- Once you’ve stopped the churn, work quickly! Use a large serving spoon to transfer the ice-cream into one or two freezer-suitable containers (you’ll have about 1.5 litres).
- Quickly put the finished product in the freezer and let it set for a few hours.
- Serve with the ginger + porter cake and sink into a warm, hazy Christmassy stupor. Trust me, it’s all worth it.
Don’t cut back on the egg yolks or use skim milk. If you use skim/low-fat ANYTHING in ice-cream, it will just turn out icy. And icy ice-cream is the saddest thing. Ice-cream needs sugar and/or fat and/or alcohol to keep it from freezing solid. This one has all three, so the texture is pretty amazing.