Stem ginger and clotted cream ice cream with rhubarb compote

Stem ginger and clotted cream ice cream with rhubarb compote

My ever-beloved Nigella has often written about her mantra of “I may be extravagant, but never am I wasteful”. This is a sentiment I took to heart when I made this, as while it’s undeniably indulgent, it involved using ingredients which may have gone to waste otherwise.

As is often necessary after the festive season, I became a bit of a self-styled Queen of the Leftovers at the beginning of January, tailoring almost every meal around what was left in the fridge (even more so than usual). Among the leftovers this year was an unopened tub of Cornish clotted cream, which Owen’s mum brought for us – among other gifts – when she came to stay over Christmas. We both love clotted cream (who doesn’t), but knew we were unlikely to use it before it went out of date a few days after New Year. So, I decided to make ice cream, the idea being that I could stash it in the freezer until we could face eating pudding again (bearing in mind we’d only just finished the infamous New Year cheesecake). I went Googling for inspiration, and settled on stem ginger ice cream.

As luck would have it, I also found a lone bag of rhubarb in the reduced fruit and veg section when I went shopping. Rhubarb and ginger are notoriously tasty bedfellows, so I took the opportunity to make a rhubarb compote to go with the ice cream. This was also stashed in the freezer.

I had a 227g tub of clotted cream, which made a large amount of custard. I therefore had to churn the ice cream in two batches as it wouldn’t all fit in my ice cream maker. To make things simpler, the recipe below gives the amounts for one batch of ice cream.

Clotted cream and rhubarb

Stem ginger and clotted cream ice cream

Ingredients

  • 115g clotted cream
  • 250ml whole milk
  • 2 egg yolks (you can freeze the whites for use in something else)
  • 70g caster sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • About 50g stem ginger from a jar, chopped into small pieces (this is equivalent to about three or four balls of stem ginger)
  • 2 or 3 tablespoonsful of stem ginger syrup from the jar

Add the cream and milk to a pan and heat together gently, stirring as you go, until almost boiling but not quite. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Add the sugar, salt and egg yolks to a bowl and beat together until the mixture turns a pale shade of yellow.

Gradually add the heated milk and cream mixture to the bowl, a ladleful at a time, whisking as you go. You want to do this carefully so the eggs don’t scramble with the heat.

Once all the mixture is combined, return it to the pan and heat it gently again until it is of a consistency which coats the back of a wooden spoon.

Put the mixture into a bowl and allow it to chill thoroughly. Once chilled, put it in an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Once the ice cream has churned, fold in the stem ginger pieces and syrup. Scrape it into a container and put it in the freezer until you’re ready to eat it. (It’ll probably need at least a few hours to firm up properly).

Rhubarb compote

Ingredients

  • 400g rhubarb
  • 40g caster sugar
  • A tiny splash of water (and I mean really tiny – the rhubarb will leak a lot of liquid)

Chop the rhubarb into pieces about an inch long and add to a pan along with the sugar and water. Heat on a medium heat, stirring regularly until the rhubarb is soft, but still has some shape. You could add more sugar to taste if you like.

Rhubarb

If freezing, transfer the stewed rhubarb (stewbarb) into a container with a lid and chuck it in the freezer.

Bank Holiday blowout food

This weekend was the last Bank Holiday weekend before Christmas, and I managed to wangle a shift off from work to enable me to enjoy the whole three days off. In classic British Bank Holiday fashion, the weather forecast was for rain all weekend. “There goes my nice long bike ride in the sun,” I thought. However, yesterday was lovely and sunny and while we didn’t cycle the longer route I’d originally planned, we did have a nice cycle around the park in the sunshine (sitting down to enjoy a cheeky Calippo under a tree along the way). As I’d thought the weather was going to be rubbish all weekend, I was feeling a bit indulgent and planned a menu of tasty treats for our three days off together.

We started off on Saturday with a nice lay in (interrupted by needing to answer the door, bleary eyed and Russell Brand-haired, to the postman to take delivery of some packages from Amazon). We then enjoyed a pot of coffee and some pain au chocolat while still in our dressing gowns, watching re-runs of Time Team on the telly. Lovely. I won’t bore you with this level of detail about the rest of the weekend but it’s worth mentioning how much I appreciate not having to set an alarm and having a home filled with the smell of fresh coffee first thing in the morning.

I decided to make cream teas on Saturday, the original plan being to cycle to the park and enjoy them in the sun. As it was pissing down with rain, we enjoyed them in the comfort of our own home instead. The scone recipe I used was this one (don’t do what I did and absent-mindedly use plain flour instead of self-raising- I had to chuck out the first batch and start again when I realised they weren’t rising in the oven). We had our usual debate about whether to put the jam on first or the clotted cream- I always put my cream on first with the strawberry jam on top because I think it’s more aesthetically pleasing (which is the Devon way of doing it). However, Owen spent a large portion of his childhood and teens in Cornwall, and he and his mum will argue until they’re blue in the face that the Cornish way (jam first, cream on top) is the only correct way to serve a cream tea.

Cream teas (the Devon way). I got a bit carried away and decided to put them on my extra chintzy bone china plates.

Yesterday’s breakfast was pancakes with bacon and maple syrup- one of my favourite weekend breakfasts when I can be bothered to make it. I use the following ingredients for the two of us, adjusted from this Jamie Oliver recipe.

  • 2 eggs
  • 80g plain flour
  • 95ml milk
  • Half a teaspoon of baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

Breakfast pancakes with bacon and maple syrup.

Owen did a roast for dinner last night. I’m not very good at roasts, but I do always contribute by making the stuffing balls (chopped onion, grated apple, sage and breadcrumbs bound with an egg) and Yorkshire puds. A roast is one of those meals, like a full English breakfast, which always tastes that much better when someone else cooks it for you. Owen happens to be very good at making a roast dinner (his roast potatoes in particular are excellent), which works out well for me…

Owen’s yummy roast potatoes.

I made tomato soup for lunch today using this Felicity Cloake recipe (which is my standard ‘go to’ tomato soup recipe- the balsamic vinegar lifts the flavours perfectly). I quite often make soup for lunch on a weekend, especially if the weather’s a bit miserable- I find it quite comforting with a nice bit of crusty bread for dippage.

I couldn’t resist taking a picture of these before they went in the oven- I just thought they looked pretty…

Tomato soup

One of the aforementioned Amazon deliveries was Lorraine Pascale’s latest book, which provided the inspiration for tonight’s dinner- prawn linguine with chorizo and cabernet tomato sauce (the recipe wasn’t on her usual BBC page so the link is to the Mail Online- sorry about that). The only adjustments I made were to use one tin of tomatoes instead of two and enough linguine for two people instead of four. There are loads of recipes in this book that I want to try, so you’ll no doubt be hearing more about them soon…

Lorraine Pascale’s prawn linguine with chorizo and cabernet tomato sauce

So, we’re back to work tomorrow. After all this culinary naughtiness (I’ve not even mentioned the Tesco’s jumbo chocolate croissants and copious amounts of beer and wine we washed everything down with until now), I think I’ll need to get on the exercise bike and cook a few healthy meals this week to restore the balance…